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US Defense Secretary Pledges Military Support to Israel

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has assured Israel that the U.S. government is committed to preserving Israel's military strength in the Middle East.

His comments follow a meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon Monday on the second day of a week-long trip to the region.

Hagel said the Obama administration is "committed to providing Israel whatever support is necessary for Israel to maintain military superiority over any state or coalition of states."



Israel is Hagel's first stop of a six-day trip to the Middle East that is expected to be dominated by concerns over Iran's controversial nuclear program, Syria's civil war and political fallout in the region from the "Arab Spring."

Hagel said the U.S. government would allow Israel to buy advanced U.S. missiles designed to take out air defenses, radar for fighter jets, aerial refueling planes and tilt-rotor transport aircraft that can take-off and land vertically.

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