The Latest: Israel holds army drill amid regional tensions

FILE - in this Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 file photo, an Iraqi army soldier stand guard near a U.S.- made Iraqi Air Force F-16 fighter jet at the Balad Air Base, Iraq. Militants fired early Saturday, June 15, 2019, three mortar shells on an air base just north of Baghdad where American trainers are present, causing a small fires but no casualties, the Iraqi military said. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed, File)
FILE - In this May 7, 2019 file photo, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, center, walks with Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department David Satterfield, left, and Charge D'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad Joey Hood, second from left, and Lt. Gen. Paul LeCamera after arriving in Baghdad. Tensions between the United States and Iran have soared in recent weeks, with Washington dispatching warships and bombers around the Persian Gulf, and Tehran threatening to resume higher uranium enrichment. (Mandel Ngan/Pool Photo via AP, File)

BAGHDAD — The Latest on developments in the Persian Gulf region amid rising tensions between Iran and the U.S. (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

Israel is holding its largest military drill in years, with thousands of troops from the army, navy and air force simulating a future war with Lebanese Hezbollah militants.

The military says it's wrapping up the four-day exercise on Wednesday. The drill focused on the immersion off all military branches against threats on Israel from the north. It includes the first deployment of F-35 stealth fighter jet planes in such a drill.

The exercise was planned long in advance but comes amid growing tensions in the Persian Gulf between Iran and the United States.

Israeli officials fear Iran may try to mobilize proxies like Hezbollah against it, as part of the conflict.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the drill and warned Israel's enemies: "Don't test us."

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12:20 p.m.

Kuwait's emir has arrived in Iraq for a rare official visit to the neighboring country amid rising tensions in the Persian Gulf between Washington and Tehran.

Iraq's President Barham Saleh received Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah at Baghdad's airport on Wednesday.

Kuwait news agency KUNA said the visit, the first since 2012, will focus on regional developments in the wake of attacks on oil tankers last week near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

Washington, which has accused Iran of carrying out the attacks on the oil tankers, has dispatched warships and bombers to the region and is sending 1,000 more troops to the Mideast. Iran denies it is behind the attacks.

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10:05 a.m.

Iraqi officials say a rocket hit an oil-drilling site in southern Basra province, striking a camp housing energy giant Exxon Mobil and wounding three local workers, one seriously.

Security official Mahdi Raykan says a Katyusha rocket landed early Wednesday in the Zubair and Rumeila oil fields camp, operated by the Iraqi Drilling company, where Exxon Mobil has workers' caravans.

Exxon Mobil, based in Irving, Texas, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. In May, it evacuated staff from the West Qurna 1 oil field in Basra province.

As tensions escalate between Iran and the U.S., there're concerns Iraq could once again get caught in the middle. The country hosts more than 5,000 U.S. troops, and is home to powerful Iranian-backed militias, some of whom want those U.S. forces to leave.

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