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Israel, UAE and Pakistan hold joint military exercises in US

Though Israel does not have formal diplomatic relations with either country, it says working together is essential
Military exercise, known as “Red Flag” war simulation, involves mock battlefield and about 50 Israeli warplanes (AFP)

Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan participated in the largest joint military exercise in the United States over the past few weeks.

Even though Israel does not have formal diplomatic relations with either country, the head of the Israeli military’s training department, Colonel Amit, told reporters on Wednesday that the US exercise required them to train with other countries, even though he refused to identify the other nations participating in the training.

“We train together with anyone who attends the exercise. We have no say in the matter,” Amit said.

“In a group it is impossible to hide your level. If you did not carry out the mission given to you, everyone sees it,” he said.

The exercise, known as the “Red Flag” war simulation, involved a mock battlefield in which American forces acted as the enemy and included about 50 total warplanes, helicopters and other defence units, Haaretz reported.

A spokesman for Israel’s air force said in a New York Times report that it was the first time Israeli fighter pilots trained together with Pakistani and Emirati pilots.

Spokesperson Major Gil added that the simulation did not mirror any real world threats and also said that the pairing of countries created an “odd group”.

Despite this, he said that Pakistani and Emirati fighter pilots operated “in an utmost professional way”.

In the previous Red Flag exercise, which took place last year, Israeli military planes refuelled Jordanian fighter jets.

The Israeli units participating in this year’s Red Flag training flew back to Israel on Wednesday. The exercise ended on 26 August.