The IDF training drill incorporates thousands of regular and reserve soldiers to simulate war with Hezbollah terrorists.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
The IDF on Sunday launched the “Lethal Arrow” military exercise simulating a war on Israel’s northern border with the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group.
In what the military called a “multi-arena scenario” that will continue until Thursday, thousands of soldiers including reserve forces are participating in operations focusing on the northern arena, but also involving other areas of the country, the IDF said in a prepared statement.
Israel last fought a major war against Hezbollah in 2006, sparked by an unprovoked Hezbollah cross border attack against Israeli civilian areas during which an IDF patrol was ambushed. Hezbollah forces killed three soldiers and kidnapped two others who subsequently died in Hezbollah captivity. During the war, Hezbollah fired thousands of rockets at Israeli towns and cities, in compliance with the terror group’s policy of attacking civilian targets.
The army emphasized that the exercise was planned in advance as part of the overall training plan for 2020, noting that “special health procedures” are being used to guard the health of the soldiers during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“Thousands of regular and reserve soldiers will take part in the Lethal Arrow exercise in the northern sector this week. This is a critical exercise in maintaining the operational capability of our forces that we must fulfill,” tweeted Defense Minister Benny Gantz, a former top commander of the IDF.
“Along with the mobilization of the defense establishment and the IDF for the war on corona, we are constantly preparing for the threats and challenges facing the State of Israel within its borders and away from them,” Gantz said.
Lethal Arrow appears to involve most branches of the military with the IDF saying regular forces and reserve forces in the army, navy and air force will be working with the intelligence, technology and logistics and cyber defense and defense divisions.
The IDF warned the public that the exercise will see movement of fighter jets, helicopters and aircraft all over the country along with heavy movement of ground forces and vehicles and vessels throughout the country including the strategic ports of Haifa and Ashdod.
Armed, trained and financed by Tehran, the Hezbollah terror group continues to refuse to comply with UN Resolution 1701, which called for the private army to disarm in 2006. It continues to operate as Iran’s proxy military force in Lebanon and for the past several years has fought in Syria to help prop up dictator Bashar Al-Assad.
Hezbollah parrots Iranian policy, under which Tehran’s political and military leaders say their goal is the “total annihilation of Israel.”
A massive explosion in August of thousands of tons of explosives stored at the Beirut port that killed some 200 people and wounded thousands more was traced back to Hezbollah.