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Corona Scare: US, Israeli army abandon military exercise

The United States and Israel have scrapped the remainder of their joint military exercise Juniper Cobra 20 over the coronavirus outbreak, the US European Command based in Germany said Thursday.

“The decision is in alignment with recent Israeli Ministry of Health guidelines on COVID-19, and a precautionary measure to ensure the health and safety of all participants,” said USEUCOM in a statement.

The two-week drill which began on Tuesday would have involved 2,500 USEUCOM soldiers, and 1,000 Israeli troops, according to the IDF on Twitter.

Among American troops arriving in Israel for the exercise were some who were to be deployed from their German base.

But amid the growing spread of the virus, Israel on Wednesday slapped new travel restrictions on five European nations — including Germany, barring entry to almost all non-residents of the Jewish state arriving from these affected countries.

Israel currently has 15 confirmed cases of the virus but no deaths, with some 7,000 others already in home-quarantine.

AFP

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