Two Patriot missile batteries arrived at the Ashdod port in Israel this week, ahead of a large-scale military exercise by US and Israeli soldiers, according to an Israeli daily report.
The Patriots will stay in Israel, in order to strengthen the country's defenses in the event of an attack by Iraq during the anticipated US operation against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Tel-Aviv based Ha’aretz reported.
The Patriot missiles are to help defend Israel against potential Scud missile attacks, as well as any attempts by Iraqi aircraft to enter Israeli airspace and drop biological or chemical weapons on Israeli populations centers.
The joint exercise by the US and Israeli armies will also include Arrow and Hawk missiles, as well as an American ship-based radar system designed to pinpoint incoming ground-to-ground missiles. Similar exercises have been conducted during recent years.
High-ranking Israeli army sources, for their part, have expressed confidence that the Arrow defense system, complemented by the Patriots for lower trajectory Scud missiles, is fully capable of meeting potential airborne threats. (Albawaba.com)
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