Israel holds large air force drill with 8 other countries

In this Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017 photo, two German Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets fly over Ovda airbase near Eilat, southern Israel during the 2017 Blue Flag exercise. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Updated 09 November 2017
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Israel holds large air force drill with 8 other countries

JERUSALEM: Israel’s military said on Thursday that it was holding its largest-ever air drill, with pilots from eight countries and dozens of aircraft simulating combat scenarios and facing off in training exercises.
Some 1,000 participants from the United States, Germany and France, among others, were in Israel for the drill codenamed “Blue Flag,” the third of its kind. Germany, India and France were taking part for the first time.
Fighter jets, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles from participating countries were involved in the simulations, which range from air battles to dealing with anti-aircraft systems.
The military said the two-week drill, which takes place every two years, comes amid volatility in the region.
“Against that background, a drill this broad with countries that come here is very significant,” said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with military regulations.
The official said the drill allows for the participating countries to learn from each other and to learn to work together should the need arise in the future.
The drill comes as Israel faces challenges from neighboring Syria where the Iran-backed Shiite Lebanese militant group Hezbollah is fighting alongside government forces. Israel fears its archenemy Iran will establish a Shiite “corridor” on its doorstep, with land links from Iran to Lebanon, allowing for the movement of militants and weapons across the region.


Russia to send modern S-300 missile defense systems to Syria

Updated 24 September 2018
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Russia to send modern S-300 missile defense systems to Syria

  • President Vladimir Putin has ordered additional security measures after a Syrian Soviet-era S-200 air defence missile shot down a Russian military plane by mistake
  • Russia will transfer the modern S-300 air defence system to the Syrian armed forces within two weeks

MOSCOW: Moscow will bolster Syria's air defence with a S-300 system and jam radars of military planes striking from off the coast of the Mediterranean following the downing of a Russian plane, its military chief said.
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that President Vladimir Putin has ordered additional security measures after a Syrian Soviet-era S-200 air defence missile shot down a Russian military plane by mistake, killing 15, in an incident last week that Moscow blames on Israel.
"This has pushed us to adopt adequate response measures directed at boosting the security of Russian troops" in Syria, Shoigu said in a televised statement.
"(Russia will) transfer the modern S-300 air defence system to the Syrian armed forces within two weeks."
Syrian military had already been trained to use the system, which was set to be sent over in 2013 but was held up "at the request of Israel," Shoigu said.
"In regions near Syria over the Mediterranean Sea, there will be radio-electronic suppression of satellite navigation, on-board radar systems and communication systems of military aviation attacking objects on Syrian territory."
Moscow says Israeli F-16 planes which struck Latakia in western Syria on September 17 later used the landing Russian Il-20 surveillance plane as a "cover," which resulted in the Il-20 being struck by a Syrian air defence missile.
"We are certain that the realisation of these measures will cool the 'hot heads' and will keep them from poorly thought-out actions which threaten our servicemen," Shoigu said.