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Greece, Israel to hold joint aeronautical exercises

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Greek and Israeli Air Forces are set to stage joint aeronautical drills in the coming days, Greek Hellenic Air Force says.

According to a statement released earlier this week, the drills, part of a Greece-Israel Military Cooperation Program, will kick off on October 9 in Athens’ flight information region (FIR).

The statement said a group of F-15 and F-16 fighter jets will participate in the exercises along with navy forces.

On October 16, Greek combat aircraft and fuel supplier airplanes belonging to Israeli regime will also take part in the drills, which will happen in the region of the western Peloponnese, it said.

In March, Tel Aviv said the Israeli regime, the United States and Greece launched a joint two-week Mediterranean naval exercise called ‘Noble Dina.’

“Noble Dina, one of the navy’s scheduled annual exercises, is part of the security cooperation between the Israeli navy and foreign naval forces,” the Israeli military said in a statement.

The statement also said the naval exercise was “an opportunity for mutual learning and for strengthening of the cooperation with its [Israel’s] allies.”

The Israeli regime receives more than three billion dollars from the United States in direct foreign assistance every year. Tel Aviv also gets USD 70 million more in military aid for its missile systems.

Meanwhile, on October 3, the US Department of State said a prolonged government shutdown would hinder military aid to Israel, the largest recipient of US foreign military aid.

“The State Department’s ability to provide military assistance to Israel and other allies in the time frame that is expected and customary could be hindered, depending on the length of the shutdown,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf told a news briefing.

The US government began a partial shutdown on October 1 after the Republican-led House of Representatives and the Democratic-led Senate did not agree on an emergency spending bill to fund the government.

The lawmakers remain at loggerheads over the budget, with Democrats refusing to give in to Republican demands for cuts in President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform — dubbed Obamacare.

The stalemate that has left more than 700,000 government workers furloughed, halted many government services and closed 400 national parks and monuments.


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