The Israel Defense Forces called up thousands of reservists on Sunday as part of a surprise exercise in the Golan Heights on Israel’s border with Syria.
The drill is expected to last several days and will include heavy security vehicle traffic in the area.
Echoes of explosions are also likely to be heard in the surrounding communities, the military said.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit stressed that the exercise does not indicate a change in alert levels in the northern sector but is part of the routine training program for reservists in 2018 and aims to test the level of preparedness at short notice.
The drill is being held amid mounting tensions in the northern sector over Israel’s insistence that Iranian forces leave Syria.
Israel has destroyed multiple Iranian assets in Syria recently and reportedly reached agreements with Russia to remove Iranian-backed forces from southern Syria and away from the border. However, the Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that Hezbollah terrorists and pro-Iranian militants have returned to the area disguised as Syrian army units.
Israel is wary of Iran’s efforts to expand its power in the region and has promised to resist any attempt by Iran to establish a military presence in neighboring Syria.
On Thursday, the Israeli Air Force concluded a large exercise simulating a massive strike on targets in the Gaza Strip.
The week-long drill, which was hailed as a success, included hundreds of aircraft performing daytime and nighttime flights with the aim of reviewing the IAF’s ability to tackle multiple, simultaneous combat scenarios.
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