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March 6, 2019 3:12 pm

THAAD Anti-Missile System Drill a ‘Testament to the Strength’ of the US-Israel Alliance, Netanyahu Says

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the deployment area of a US THAAD anti-missile system, March 6, 2019. Photo: Kobi Gideon / GPO.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited on Wednesday the deployment site of a THAAD anti-missile system that has been stationed in Israel by the US military as part of a joint exercise with the IDF.

Netanyahu — who was accompanied on the tour by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman — said, “I think this is a testament to the strength of the alliance between Israel and the United States. The coalition for a common defense, that is expressed not merely in intentions but in actual forces on the ground, I think is remarkable.”

Friedman stated, “I can’t think of a better example of the incredibly close and important cooperation between Israel and the United States. This is an outstanding example of how the American armed forces have made a commitment to Israel’s safety and security. They’ve done this in many other ways, but I can’t think of a better single example than we’re looking at right now.”

Earlier this week, the IDF said the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) drill was “part of US efforts to implement its operational concept and mission to assist in Israel’s aerial defense.”

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“The deployment of this American system in Israel emphasizes the US’s commitment to the defense and security of Israel,” the IDF stated. “It‘s also an opportunity for the IDF to practice integrating advanced American air defense systems into the IAF Air Defense Array.”

“The IDF is grateful for this exercise and stands ready to protect Israel’s airspace and civilians against a variety of threats from near and far,” the Israeli military added. “This is a defensive deployment that is not related to any specific current event.”

A US European Command (EUCOM) statement said, “THAAD is the most advanced integrated air and missile defense system in the world, and this deployment readiness exercise demonstrates that US forces are agile and can respond quickly and unpredictably to any threat, anywhere, at any time.”

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