IDF Wraps Up Large-Scale Exercise

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JERUSALEM, Israel - The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) wrapped up a four-day, broad-based war exercise Thursday, which focused on the military response to a two-pronged assault by Lebanon and Syria.

Codenamed "Shiluv Zro'ot III" (Crossing Arms), it was the second largest comprehensive drill since the 34-day Second Lebanon War against the Iranian-funded and armed Hezbollah terror group in the summer of 2006.

Ground troops, including many reserve soldiers, coordinated their moves with IAF (Israel Air Force) crews and the Home Front Command under the simulated bombardment of thousands of rockets and missiles on northern Israel.

Helicopters and other aircraft performed mock attacks on medium- and long-range missile launch sites and practiced rescue evacuations.

Infantry troops focused on tactical moves in the event of an invasion into Lebanon and/or Syria, where they would be responsible for destroying short-range rocket-launching sites.

IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. General Gabi Ashkenazi said the exercise allowed soldiers to better internalize the lessons of the Second Lebanon War by drills coordinating ground, air and naval forces.

Ashkenazi and commanders of the General Staff participated in the exercises, with Ashkenazi on board an Apache helicopter gunship during a simulated attack. The chief of staff also participated in a drill on a submarine.

Sources: Haaretz, YNet news

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