Air Force Drills for Regional War

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JERUSALEM, Israel - The Israel Air Force (IAF) held a four-day exercise this week, simulating a full-scale attack on the country, with drills in the north and south, Channel 10 reported on Thursday.

Pilots responded to simultaneous attacks on the northern front by Lebanon and Syria and in the south by Gaza-based Palestinians led by Hamas.

Ground forces also took part in the drill.

IAF squadrons included attack and interceptor aircraft, helicopters, and transport and refueling aircraft.

"We have a strong air force and this gives us a sense of security," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said at the end of the exercise.

"What we witnessed bolsters our confidence that we have people we can rely on," he said, calling the drill "a very important one."

The defense minister said that Iran's test firing of one of its long-range ballistic missiles this week provided "more proof that we must develop means to confront" the threat from the Islamic Republic.

The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Home Front Command will hold a nationwide emergency preparedness drill in early June, during which air raid sirens will usher all Israelis into bomb shelters and sealed rooms.

Sources: Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post

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