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IDF wants next war to be 'fast and lethal' - top Israeli officer


 IDF 'Chariot of Fire' drill. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON UNIT)
IDF 'Chariot of Fire' drill.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON UNIT)

The IDF’s month-long Chariots of Fire exercise is aimed at strengthening defenses and homefront resilience.

As the IDF continues its month-long Chariots of Fire exercise, a senior IDF official in the Northern Command warned that Israel will continue to protect its citizens from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, which persists in planning terror attacks against Jews around the world.

The officer spoke with The Jerusalem Posta day after senior IRGC officer Col. Hassan Sayad Khodayari was gunned down outside his home in central Tehran. While he would not comment on the incident, the officer said that the Guard Corps “operates not only in Syria but throughout the Middle East, and we have one mission - to protect all citizens of Israel.”

The officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, explained that though the northern front “is relatively quiet” and the area has prospered in recent years, “there have always been enemies around us and there will probably be more in the near future.”

The Middle East, he said, “is very dynamic. While it is quiet above the surface, it is not always so below the surface.”

The IDF’s month-long Chariots of Fire exercise is aimed at strengthening defenses and homefront resilience, and increasing the effectiveness of communication between various corps and commands.

 Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visit IDF largest training drill, dubbed “Chariots of Fire,”, May 10, 2022. (credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visit IDF largest training drill, dubbed “Chariots of Fire,”, May 10, 2022. (credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)

According to the military, the drill is unique and unprecedented in scope and will enable the army to maintain a high level of readiness in an ever-changing region. It aims to improve the military’s capabilities in an intense, multi-front and prolonged campaign against enemy forces on various fronts simultaneously. 

Thousands of soldiers and reservists are taking part in the drill, which will see all commands including the air force, navy and regular and reserve forces taking part.

“The military wants the next war to be fast and lethal and will see ground maneuvering in enemy territory,” he said, adding that the most complex part of war is making sure that all bodies are connected to each other “so that the troops on the ground will have everything they need in order for the IDF to win – quickly.”

Though the drill was originally set to take place last year, it was delayed following the outbreak of Operation Guardian of the Walls last May. The drill this year also comes amid high tensions with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria.

IDF assessments state that while it is unlikely that a war with Hezbollah will break out in the near future, the northern border remains the most explosive and both sides have warned that the next conflict between the two would be devastating. 

Hezbollah has an estimated arsenal of between 130,000-150,000 missiles and rockets – the majority of them facing Israel’s civilian home front and strategic infrastructure. 

A war with the terror group would see intensive rocket fire on the home front coming not only from Lebanon, but from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip as well as countries further from its borders. 

According to the senior officer, in addition to the thousands of rockets expected to be launched towards Israel, “we will have to deal with challenges that we never saw before” including increased use of attack drones that continue to be an evolving threat that poses challenges to the Jewish state.

In addition to rocket fire and drones, Hezbollah is expected to try to infiltrate Israeli communities with their Radwan forces. 

Though Israel destroyed the group’s cross-border attack tunnels, “Hezbollah continues to threaten to infiltrate into Israel. They have their plans and we have ours,” the senior officer said.

“And as a Golani, I can tell you that we are ready to meet them and their plans. While I prefer it not to happen, if they try, they know very well what they will encounter here.

"We love our country and we will fight for it,” he said. “That is the strength of the IDF. We are ready.”

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