“The IDF will continue to prepare and constantly improve its readiness on the Lebanese border while fulfilling the mission of protecting the residents of the north,” the IDF stated.
By Aryeh Savir, TPS
The IDF kicked off the “Lightning Storm” exercise on Tuesday on the Lebanese border to test the troops’ readiness to face an attack from the north.
The IDF stated that the exercise is intended to “improve the readiness of the IDF forces of the Northern Command at the border.”
The drill, which will last through Wednesday, includes the movement of security forces and vehicles. Explosions will be heard in the area, and checkpoints will be deployed on several roads in the border area.
The exercise will “examine how to apply the lessons learned from operational events that took place on the Lebanese border last summer, and will train the forces in a number of possible scenarios, including ‘battle day’ scenarios,” the IDF stated.
The IDF has been on high alert on Israel’s border with Lebanon following a July 2020 Israeli Air Force strike in Syria against Iranian targets in which a Hezbollah operative was killed.
Hezbollah has threatened to respond to any death of its men killed by Israel, whether in Lebanon or Syria.
In July, a four-man Hezbollah cell attempted to infiltrate Israel at the Har Dov area, presumably to attack an IDF outpost. The IDF spotted the cell and fired at it, causing it to flee back into Lebanon.
Another shooting incident occurred in the eastern sector several weeks later.
No IDF troops were injured in the two incidents.
“The IDF will continue to prepare and constantly improve its readiness on the Lebanese border while fulfilling the mission of protecting the residents of the north,” the IDF stated as the drill commenced.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz delivered a recorded speech on Monday at the memorial service for the victims of the 1997 helicopter disaster in which 73 IDF troops were killed, warning that the Hezbollah terror organization and the Iranians are trying to “turn Lebanon into a terror state.”
“The IDF operates and will continue to operate on the border line and far beyond it. We do not hesitate to harm the intensification and establishment of Iran beyond our borders, and [Hezbollah head Hassan] Nasrallah is well aware that his decision to build ammunition and missile bunkers, and to perfect Hezbollah’s capabilities, endangers it and endangers the citizens of the Lebanese state,” he stated.
“The Lebanese government should also know this and take responsibility. If a front is opened in the north, the Lebanese state will be the one to pay the heaviest price for the weapons scattered in civilian concentrations,” he declared.
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