Israel-US hold defense talks amid Iranian missile drill

Over the past two days, the Israeli Ministry of Defense hosted the annual U.S.-Israeli Defense Policy Advisory Group, which was co-chaired by the Head of the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Policy and Political-Military Bureau Zohar Palti and U.S. Acting Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy James Anderson.

The meeting, which was attended by senior military officials from both countries, serves at the primary platform to jointly advance the U.S.-Israel defense partnership.

Throughout the session, which was held via video conference due to the COVID pandemic, both sides discussed strategic and regional security challenges, with emphasis on Iran and its malign regional activity, as well as its nuclear aspirations.

In addition, the Israeli side presented the main elements of the IDF’s plans regarding force build up and defense acquisitions under the Memorandum of Understanding over the next few years, with emphasis on aerial platforms.

Upon conclusion of the meeting, acting Under-Secretary Anderson and Director Palti reaffirmed the ironclad strategic defense partnership between the United States and Israel, and underscored the importance of constant cooperation on all levels as a force multiplier.

It is important to mention that the meeting comes at a time of heightened regional tensions over an apparent increase of Iranian provocation.

Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Aerospace Division, Maj. Gen. Amirali Hajizadeh, was among other officials to boast that his nation has successfully test-launched ballistic missiles from underground for the first time. ”For the first time in the world we fired ballistic missiles from the depths of the earth,” declared Hajizadeh.

The development allegedly took place as part of an annual IRGC military drill, entitled ‘The Thirteenth Prophet,” on Tuesday (28 July).

The U.S. military condemned the IRGC military exercise as “irresponsible,” and revealed that it prompted two bases housing American troops in the region to heighten their levels of alert.