IDF launches surprise drill to test its ability to engage Hezbollah in Lebanon; exercise, that comes amid tensions with Hezbollah, ongoing instability in Syria, is the first one held in this large scale for several years.
[Jerusalem Post] The US is reportedly considering the possibility of intervening in Syria following reports of chemical weapons use by the Assad regime. On Sunday, an Iranian official threatened that any intervention in Syria would result in attacks on Israel.
“Reality forces us to prepare these abilities,” the source said. “The reserves understand this,” he added. “The scenario involves Lebanon, but it could also be Syria,” he added.
Over the past 24 hours, the IDF’s Etgar (Challenge) Formation, a part of IDF Northern Command, began calling up the reserves without prior warning. After being called up, the reserves were told that their mission had changed, and that they had to deploy accordingly within 48 hours.
During the drill, soldiers from the infantry brigade will embark on a brigade-wide life-fire exercise.
“There’s a need for high alert, via a surprise drill. This is a part of our training system,” the source said.
The scenario at the heart of the drill involves a sudden escalation with Hezbollah, leading to ground maneuver inside Lebanon.
The exercise will last until Thursday.
Last week, a drone took from Lebanon and attempted to infiltrate Israeli air space near Haifa, before being shot down by an IAF F-16 fighter jet.
In February a tank battalion from the IDF’s 401st Armored Brigade completed an extensive war drill on the Golan Heights.
Related: “Lebanese army ups presence on Israel border,” April 26