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Israeli Air Force Begins Joint Exercise with U.S., UAE, Italy, Greece

Israeli fighter planes began multinational exercises in Greece on Monday alongside jets from multiple other countries, including the United States, United Arab Emirates, and Italy.

The Iniohos 2017 exercise, which is being hosted at Greece’s Andravida Air Base, featured a commemorative patch including the flags of all five participating nations.

“Multinational training engagements such as these strengthen our relationships, maintain joint readiness and interoperability, and reassure our regional Allies and partners,” U.S. Air Force spokesman Capt. Robert Howard said in a statement.

The Israeli Air Force also participated in the American-hosted Red Flag exercises in August. Those events included crews from Jordan (whose planes reportedly flew alongside IDF aircraft en route to the exercises in Alaska), as well as the UAE and Pakistan.

While Israel has no formal diplomatic ties with the latter two Muslim-majority nations, clandestine ties are believed to have grown due to shared concern over Iran’s threat to the Middle East and South Asia. Last November, Israel established a diplomatic mission to the International Renewable Energy Association, which is based in Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital.

[Photo: dvids / WikiCommons ]