Gantz, Kohavi visit IDF forces simulating Hezbollah war in Cyprus

IDF forces traveled to Cyprus this week for a joint drill with Cypriot forces, simulating war against Hezbollah inside enemy territory.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz visits the IDF's drill in Cyprus on May 31, 2022 (photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz visits the IDF's drill in Cyprus on May 31, 2022
(photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi visited Cyprus on Tuesday as part of the Israeli military's "Chariots of Fire" month-long training drill.

IDF forces traveled to Cyprus this week for Agapinor-2022, or "Beyond the Horizon," a joint drill with Cypriot National Guard forces simulating war against Hezbollah inside enemy territory.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz visits the IDF's drill in Cyprus on May 31, 2022 (credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)Defense Minister Benny Gantz visits the IDF's drill in Cyprus on May 31, 2022 (credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)

IDF's elite units in Cyprus

Many of the IDF's elite units, including the naval Shayetet 13 unit, Yahalom special combat engineering unit, Okez canine unit, intelligence units and troops from the Cyber Defense Directorate all took part in the drill on the Mediterranean island.

Troops are expected to train on varying types of terrain, including high-altitude, mountainous as well as in urban and open areas on the island, which will act as a substitute for intense fighting against Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz visits the IDF's drill in Cyprus on May 31, 2022 (credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)Defense Minister Benny Gantz visits the IDF's drill in Cyprus on May 31, 2022 (credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)

The IDF's "most expansive" drill in recent years

During his visit, Gantz met with Cyprus' chief of staff Lt.-Gen. Demokritos Zervakis and held situational assessments with commanders of units involved in the drills.

The drills in Cyprus are one of the "largest and most expansive" military training exercises done by the IDF in recent years, the defense minister said.

"Every Israeli citizen should know we have a well-trained army that is ready for any future challenge"

Defense Minister Benny Gantz

Gantz also thanked Cyprus for hosting the IDF and joining the drills, stating that it "illustrates the strength of the strategic alliance" between Israel and Cyprus.

Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.