Israel Army Holds Largest Snap Drill In Years As Tensions Mount Over Iran, Syrian Civil War [View all]
By Associated Press, Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 7:49 AM
JERUSALEM — The Israeli military on Wednesday conducted its largest snap drill in years as tensions with Iran over its nuclear program rise and civil war in neighboring Syria rages.
Military chief Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz ordered the exercise to test the competence and preparedness of several units in the armed forces, a military statement said. It called the drill in northern and central Israel “part of a routine inspection” that “does not indicate any changes” in the country’s alert levels.
Tens of thousands of soldiers were mobilized for the exercise, including artillery and air force personnel, making the drill unique because of the number of soldiers and senior officers involved, several officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity, according to military regulations.
As part of the exercise, troops were dispatched by air from central part of the country to the Israeli-controlled part of the Golan Heights, captured from neighboring Syria in the 1967 Mideast war, the officials said. The drill ended with a live fire exercise in the Golan.