Israel Stages Large Military Drills On Lebanon, Syria Borders

Watch: IDF prepares for war with Hezbollah

That war was sparked by a cross-border raid into Israel by Hezbollah, in which three IDF soldiers were killed and two - Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev - were captured.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) has deployed thousands of air, sea and land personnel to the Lebanese border for its biggest military drill in nearly two decades, a show of strength created to intimate Hezbollah and Iran even as their power grows in neighbouring Syria.

Tens of thousands of troops are set to take part in the war games, which will also include aircraft, boats, and submarines.

"The objective of the drill is to test the fitness of the Northern Command and the relevant battalions during an emergency", one IDF officer told Haaretz.

"Every time an Israeli official refers to Hezbollah's growing power, he admits Israeli defeat in the summer of 2006", he said in a recent speech.

A military official said Monday that the joint exercise, which will begin Tuesday and involve thousands of ground, sea and air forces, will prepare soldiers for "preserving the current stability in the northern sector".

"A centerfold analysis piece described the drill at length, quoting an anonymous Israeli official and mocking Israel for what it deemed "its obvious pressure", which supposedly showed Israel was "clearly anxious about its massive failure in 2006".

In addition to defeating Hezbollah, the drill was created to practice the destruction of the enemy's infrastructure and prevent the continued firing of rockets into Israel.

Israel's military believes Hezbollah has between 100,000 and 120,000 short- and medium-range missiles and rockets, as well as several hundred long-range missiles, with the medium-range missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv.

The last time the IDF held a drill this large was in 1998, in preparation for an attack from Syria.

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