TV report claims joint US-Israel air drill to bomb ‘Iranian nuke sites’ in Negev
Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.
As part of an ongoing drill between the Israeli Air Force and United States Central Command, American B-52 strategic bombers will drop live ammunition at targets in southern Israel tomorrow.
Channel 12 news, without citing a source, says the targets in the Negev desert will simulate Iranian nuclear sites. The network says the bombers will drop 100 tons of explosives, also without citing any source.
However, a US official speaking to American media says there will be no mockups of Iranian targets during the drills, and that the exercises are not oriented around any particular adversary, but rather meant to send a message to Iran and China.
The Israeli military has not briefed reporters about the drill at all, aside from a short statement announcing the start of the war games with some extra details, shortly after CENTCOM did.
A hype video published by CENTCOM shows a wide array of military activities as part of the exercise, dubbed Juniper Oak.
Juniper Talk 23.2 has just begun… pic.twitter.com/3dRpNkNhfE
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) January 24, 2023
The US-led drills, which involve over 140 aircraft, 12 naval vessels, and artillery systems from both nations, will end later this week, both the IDF and CENTCOM said.