Hizbullah march 298.88.
(photo credit: AP [file])
Hizbullah recently held a large-scale exercise south of the Litani River that included thousands of gunmen, under the personal supervision of the organization's leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the Lebanese daily Al Akhbar reported Monday.
According to the report, the maneuvers, which included all military and logistic units of Hizbullah, were meant to convey a warning to Israel. The paper quoted sources in the organization saying that after Israel's military exercises in the Galilee last week - which, the paper claimed - included some 50,000 troops, the organization's top echelon adopted steps to "deter the enemy from undertaking any further Lebanese adventures."
The exercise lasted for three days and was reportedly the largest in Hizbullah's history. According to the sources quoted by Al Akhbar, one of the exercise's main objectives was to convey to Israel the "big surprises" Nasrallah had threatened to unleash if Israel attacks Lebanon.
Furthermore, the exercise was tailored to the IDF's strategy as observed during the Second Lebanon War and after it. The exercise took into account, for example, the increased deployment of UNIFIL peacekeepers since the war ended.
While the leadership of UNIFIL was embarrassed by the liberty taken by Hizbullah operatives south of the Litani River - an area where they are banned from traveling according to UN resolution 1701 (the cease-fire resolution that went into effect August 14 2006) - the IDF was well aware of the maneuvers and Israeli UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) carried out an unprecedented number of forays during it.
The IAF drones' presence was so prominent that the aircraft were shown on Lebanese TV news editions.