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Israel Stages Large Military Drills On Lebanon, Syria Borders

The drills will include ground, air, sea and intelligence forces and focus on defending an attack along Israel's northern border.
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Israel Stages Large Military Drills On Lebanon, Syria Borders

The Israel Defense Forces is doing something it hasn't done on this scale in nearly 20 years.

For the next 10 days, ground, air, sea and intelligence forces will all participate in drills intended to test Israel's defensive preparation along its northern border. 

The massive exercise is a not-so-subtle nod to Hezbollah, an Islamist political and militant group. It formed during Israel's occupation of Lebanon in the 1980s. 

The IDF invaded southern Lebanon in 1982 in an effort to oust Palestinian militants. Israeli forces occupied the area until 2000, when Hezbollah pushed IDF forces out. During that time, Hezbollah entrenched itself in Lebanese politics.

The last open conflict between Hezbollah and Israel was in 2006. After Hezbollah launched an attack on Israeli soil, the two sides engaged in a war lasting a little over a month. That conflict ended without a clear winner and with Hezbollah still mostly intact. 

Since then, the Syrian civil conflict has given Hezbollah fighters an unprecedented training opportunity, as well as potential access to advanced weaponry from Iran.

The IDF's drills will simulate Israel's response to a multi-pronged attack along the country's borders with Lebanon and Syria. The drills will also include the evacuation of Israeli border towns.