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IDF stages Hezbollah war drills

The IDF is in the midst of a wide ranging 10-day drill to practice a mock war with Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Shi’ite terror group based in Lebanon. Tens of thousands of soldiers, and thousands of reservists are taking part in the exercise.

The military said the drill was scheduled prior to, and independently of, recent Israeli concerns that Iran and Hezbollah are gaining a major foothold in Syria, Israel’s other neighbor bordering Lebanon. Israel has fought wars with Hezbollah before, most recently the Second Lebanon War in 2006. And even in the midst of this drill, Israel reportedly attacked a chemical arms plant in Syria last week.

The drill, which is the largest of its kind since 1998, started on Sept. 4 and is set to run through Sept. 14. As Hezbollah id based in Lebanon, Israel’s northern neighbor, the drill is being led by the IDF’s Northern Corps and Northern Command.

The exercise will reportedly practice a conflict situation with Hezbollah that begins with a sudden, small attack and then develops into a full war. According to an official who spoke to the Times of Israel, the goal of the mock war would be to “vanquish” Hezbollah.

In addition to Navy and Air Force participation, the IDF cyber unit will take part in the drill so as to practice electronic warfare and the defense of its network systems. Combat engineering units will also practice disarming bombs, locating stored weapons and fighting in the type of tunnels it is believed Hezbollah has built in Lebanon.

The army called up such a large number of reservists to take part in the drill in order to prepare them for war on the northern front and bring them up to speed with recent developments regarding ever changing threats.

Hezbollah is thought to have accumulated some 100,000 rockets and thousands of fighters. Israeli officials are also concerned that Iran plans to build a missile factory to supply Hezbollah with more accurate rockets.

Hezbollah’s stated goal is to eliminate the entire Jewish state.

“There is no solution to the conflict in this region except with the disappearance of Israel,” Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah said.

Karen Faulkner
Karen Faulkner is a British Israeli citizen. She has a Master's degree in Human Rights & Transitional Justice from Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

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