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US, Israel war games underscore warnings to Iran on nuclear enrichment

This week's Juniper Oak exercise follows reports that the Biden administration has sought to commit Tehran to an informal arrangement limiting its nuclear enrichment outside of the JCPOA.
An Israeli F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft performs manuevers during the "Noble Dina 23" multilateral aeronautical exercise over the Mediterranean sea on March 27, 2023. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP) (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The United States and Israel on Sunday kicked off the second iteration of a new series of war games designed to enable the Israeli air force to partake in long-range strikes on strategic targets hundreds of miles away from the country’s own airspace.

The latest Juniper Oak exercise began in Israel on Sunday with the participation of US F-16s, a KC-10 and a KC-46 tanker aircraft to support mid-air refueling, according to the Pentagon’s Middle East regional command headquarters.

“The exercise will incorporate a number of scenarios, including long-range strategic striking, the achievement of aerial superiority in the region and cyber defense in the face of a variety of threats,” the Israeli military said in a press release on Monday.

The five-day event will include “bilateral cyber incident response” and “agile combat employment (offensive air [exercises]) within Israel,” the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a separate press release.

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