Hizbullah's missiles now have the capacity to reach Israel’s central region, including Jerusalem, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.Gen Gabi Ashkenazi said Tuesday in a briefing with the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. He also announced that a new operation designed to intercept Katyusha rockets is due to begin next year .
A small percentage of Hizbullah’s current arsenal of tens of thousands of missiles can reach almost 190 miles, Ashkenazi said, well over the distance from southern Lebanon to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Meanwhile, the joint air defense exercise, Juniper Cobra, was completed on Tuesday to the satisfaction of all levels of command. Top brass in both the Israeli and U.S. armies called the exercise a great success. In the final operation, ten Patriot missiles were shot down by unmanned planes within a matter of hours. Approximately 1,400 personnel, each from the U.S. military and the IDF, took part in the fifth operation of the biennial exercise.
Major Omri Maost, an anti-aircraft commander in the South, sat in the control room during the launching and was directly responsible for some of the missiles that were launched. He said that the success of the operation boosted soldiers’ confidence.