| 24 May 2024, Friday |

US, Israel Conduct Joint Exercise for Possible Confrontation with Iran

A US Marines force and Shayetet 13 – the marine commando unit of the Israeli army – have kicked off military exercises in the Negev region and the shores of Eilat on the Red Sea.


Senior military sources in Tel Aviv said that the drills, which are the first of their kind, come in preparation for a possible confrontation with Iran.


The sources said that the exercises were among the topics that were discussed in a telephone conversation between Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and his American counterpart Lloyd Austin, under the title, “Coordination between the Israeli and American security services in operations aimed at preventing Iranian military entrenchment in the region.”


A statement issued by Gantz’s office on Wednesday said that the consultations included “measures to confront Iran’s nuclear ambitions,” noting that the two sides agreed to “meet soon to discuss strengthening security cooperation.”


The joint exercise is held in participation with the US Special Unit, Task Force 51, which is a rapid intervention unit that confronts complex scenarios. The unit was heading to a large US base in the Gulf region, when it received orders to conduct training in Israel prior to its arrival.


On the Israeli side, several naval forces are participating in the maneuvers, including Shayetet 13, which also operates on land.


According to Israeli reports, the exercises are conducted to counter scenarios “in which the Iranians try to seize a US consulate or ship in the region,” or to confront terrorist operations and conduct basic combat training on the use of special combat tools.


Channel 12 quoted an informed source in Tel Aviv as saying that these exercises were of “a special tactical nature, as they constitute the first integration between the US and Israeli armies.”

  • Asharq Al-Awsat