On Thursday, the United States and Israel announced the conclusion of their largest-ever joint military exercises, called Juniper Oak 23. The drills, which began on Monday, involved over 140 aircraft and nearly 8,000 troops from both countries. Despite claims from US officials that the exercises were not aimed at any specific country, the show of force was seen as a provocation by Iranian officials.
Juniper Oak 23.2 has just begun… pic.twitter.com/DN8tVsGT3D
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) January 24, 2023
The exercises included live-fire exercises with various aircraft and naval assets. It also demonstrated the US support for Israel in the region, despite the Israeli government’s plans to expand settlements in the West Bank and potentially annex the territory. Both countries have been threatening military action against Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons, but the US has acknowledged that Iran is not currently seeking to build a nuclear bomb.
Juniper Oak 23.2, the largest ever US-Israel combined exercise, continues.
Look ?for the culminating Juniper Oak video tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/xyme9p5aPe
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) January 26, 2023
The exercise came after a visit from Israel’s former army chief to Washington D.C. in November, where he announced plans to expand joint military cooperation between the two countries.
WATCH: The Juniper Oak 23.2 final video pic.twitter.com/3QFXiPl9sX
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) January 27, 2023