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Israel to Simulate War With Hezbollah in Cyprus

Part of Chariots of Fire, troops from IAF, Navy and elite commando units will simulate war deep inside Lebanon.
IDF soldiers preparing to take part in a drill with Cyprus, as part of the Chariots of Fire exercise. (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON UNIT)
IDF soldiers preparing to take part in a drill with Cyprus, as part of the Chariots of Fire exercise. (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON UNIT)

Hundreds of IDF soldiers and reservists from units across various military corps will be heading to Cyprus this week for a joint drill simulating war against Hezbollah deep inside enemy territory.

The exercise in Cyprus, called Agapinor-2022 or Beyond the Horizon, is part of the IDF’s month-long Chariot of Fire drill, which aims to improve the military’s capabilities in an intense, multi-front and prolonged war on all of Israel’s borders. The drill, beginning on Sunday, will last until June 2.

Forces from the Cypriot National Guard will join the IDF troops as well as several Israel Air Force platforms. Israeli naval units, including the elite Shayetet 13, as well as forces from the Yahalom special combat engineering unit, Oketz canine unit, intelligence forces and troops from the C4I and Cyber Defense Directorate, will also take part in the drill.

The drill will simulate extensive combat based on multi-branch cooperation from the General Staff to tactical level.

“The exercise enables the IDF to improve the readiness of its forces participating in the exercise while strengthening the cooperation and abilities at the tactical level,” the Israeli military said.

Troops are expected to train on varying types of terrain, including wilderness, urban, rural and high-altitude mountainous areas on the island, which will act as a substitute for intense fighting against Hezbollah in Lebanon. 

According to the IDF, it is “unique and the first of its kind” that presents an opportunity for troops to quickly adapt to unfamiliar territory while dealing with emergency scenarios and to train distant logistic abilities that the military might face when dealing with emergency and unfamiliar scenarios.

While the two countries have carried out several drills in recent years, according to local Cypriot news website Philenews, the exercise is the country’s largest joint military exercise with Israel.

The IDF said in a statement that the goal of the drill was to improve the readiness of troops and their abilities to conduct missions “deep in enemy territory while combining and maximizing multi-disciplinary capabilities.”

The exercise will see combat helicopters assisting ground forces, evacuating the wounded by assault helicopters, directing and accompanying ground forces as well as dropping off logistical equipment by IAF transport planes.

The drill “is an important component in maintaining the capabilities of the forces for a variety of emergencies,” the IDF said in a statement. “Cooperation between armies helps increase regional stability and the ability to face common challenges.”

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