JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israel Defense Forces held a surprise live-fire drill Wednesday morning in the Golan Heights to test the readiness of troops in the event of an attack in the north.
Active-duty and reservists from the Northern and Central Commands received calls overnight Wednesday informing them of the large-scale exercise, which included the Israeli Air Force.
The drill, ordered by IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, will conclude with a live-fire exercise in late afternoon with Central Command units transported to the area by helicopter.
The IDF spokesman said the exercise had been planned in advance and was "part of a routine program of checks and suprise exercises" conducted periodically.
"This drill is part of a routine program of checks and surprise exercises held throughout the year by the IDF comptroller," the IDF Spokesman's Office said. "It is being held under the command of Brig.-Gen. Roee Riptin, who is the chief artillery officer."
Last week, the IDF's Golani Brigade conducted a large-scale exercise near the border with Lebanon.
Two weeks ago, IDF Corps Engineering troops began erecting new fencing and digging trenches to fortify the northern border in preparation for potential conflicts with Syria or Lebanon.