Israeli and American naval special forces completed a large-scale exercise in the Mediterranean Sea last week simulating the takeover of a merchant ship in scenarios such as recapturing a hijacked vessel and stopping a ship carrying illegal weapons and contraband.

The training came as Iran and a US-led coalition, which includes Britain, Austalia and Bahrain, square off on shipping routes in the nearby Persian Gulf.

The Israeli military said the exercise, Noble Rose 2019, was not in direct response to these tensions. It is, however, reassuring that two of Britain’s most loyal allies are prepared for these scenarios in case Iran tries to seize another British tanker.

According to the Times of Israel:

Israel’s elite naval commando unit, known in Hebrew as Shayetet 13, participated in the drill alongside US Special Forces. An Israel Defense Forces spokesperson refused to comment on the precise number of troops that took part in the exercise, but said it was “larger than what we’ve done before.”

During the exercise, which concluded last Wednesday, the special forces soldiers simulated a number of scenarios, including “regaining control of a hijacked ship and extracting forces from enemy territory,” the military said in a statement.

“In the exercise, advanced and varied capabilities of the Israeli Navy’s Commando Unit were displayed, including taking over a vessel by parachuting from a plane, climbing, rappelling, sniping, and medical evacuation,” the military said.

IDF spokesman Jonathan Conricus said one of the novel elements of the exercise was during the simulated “boarding and taking over a merchant ship carrying weapons and contraband.”
According to Conricus, the Israeli and American troops worked “shoulder to shoulder” during this part of the drill.

“Collecting intelligence, assessing, and together coming up with a tactical solution, this is something that is not usually done,” he said.

Read more at Times of Israel

Britain must end its involvement in the Iran Nuclear Deal

Christians United for Israel UK is calling upon the British government to end its involvement in the Iran Nuclear Deal as the Iranian regime is funding terrorist groups such as these and using funds from the Iran Deal to do so.

The petition, launched as part of CUFI’s on-going Operation Mordecai campaign, accuses Iran of failing to show any evidence of reform since the deal was made in 2015 and says the Join Plan of Action (JCPOA) provides no credible solution to stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

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It follows the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirming that Iran has now exceeded the agreed limit on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium. The regime has also vowed to continue enrichment to “any amount we want” – moving Iran closer to a nuclear weapon. The Iranian regime has also captured a British ship and is holding its crew hostage whilst seeking further British vessels to capture.

CUFI UK Director, Des Starritt, says “The United Kingdom is ‘urgently considering next steps’ but remains one of five countries still part of the deal after the US withdrew and imposed new sanctions.”

“The UK must choose to stop supporting the aggressive terrorist funding Iranian regime and make a stand in solidarity with our closest allies – Israel and the United States.”

Read the petition in full and add your name

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