TEL AVIV – The IDF on Tuesday commenced its largest drill in two decades, with tens of thousands of soldiers simulating a 10-day war against the Hezbollah terror group.
The exercise, which will involve ships, drones, helicopters and fighter jets under the auspices of IDF Northern Command, is set to end on September 14, the army said.
In the mock war, Hezbollah attacks Israel, triggering a full-blown conflict in which the IDF’s objective will be to “vanquish” the terror group, an unnamed official told the Times of Israel. Hezbollah “terrorists” will fight Israeli soldiers, replete with “flags and enemy uniforms, fake weapons, fake explosive belts and more,” the army official said.
Hezbollah, an Iranian terror proxy, has an estimated 100,000 rockets and thousands of fighters. News of the drill comes amid increasing concern regarding Iran’s military presence in Syria and Lebanon, although the army has said that the drill was planned far in advance.
The exercise was called Light of Dagan, in honor of Meir Dagan, the former head of Mossad who died last year.
Breitbart Jerusalem reported on Monday that Iran had committed to send weapons and additional support to bolster its proxy Hezbollah to fight against “arrogant powers,” according to the regime’s newly appointed defense minister.
“Our aim is to cut reliance on the outside and achieve self-sufficiency in defense industry,” the regime-affiliated Mehr news agency quoted Brigadier General Amir Hatami as saying, adding that “if needed, we will also export defense equipment to other countries in order to guarantee security and stability in the region.”
“Wherever a country becomes weak, others become encouraged to raid it… Wherever necessary, we will export weapons to increase the security of the region and countries, to prevent wars,” he said.
“We seek defending our rights based on Islamic teachings, and will help all nations who seek to fight against arrogant powers,” he added.
In a first, the drill will also involve IDF cyber units to combat electronic attacks as well as the elite Yahalom unit. “Unprecedented” numbers of reservists were also called up for the drill, the official said.
“The purpose of the large call-up of reservists is to prepare the reserve force for war in the northern arena and to adapt it to the changes and developing threats of recent years,” the official told the Times of Israel.