Jerusalem, Aug. 23 — On orders from Iran, Hezbollah held three days of military exercises this week and conducted other activities to prepare for war with Israel, according to a report in Lebanon’s state-backed Al-Gomhuria newspaper.
The drills, reportedly supervised by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, were the terrorist group’s largest ever, with 10,000 Hezbollah operatives participating.
The exercises were held in eastern Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley, which Hezbollah expects to be the site of a future confrontation with Israel because Hezbollah controls the heavily Shiite area and uses it as a route for weapons transport.
The elaborate training mission included simulated fighting scenarios and preparations for attacking and taking over the Upper Galilee inside Israel, according to the report. Iran trains, funds and arms Hezbollah and has renewed its calls for the destruction of Israel.
Earlier this week, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the elite Quds Force unit to intensify its campaign of terror attacks against the West to undermine their support for the overthrow of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Said Jalili, secretary-general to Iran's National Security Council negotiator, recently met with Nasrallah and told him to prepare for war between Iran and Israel. Hezbollah, as Iran’s proxy, has deployed tens of thousands of rockets and missiles in southern Lebanon including many capable of hitting Israel’s main population center around Tel Aviv.
In any future conflict, Iran is expected to order Hezbollah to fire them at Israel.
With Syria’s help, Hezbollah has, at last count, created a network of 1,000 facilities with weapons in villages across southern Lebanon during the last several years, according to a map Israel released last year. Many of the sites, including bunkers and storage houses, are situated near hospitals, homes and schools.
The last major confrontation between Hezbollah and Israel occurred in 2006, when Hezbollah unexpectedly launched thousands of rockets and mortars at northern Israel’s most populated civilian areas and used the strike as cover to attack Israelis who were patrolling Israel’s side of the border.
The terrorist group killed eight soldiers and kidnapped two others. Hezbollah returned the bodies two years later in a deal with Israel that included the release of convicted murderer Samir Kuntar, four other Lebanese terrorists and the bodies of dozens of other Palestinian and Lebanese terrorists.