Israeli, U.S. troops test-launch Patriot missiles

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Israeli and U.S. troops launched four Patriot missiles at decoy enemy missiles over the Mediterranean Sea on Nov. 12.

The launches were the last stages of Austere Challenge 12, a training exercise designed to increase military cooperation between the United States and Israel. The three-week exercise, which began last month and involves more than 2,500 American service personnel and 1,000 Israeli soldiers, is considered the largest joint exercise ever between the two countries.

The missiles were launched from Palmachim air force base in central Israel, located south of Tel Aviv.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak noted at the base that Israel has been using its Iron Dome system to protect against a barrage of short-range missiles coming from the Gaza Strip.

“We hope that [this escalation] will be over quickly without a need to broaden it or intensify it,” he said. — jta