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Israel, US Kick Off ‘Juniper Cobra’ Missile-defense Drill

Israel and the US have kicked off “Juniper Cobra,” a 10-day joint military exercise simulating a large-scale missile attack on the Jewish state. According to the IDF, some 1,000 Israeli soldiers are participating in the drill in conjunction with some 600 American troops currently in Israel, and another 1,900 stationed at bases in Europe and the US. The three main systems comprising Israel’s “multi-tiered” defense shield will be deployed during the drills, including the battle-tested Iron Dome, which intercepts short-range projectiles. Tests will also be conducted using the mid-range David’s Sling, as well as the long-range Arrow 3, which reportedly can intercept ballistic missiles outside the Earth’s atmosphere. While Israel and the US regularly hold joint military exercises, the bi-annual Juniper Cobra, which was initiated in 2001, is one of the largest – if not the largest – and considered by Jerusalem as perhaps the most important.