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US, Israel to begin major air defence exercise


WASHINGTON (AP): US and Israeli generals say they are embarking on the largest exercise in their long military relationship.

The air defence drill planned for late this month will involve 3,500 Americans and 1,000 Israeli forces.

It has been in the making for more than two years, but comes now against a backdrop of tension with Iran and sharp rhetoric in the US presidential election.

US Air Force Lt Gen Craig Franklin says American forces have started arriving in Israel for the exercise. Others will participate from positions around Europe and the Mediterranean.

Israeli Brig Gen Nitzan Nuriel says the ground and computer-simulated drill is to practice teamwork in reacting to a range of threats such as rockets and long- or short-range ballistic missiles.

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