06:46 GMT25 October 2020
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    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) completed large-scale military maneuvers simulating a potential war in Lebanon, a statement from the military said on Thursday. According to the IDF, the drills were the "most extensive" in the past two years.

    "Today, the Israeli Defense Forces completed major military exercises in the Jordan Valley and northern Israel. Various types of troops worked out all sorts of scenarios of potential military actions in Lebanon", the IDF said.

    "Israel’s Ground Forces, Air Force, & Navy ALL participated in a large-scale military maneuver, training for potential combat & practicing urban warfare. This is readiness. This is the IDF", according to the statement.

    Lebanon and Israel have never established diplomatic relations, with the latter treating its neighbor as an "enemy state". Israeli anger is aimed at the Hezbollah group, headquartered in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, which Israel designates a terrorist organization.

    The Iran-backed Hezbollah, established in the 1980s, is a paramilitary and political organization originating out of Lebanon's Shiite population. The group initially aimed to end Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon.

    In December 2018, the IDF launched its Northern Shield operation, aimed at exposing Hezbollah attack tunnels dug into Israel. The IDF had reportedly located four tunnels.

    Their existence was confirmed by the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL). In late December 2018, media reported that a fifth such tunnel had been destroyed by Israel.

    Israeli authorities reportedly suggested that Hezbollah used the facilities to transfer militants and weapons into Israel.

    The deputy chief of the Lebanon-based Shiite group, Sheikh Naim Qassem, said in December 2018 in an interview to the Iranian newspaper Al-Vefagh that it was highly unlikely that Israel would launch a new campaign against Lebanon.

    According to Qassem, Tel Aviv is not considering the scenario, interpreting their actions as retaliatory in the case of a Hezbollah attack. The rules of engagement established by Hezbollah in Lebanon and the rules for deterring Israel greatly complicated the idea of an Israeli war against Lebanon, he suggested.


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    Lebanon, drills, IDF
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