Israeli Commandos Heading to Cyprus for Largest-ever Drill

The joint drill, which involves 400 Israeli soldiers, has ruffled feathers in Ankara

A file photo showing Israeli commandos training.
A file photo showing Israeli commandos training. IDF Spokesperson

Israeli commandos will be undergoing training in Cyprus next week, the biggest joint military exercise ever undertaken between the two countries in the island nation.

Sqaudrons of Black Hawk helicopters will head to Cyprus for the joint exercise, which starts Sunday, Haaretz has learned. 

The Israeli commando forces will be spending a week in the Troodos Mountains. According to Cypriot media sources, the training will involve 400 Israeli soldiers.

Cyprus and Israel have held joint exercises before, mainly in the air and sea. This time ground forces are also involved. 

The exercise has ruffled feathers in Ankara, according to media reports in Cyprus.

The IDF refused to give a detailed account of the drill at this time. It could be assumed that the reason for the flying of hundreds of combatants to an overseas drill, in the Troodos Mountains of all places, is that they are similar to mountainous regions in and around Israel. The IDF has recently increased the frequency of drills conducted by its land forces, and has been trying to improve the quality of these so that they will be is similar as possible to the areas were combat could potentially take place.