The U.S. and Israeli Air Forces will hold military drills this week simulating strikes on Iran’s nuclear capabilities, according to a statement from the Israel Defense Forces.
“Fighter jets and refuelers from the IAF and the U.S. Air Force will take part in the exercise and simulate a number of scenarios in the face of regional threats,” the IDF said of the drills, which are set to begin Tuesday.
The drills will take place over Israel and the Mediterranean Sea and will include long-range flights, simulating maneuvers that Israeli pilots would need to take to reach nuclear facilities in Iran, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The preparation for conflict with Iran comes as the United States’ negotiations with the regime over a revamped version of the 2015 nuclear deal have reached an impasse. Last week, Tehran announced it has begun enriching uranium to 60 percent purity and constructing new centrifuges, boosting its capabilities to construct a nuclear weapon.
Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz this month emphasized that Israel has made preparations to conduct strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities but that such a decision would not be taken lightly.
“Israel has the ability to act in Iran,” Gantz said. “We have the readiness, development capabilities, and longterm plans we are managing. We need to prepare for this possibility, and we will also need to consider this issue very carefully before carrying it out.”
It’s unclear whether Tom Cruise, who led both training exercises and led point for a nearly identical mission in Top Gun: Maverick, will participate in the training.
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