Last week, the Israeli Air Force conducted aerial manoeuvres at an Italian NATO military base, in which fourteen sophisticated Israeli F-16 Fighting Falcons and mid-air refuelling Boeing jets, conducted various air drills, the Maan News Agency reported.The training included six types of Israeli warplanes, along with aircraft from Italy and Germany.

The drill is believed to be part of training for the possibility of an airstrike against developing nuclear facilities in Iran, Israeli sources reported.

Iranian chief of Staff, Hasan Fayrouz Abadi, told Iran’s News Agency “Fares” on Wednesday that ‘Israel will pay a high price should it attack Iranian nuclear facilities.”

He added that the Iranian armed forces are at their highest alert status, and are always ready to retaliate to any attack against the country.

Yet the Iranian officials downplayed the likelihood of an Israeli breach of Iranian sovereignty, stating that such attacks would come at a high price to Israel’s strongest ally, the United States.

The Home Front of the Israeli Army announced it will be conducting drills on Thursday, simulating the interception of missiles fired at the centre of the country. Evacuation and absorption centres were opened in central Israel, and several temporary centres opened to hand out gas masks as part of the drill.