Israel intensifies exercises for ground war following Iran strike

The Israel Army has intensified training for a war with the
Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah.

Military sources said the army is stepping up training for a war with
Hizbullah over the next few months. They said exercises have been conducted
in several locations, including the Golan Heights, Jordan Valley and Negev Desert.

 “The exercises were based on the need for a rapid ground offensive in
Lebanon,” a military source said.

The army preparations took place amid threats by Iran and its
proxies of a war with the Jewish state. Hizbullah was said to have amassed
an arsenal of 60,000 rockets, many of which were deployed in southern
Lebanon.

The sources said Teheran has assigned Hizbullah a leading role in
retaliation for any Israeli or U.S. strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

They said Hizbullah, trained by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,
also formed infantry units and mobile rocket squads to invade Israel from
Lebanon.

The Israeli exercises have consisted of Merkava-class main battle
tanks, Namer armored personnel carriers and other combat vehicles. The
sources said the aim was to achieve rapid mobility and capture Hizbullah
rocket and other targets.

In August 2012, the army conducted a night infantry exercise in the
Jordan River. During the maneuvers, the Golan Brigade’s Battalion 13,
accompanied by MBTs and APCs, crossed the Jordan River in what was meant to
represent Lebanon’s Litani River.

The exercises marked a revision of military strategy over the last five
years. In 2006, the Israel Air Force was used to attack Hizbullah bases and
particularly rocket launchers in what was regarded as an unsuccessful
effort.

Hizbullah has also been training. Over the last month, Hizbullah,
directed by IRGC, mobilized 10,000 fighters for an exercise around the
Litani River.

“The assessment is that Iran and its proxies were preparing for a
regional war over the next year,” the source said.

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