Airforce plane in Italy 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy: IDF Spokesman)
Israel conducted major offensive and defensive military drills on Wednesday, as
reports of a possible future Iran strike continued to mount at home and
Air-raid sirens will ring out across the greater Tel Aviv area on
Thursday morning at 10:05, as part of an extensive drill simulating a missile
attack held by the IDF Home Front Command.
Israel test-fires long-range ballistic missile
This Week in History: Israel launches into space
The public was given little
warning of the exercise, which will involve all the emergency services, and the
handing of gas masks.
Meanwhile, the air force completed a large drill
over the Italian island of Sardinia in recent days. Details of the exercise were
released on Wednesday, in the shadow of intensive and controversial media
reports over a possible Israeli attack against Iran’s nuclear
Lt.-Col. Y., commander of the 117th Squadron of F-16 fighter
jets that took part in the simulation, said his pilots flew over the sea, west
of Italy, and carried out maneuvers together with the Italian Air
“We simulated a common enemy. The cooperation between us and the
Italians was very good,” the pilot said.
The 14 Israeli jets that took
part in the drill flew in an area “encompassing 800 kilometers.”
drill was planned six months in advance, and ended last week.
in a variety of formations and practiced striking simulated targets.
Wednesday morning, Israel test-fired a missile
from the Palmahim Air Force Base
south of Rishon Lezion that was heralded by Defense Minister Ehud Barak as an
important success in the nation’s strategic capabilities.
reports said the missile was likely a Jericho 3 missile capable of carrying a
The smoke trail from the launch was seen by many
residents of the Central region in the sunny morning sky.
congratulated the defense community.
“This is an impressive technological achievement, and an important step in
Israel’s advancement in the field of missiles and space, which has been planed
for a long time,” he said. “The successful test is further evidence of the the
highest level of engineers, technicians and members of the Israeli-defense
A Defense Ministry official declined to comment on the type
of missile tested, but said in a statement that the launch was part of a test of
a rocket-propulsion system.
Israel Radio said the projectile was a
In 2008, a two-stage, longrange ballistic missile was
successfully test-fired by Israel.
Iranian officials on Wednesday
threatened to “punish” Israel and the US for any attack on the Islamic
Republic’s nuclear program.
“The United States is fully aware that a
military attack by the Zionist regime on Iran will not only cause tremendous
damage to that regime, but it will also inflict serious damage to the US,” said
Maj.-Gen. Hassan Firuzabadi, chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Iran’s
Fars News Agency reported.