Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu witnessed a large-scale IDF exercise in the north on Wednesday.
The Israeli leader — who also currently serves as defence minister — was joined by IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi.
After the drill, Netanyahu said, “I am very impressed by the improvement in readiness, by the fighting spirit of the soldiers and commanders, and mainly by the destructive power of the IDF.”
“I hear our neighbours from the north, south and east threatening our destruction,” he added. “I say to our enemies: The IDF has very great destructive power. Don’t test us.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:“In the last 24 hours, Iran has intensified its aggression against the United States and against all of us. I repeat my call for all peace-loving countries to stand by the United States in its effort to stop Iranians’ aggression. Israel stands by the United States on this.”Video: Omer Miron, GPOSound: Nir Sharf, GPO
Posted by The Prime Minister of Israel on Thursday, 20 June 2019
The Israeli Air Force has been holding a large-scale, four-day combat exercise since Sunday simulating simultaneous warfare in Gaza, Syria, and Lebanon and featuring F-35 jet fighters for the first time, according to the IDF.
The drill focuses on fighting in the country’s north, against Hezbollah and Iranian forces, said the military.
The drill has tested the Israeli home front’s ability to endure massive missile fire. It has simulated a breakdown in technology and infrastructure such as Israel Air Force communications centres which are disabled and runways which are damaged.
Fighter jets, helicopters, cargo planes, drones, air defence units, and ground support forces have all been called into action for the exercise, said the Israeli military.
Though the focus has been on the north, Syria and Lebanon, the simulated simultaneous multi-front war exercise has also included the Gaza frontier.
“The whole Air Force is in the air.” said a senior Air Force officer, according to the Arutz 7 website.
In addition, “the ground forces are full partners in the exercise, and we have generally reached the highest levels of cooperation of the past decade,” said the senior officer, as quoted by Arutz 7.