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April 7, 2016 12:17 pm

Report: US Army Building Fortified Missile Base in Israel Against Potential Iranian Threat

avatar by Lea Speyer

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Iran's Emad ballistic missile. Photo: Wikipedia.

Iran’s Emad ballistic missile. Photo: Wikipedia.

The US is building a fortified missile base in central Israel to be permanently manned in case of a regional emergency, according to i24News, citing a report in the Hebrew news site Walla on Thursday.

According to the report, Israeli security sources said that the base is in advanced stages of construction and is being built in response to the potential missile threat posed by Iran. The base, which can withstand a ballistic-missile attack, will be connected to a nearby US Army-run radar facility in Dimona, located in the Negev Desert. Dimona is the location of the Negev Nuclear Research Center, an Israeli nuclear installation that is historically suspected of housing Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

In March, Iran conducted its first ballistic missile test since October. International officials, including US lawmakers, have called the test-firing a violation of Iran’s commitments to the nuclear deal it made with Western powers in July.

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The report of the construction of the missile base comes some two months after February’s joint US-Israeli military exercise, code-named Juniper Cobra. The drill has been conducted every two years since 2001. This year’s exercise aimed to improve cooperation and coordination between the US European Command and the Israel Defense Forces in the area of ballistic missile defenses, i24News said. According to figures released by the US Army, more than 1,700 US Total Force service members and civilians participated in the February exercise.

UPDATE: Following the publication of the Walla report, a US military spokesman denied to the Times of Israel that a secret missile base is being built in Israel. US European Command spokesperson Lt. Col. David Westover, Jr. stated: “The US military is not building a missile base in Israel.”

 

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