Israel’s navy. (Edi Israel/Flash90)


Israel’s military says it has conducted a joint exercise with U.S. Special Forces simulating the retaking of a hijacked ship.

By United with Israel Staff and AP

The joint Israel-U.S. drill held last Wednesday comes amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran in the Persian Gulf and efforts by the Trump administration to set up a naval security mission to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz.

An official statement Tuesday said that the two militaries “exercised regaining control of a hijacked ship and extracting forces from enemy territory.”

The army said the drill had no connection to recent events and was planned as part of its annual training program.

Israeli media this month quoted Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz as telling a parliamentary committee that Israel was taking part in the U.S.-led coalition to challenge Iranian aggression in the Persian Gulf.

During the past several months, the Islamic Republic has seized several foreign ships, threatening sea traffic in one of the world’s most important shipping lanes for crude oil.

In addition to enriching uranium to illegal levels, Iran also continues to arm, fund and train terror proxies throughout the region, including Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the Houthis in Yemen.

While Iran has tried desperately to establish a military foothold in war-torn Syria, its troops are routinely the target of Israeli airstrikes, which have eliminated military personnel and assets.