Israel and the US have inaugurated the first American military base on Israeli soil.
The base’s opening on Monday comes as Israel faces a slew of regional threats, especially from its arch-foe Iran. The Israeli military says the new base sends a message of readiness to Israel’s enemies.
The base, located within an existing Israeli air force base, will serve dozens of US soldiers operating a missile defense system.
The base’s opening is largely symbolic. Previously, American contractors and soldiers operated the system. Now the soldiers will do so from their permanent base in Israel.
Together with the US, Israel has developed a multilayered system of defenses against everything from long-range guided missile attacks from Iran to crude rockets fired from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.