The Air Forces of Israel and the United States have joined forces this week to conduct joint drills to prepare for the scenario of an attack on the Iranian regime and its proxies.

The drills took place over Israel and the Mediterranean Sea with four IAF F-35i fighter jets and four American F-15’s accompanied an American KC-135 aerial refuelling aircraft as it refuelled several IAF F-16i fighter jets.

The IDF said the drills “simulated an operational scenario and long-distance flights.”

“The Intelligence Directorate conducted an extensive simulation that replicated a campaign against distant countries,” the IDF said, apparently referring to Iran. “This exercise tested the IDF’s abilities at gathering intelligence, researching and outlining targets, and making intelligence available to the operational forces.”

“These exercises are a key component of the two militaries’ increasing strategic cooperation in response to shared concerns in the Middle East, particularly those posed by Iran,” the IDF added.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi and IAF chief Tomer Bar showed Lapid the various scenarios being drilled, and they discussed the Iranian threat, it said.

Kohavi held meetings with senior American officials over five days, focused on the Iranian threat.

“During the discussions, it was agreed that we are at a critical point in time that requires the acceleration of operational plans and cooperation against Iran and its terrorist proxies in the region,” he said.

Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid observed part of the drill from the IAF’s underground control centre, his office said in a statement.

“The strategic cooperation with the United States and other countries strengthens the IDF’s capabilities in the face of challenges in the Middle East, chiefly Iran,” Lapid said. “We have partners in the sky and on the ground, but we also have the right to act as we see fit and defend the State of Israel.”

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