The Israeli army announced on Monday that it had kicked off in Cyprus the third and final part of its massive exercises, dubbed “Beyond the Horizon.”
Military sources in Tel Aviv said that the latest training simulates a scenario of war operations against the Hezbollah party in Lebanon, including a ground invasion.
An official statement by the Israeli army spokesman said the training was conducted in cooperation with the Cypriot army, to maintain and boost the capabilities of the army in simulating a variety of emergency scenarios.
It added that cooperation between the two armies would contribute to “increasing regional stability and the ability to face common challenges.”
The military said both conscript and reserve troops from the 98th Paratroopers Division, along with air force units and other special forces — such as the Shayetet 13 navy unit — would participate in the drills in Cyprus.
The Israeli army added that the exercise, which is managed by the National Center for Field Training, “is unique and the first of its kind and an opportunity to adapt and simulate the scenario of combat in an unfamiliar area, and to implement military missions and activities at great distances, during emergency and sudden situations…”
Political sources reported that Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz contacted on Monday his Cypriot counterpart, Charalambos Petrides, to discuss the importance of the two armies’ combat readiness within the framework of bilateral strategic cooperation and for the sake of regional stability.
The Beyond the Horizon maneuver is one of the largest military exercises conducted by Israel since its establishment. It simulates a multi-front war in the north and south, with a focus on the northern front that includes Lebanon, Syria and Iran.
The exercise, which will end on Friday, is expected to witness the bombing of long-range targets, about 2,000 km from the borders of Israel, and takes into consideration the possibility of partnering with the US military.