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March 3, 2020 4:38 pm
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Despite Coronavirus Fears, IDF and US Military Kick Off Bi-Annual Juniper Cobra Exercise in Israel

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

US Marines and Israeli soldiers participate in Juniper Cobra, a US-Israeli joint air defense exercise, in Zeelim, southern Israel, March 12, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen.

Despite concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, the IDF and US military kicked off their bi-annual Juniper Cobra exercise in Israel on Tuesday.

Israel Hayom reported that Israel was particularly concerned because some of the American soldiers involved had been stationed in areas of Europe where the virus has been detected, particularly Italy.

Altogether, 2,500 soldiers under the US European Command will take part in the exercise, 600 of them within Israel itself, along with approximately 1,000 IDF soldiers.

All of the American soldiers involved were stationed in either the US or Germany, neither of which are considered likely vectors of the coronavirus.

The exercise is the tenth to take place since its inauguration in 2001. Its goal is to strengthen collaboration and coordination between the two militaries, especially in the realm of missile defense, in which Israel is a world leader.

The troops will take part in battle simulations using the latest Israeli weapon systems, including missile defense systems Arrow 2 and 3, as well as David’s Sling.

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