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Israeli Air Force teams up with US, Cyprus for defensive drills against potential Iranian attack

Illustrative - Air Force drill (Photo: OSINTdefender/X)

The Israeli Air Force conducted joint drills in cooperation with the United States and Cyprus this week to prepare for potential strikes against Iran and its proxies in the event of a large-scale Iranian attack, according to Israeli Army radio.

The joint exercises come amid concern about an impending retaliation from Iran following an alleged Israeli strike in Syria, which killed a senior official in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Israeli officials announced its preparations for an "unprecedented" attack originating from Iran that may require countering cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and drones.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reiterated a promise to retaliate against Israel for the attack on its consulate in Damascus, Syria killing 12 people including Mohammed Reza Zahedi, a senior leader in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and six other guard members.

Tel Aviv has not commented on the attack, however, Iran says it holds Israel responsible. The White House says it had no prior knowledge of the operation, but has repeatedly promised to back Israel in the face of Iranian threats.

The exercises involved a squadron of Israeli fighter jets performing long-range drill exercises and a simulated attack on a remote target over the island of Cyprus, conducted in coordination with the Cypriot National Guard and the U.S. military, according to Israeli military correspondent Doron Kadosh.

"As part of increasing preparation for Iran's possible response, which may also be followed by an Israeli response on Iranian soil, in recent days, a joint exercise was carried out with the Cypriot army in the airspace of Cyprus, simulating an air operation and an attack on a remote target," Kadosh wrote.

He quoted a senior IDF official who said: "We know and are prepared to act in any arena and maintain independent abilities to act on our own - we don't rely on anyone."

U.S. President Joe Biden vowed on Wednesday that the U.S. has an “ironclad” commitment to defend Israel against an imminent strike from Iran.

In an overnight call with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also made it clear that the U.S. will “stand with Israel against any threats by Iran and its proxies.”

Biden spoke alongside Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who is in Washington for an official visit and told reporters: "We also want to address the Iranian threat - to launch a significant attack on Israel.

"Our commitment to Israel's security against these threats from Iran and its proxies is ironclad. We say it again, ironclad, and we're going to do all we can to protect Israel's security."

U.S. and allied officials fear that a strike could come in the form of a direct missile launch from Iran, rather than via their proxies like Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israel says it’s prepared to defend the country against any attack on their territory and strike back, heightening the prospect of a regional war.

Iranian regime leader Khamenei has vowed to retaliate against Israel. Tehran also backs an umbrella group of Iraqi militias that have attacked U.S. military bases and positions in Syria and Iraq.

Foreign Minister Israeli Katz threatened that the IDF would strike Iran directly if the Islamic Republic launched an attack from its territory.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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