The IDF launched its largest military drill in 19 years on Tuesday, sending tens of thousands of troops in the Navy, Air Force and ground forces out to “war” in northern Israel. Home Front Command and Military Intelligence are also participating.
The exercise also involves reservists, logistics, engineering and drone units as well as General Staff.
Officials stated the drill was scheduled well in advance of current events and independent of any regional developments.
But the theme of the entire exercise is “war in northern Israel,” and it’s aimed at preparing the soldiers for “preserving the current stability in the northern sector,” said an IDF official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The drill, scheduled to run through September 14, is set to run 11 days and involves an imagined cabinet decision to order the IDF to decisively put an end to Hezbollah attacks against the Galilee.
One of the simulations involves an initial attack by the guerrilla group via an “invasion” by dozens of IDF fighters infiltrating border towns.
Home Front Command will carry out evacuations of “distressed civilians” from threatened communities, with IDF soldiers playing both parts.
Parts of the Galilee will also be used to simulate southern Lebanon as well.
The nation’s multi-layered missile defense systems will be tested in this exercise, as will other advanced weapons as troops respond to the simulated attack in three stages:
1. Defense, with counter attacks and air strikes;
2. Offense, with ground maneuvers; and
3. Change of mission statement aimed at pushing the enemy back across the border into Lebanon.
The simulation is, sadly, not an unlikely scenario. IDF officials have repeatedly warned that Hezbollah is eyeing Israeli communities along the northern border with the goal of attempting to invade, seize and occupy at least one if not more in the next conflict.
But the Iranian-backed terror organization is facing major financial problems as a result of its deep investment in the Syrian civil war, which has lasted more than six years and is not yet over.