IDF, US troops get ready for drill to simulate massive missile attack on Israel

Then-US secretary of defense Chuck Hagel speaks to Israeli and US soldiers during a joint exercise called Juniper Cobra 14, May 2014. (Matty Stern/US Embassy/Flash90)


Thousands of Israeli, American soldiers to take part in biennial ‘Juniper Cobra’ drill, amid escalating Israel-Iran tensions

The Israeli military on Thursday began its final preparations for a major air defense exercise with the United States, which is set to kick off at the beginning of next month, the army said.

While the Juniper Cobra exercise, which was first held in 2001, is scheduled every two years, it comes at a time of growing tension between Israel and Iran and the Iranian proxy Hezbollah. This year’s exercise simulates a massive ballistic missile attack against Israel and is also meant to improve ties between the two armies. Continue reading

Israel Attacks Syrian, Iranian Posts as Border Region Boils

Photographer: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images


  • Strikes follow Iranian drone’s reported infiltration to Israel
  • Israeli F-16 crashes as situation threatens to escalate

Israel launched attacks on Iranian and Syrian positions after it said Iran sent a military drone into its airspace Saturday, as the tense situation along the border threatened to escalate into wider violence.

Israel struck 12 targets in Syria, including three air-defense batteries and four Iranian targets, in a “large-scale attack” responding to the drone intrusion, the Israel Defense Forces said. An F-16 fighter plane crashed in northern Israel after coming under fire from Syrian anti-aircraft missiles, the Israeli army spokesman said in a text message; the pilots were hospitalized with moderate to severe injuries.  Continue reading

Israel Threatens to ‘Destroy’ Syrian Air Defense Systems

Avigdor Lieberman. Source: REUTERS


Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman threatened to destroy Syrian air defense systems after the Syrian military launched ground-to-air missiles against Israeli warplanes illegally carrying out strikes against targets in the country.

“The next time the Syrians use their air defense systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation,” The Time Of Israel quoted Lieberman’s statement on Israeli public radio. Continue reading

Report: Obama Threatened to Shoot Down IAF Iran Strike

The Bethlehem-based news agency Ma’an has cited a Kuwaiti newspaper report Saturday, that US President Barack Obama thwarted an Israeli military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2014 by threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.

Following Obama’s threat, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was reportedly forced to abort the planned Iran attack.

According to Al-Jarida, the Netanyahu government took the decision to strike Iran some time in 2014 soon after Israel had discovered the United States and Iran had been involved in secret talks over Iran’s nuclear program and were about to sign an agreement in that regard behind Israel’s back. Continue reading

Top EU diplomat calls for Palestinian state within 5 years

Ahead of her visit Friday, Federica Mogherini says actors in the region ‘need the European Union to be present to make steps forward’

The European Union’s new foreign policy chief called for the creation of a Palestinian state within the five years of her term, and announced that the EU intends to play a more influential role in the Middle East than it has in the past.

“What’s important for me is not whether other countries, be they European or not, recognize Palestine,” Federica Mogherini told the European press in comments published Tuesday, referring to Sweden’s recent recognition of a Palestinian state. “I’d be happy if, during my mandate, the Palestinian state existed.”

This weekend, she is scheduled to arrive in Israel and the Palestinian territories for her first official visit. During her two-day trip, she will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, President Reuven Rivlin, opposition leader Isaac Herzog and the chief peace negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. She is also expected to travel to Ramallah and the Gaza Strip, where she will meet with senior Palestinian officials. Continue reading