Amid escalating tensions, US soldiers land in Israel for joint military exercise

Jerusalem: While the tension in the Gulf is rising, the US soldiers have landed in Israel. The US soldiers have come here for a joint US-Israeli military exercise, ‘Juniper Cobra’ to be conducted, informed a local news agency. As per the information received, the exercise is centred around retaliation in case of a major missile attack on Israel. While the tension is worsening with the Lebanese army and Hezbollah, the US-Israel military exercise gains importance.

Joint-military-exerciseThe exercise between the US and Israel will start in a few hours, it is claimed. Thousands of soldiers from both the countries are taking part in the exercise. The outline for the exercise has not been made public. The ‘Juniper Cobra’ joint military exercise is conducted every two years between the US and the Israeli armies. While this is the 9th joint military exercise, the previous military exercise had taken place in 2016. Two years ago, approximately 3200 US troops had participated in the exercise. It is said that this year the exercise is about tackling missile attacks.

The US and Israel have refrained from talking about the exercise. But, there are claims that this exercise is against the Hezbollah in Lebanon. The pro-Iranian terrorist organisation Hezbollah is said to have 10 to 15 thousand medium-range and long-range missiles. Along with this Israel is claiming that there are 50 thousand Hezbollah terrorists ready in Lebanon. Israel has accused that there is a major threat for Israeli security from these Hezbollah terrorists.

The tensions between Israel and Lebanon are on the rise since the past few days. Israel is claiming that the Hezbollah terrorists have built-up a stockpile of missiles in the southern border of Lebanon. Israel had criticised that the Lebanese army is ignoring these Hezbollah activities. Israel said that Iran has started a missile manufacturing factory in Lebanon. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during his visit to Russia four days ago, had discussed this issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Israeli prime minister had also appealed to Russia to stop these Iranian activities in Lebanon and Syria in time.

There are also incidences of intrusion into Israel from across the Lebanese border. Israel has started raising the height of the wall along its border to stop this intrusion from Lebanon. Hezbollah has objected to this. Hezbollah has objected to this and has threatened to start firing at the Israeli troops at the border, if the work on the wall is not stopped.

Meanwhile, Israel has already threatened to attack Iranian bases in Syria, if Iran and Hezbollah do not stop their activities in Syria. Against this background of escalating tensions, the analysts and the media in the Gulf as well as western countries are claiming a possibility of a war sparking between Israel and Lebanon.

But, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, has ruled out a possibility of a ‘third war with Lebanon’. At the same time, Lieberman has also warned that there is a need to control the anti-Israeli activities of Hezbollah or else the Lebanese people will have to suffer the consequences and Israel will not be responsible for it.

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