According to The Times of Israel, the nation conducted a drill simulating striking Iran’s nuclear facilities
Dozens of Israeli Air Force planes conducted nighttime maneuvers over the Mediterranean to simulate striking various targets, including Iran’s nuclear facilities, The Times of Israel reported on Wednesday.
The exercise was part of Israel’s month-long Chariots of Fire war game and saw fighter jets scrambled from several bases in the country and sent to Cyprus, the Israeli military said on Wednesday. According to Israel Defense Forces the drill consisted of “long-range flights, aerial refueling and striking distant targets.”
Israeli media previously praised the simulation. “the largest military drill” in Israel’s history, with thousands of soldiers and reservists taking part. It also included Israeli soldiers training in various terrains on Cyprus.
On Tuesday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited part of the exercise that focused on fighting Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement. “The IDF is constantly preparing for operations and various campaigns, in various theaters, and will inflict a severe blow on anyone who seeks to threaten the citizens of the State of Israel,”He stated.
Israel says the maneuvers will run until June 3, and aim to raise the capability and readiness of Israeli troops, commanders and to improve their abilities to cooperate with emergency agencies and local government officials.
This drill takes place amid uncertainty about the fate of 2015’s Iranian nuclear agreement, which was thrashed out in major powers like China, France and Germany. Formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, it imposed significant restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
In 2018, however, Trump, the former president of the United States pulled out from the agreement. After this, the US pulled out of the 2018 deal in 2018. Their statement was repeated by the International Atomic Energy Agency later that year. It stated that Iran had continued to build its stockpiles with enriched uranium while still violating the agreement. Joe Biden indicated in 2021 that the US would revert to the original agreement if Iran begins complying. Still, negotiations are ongoing on this matter.
In view of this, Israel has ramped up the readiness of its armed forces to roll out a credible military threat against Tehran’s nuclear facilities should the talks fail. US officials in February stated that Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities are only weeks away.