The military simulates transport of thousands of elite soldiers deep into unfamiliar enemy territory in preparation for possible confrontation with Iran or its Lebanon based proxies amid growing tensions, and stalled nuclear talks

The IDF concluded its one-month long drill on Thursday as thousands of soldiers participated in a military ground offensive exercise in Cyprus.

The drill simulated IDF’s ability to operate deep inside enemy territory such as Lebanon and combine massive forces such as infantry, tanks, engineering forces, and other elite units to halt possible rocket fire from the Iranian-proxy Hezbollah terror group.

יום עיון בתרגיל "מעבר לאופק" שהתרחש בקפריסין
IDF’s drill in Cyprus (Photo: IDF Spokesperson Unit)


The IDF explained that Hezbollah’s military force had grown very strong in the past 16 years since the Second Lebanon War, and largely spread its capabilities and its many assets to central and northern Lebanon.

These assets include many command posts that are responsible for mobilization of forces, areas of troop assembly, of the Radwan brigades, that has been preparing to infiltrate Israel, long-range rocket launchers, precision missiles, and other military maneuvers.

This was the first time the IDF conducted an exercise for a ground offensive deep inside the enemy territory with such large numbers of elite units and special forces, outside Israel’s borders, to prepare for large-scale war.

תרגיל צה"ל בקפריסין
Elite IDF forces (Photo: IDF Spokesperson Unit/AFP)


A main component of the exercise was the ability to urgently transport hundreds of soldiers to a point deep in enemy territory, using the top Cypriot Troodos Mountains – which are very similar to the Lebanese terrain – with ten Black Hawk helicopters accompanied by six Apache war helicopters.

The forces also practiced raids on fortified Hezbollah outposts, using the countryside outside villages in the Island’s Paphos area.

“This is the culmination of one of the biggest and most extensive drills we’ve held in years,” Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Tuesday after a brief visit to Cyprus.

יום עיון בתרגיל "מעבר לאופק" שהתרחש בקפריסין
IDF’s drill in Cyprus (Photo: IDF Spokesperson Unit)


Besides Hezbollah, the exercises also simulated a possible confrontation with Israel’s arch enemy Iran, amid growing tensions between the countries and while talks are stalled on a resumption of an agreement meant to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapon.

“We are continuously preparing and training for many scenarios including threats from Iran,” the military said in a statement at the conclusion of the exercises, which were partially conducted jointly with Cypriot forces.

“Dozens of Israeli Air Force fighter jets conducted aerial drills over the Mediterranean Sea to practice fights far away from our borders, and striking distant targets. The aircraft also simulated long-range flights and aerial refueling.” The IDF said.

אימון שייטות בים האדום
Red Sea drill (Photo: IDF Spokesperson Unit


On Thursday, the Israeli military said personnel from “missile ship and submarine flotillas” had completed a “complex and lengthy training drill in the Red Sea”.

“This extended training drill simulated various scenarios, including achieving maritime superiority and maintaining freedom of movement in the area,” the military said.

As reported by Ynetnews