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08:18 AM, March 5, 2019
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Launch of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile

The United States (US) has deployed its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system stationed in Israel.

The deployment began in March and was intended to test the US military's ability to rapidly deploy such weapons around the world, Reuters quoted a US spokeswoman for European Command as saying.

The US military said the decision to rapidly move the THAAD system to Israel was intended "as a demonstration of the United States' continued commitment to Israel's regional security."

This has come at time when Israel's recent bombing campaign in Syria elevated tensions between Iran and Israel. Iran's foreign minister said he could not rule out the possibility of military conflict between the two countries. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said the deployment was defensive in nature and not related to any specific current event.

US forces will work at various locations in the US, Europe and in Israel to operate the system in close cooperation with the IDF.

"All of the components of the THAAD system are at an air force base in the Negev desert, in southern Israel, and would soon be moved to an undisclosed site in southern Israel," Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus said.

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