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Photo: IDF Spokesman's Office
Video: Israeli-Italian aerial drill
Ynetnews presents images from joint aerial exercise; IDF denies Iran was in crosshairs
The IDF says that a joint Israeli-Italian aerial drill held this week in southern Israel was not meant to simulate a potential strike against Iran.

 

Against the backdrop of cool relations with Turkey, Israel's traditional exercise partner, military officials expressed their hope that the IDF would eventually be able to resume its joint drills with its former Muslim ally.

Joint military drill (Video: Roee Idan)

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"Going back to training with the Turks is needed and appropriate," a senior Air Force official said.

 

The joint training session with Italy, which followed an aerial drill in Sardinia about a month ago, was held as part of Israel's effort to convince foreign armies to take part in an international aerial drill to be held in Israel in 2013.

 

Huge firepower (Photo: IDF Spokesman's Office)
Huge firepower (Photo: IDF Spokesman's Office)

 

One training session was attended by some 30 foreign military attachés, who observed an exercise featuring cooperation between ground forces and helicopters. This was followed by a series of meetings and lectures.
Flying in southern Israel (Photo: IDF Spokesman's Office)
Flying in southern Israel (Photo: IDF Spokesman's Office)
 
As part of the drill, advanced Italian jets simulated battles against Israel's F-15s and F-16s. The exercise, which officials said concluded successfully, included joint flight sessions and an opportunity for Italy to become familiar with the Israeli Air Force's special ground equipment.

 

Senior Italian officials who participated in the drill downplayed questions about any possible connection between the exercise and a potential Iran strike. Air Force Brigadier General Hagai Topolonsky also dismissed a possible link, saying that "the media have a tendency to link unrelated matters and make a story out of them. Our deployment in Sardinia was part of our annual training plan."

 

 

 

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