Lebanon on 'full alert' ahead of IDF Home Front Command drill
The large-scale exercise, called 'Turning Point 3,' is scheduled to run from Sunday to Thursday.
Lebanese army sources said on Saturday that the country's military had been placed "on full alert," ahead of Israel's large-scale Home Front Command drill expected to begin on Sunday.
"Despite [the fact that] the Lebanese government has received assurances from various sides including [UN peacekeepers] UNIFIL that the maneuvers were defensive in nature, the Lebanese army was placed in a state of full alert along the border with Israel," an army source who did not wish to be identified said.
The drill, called "Turning Point 3," is scheduled to run from Sunday to Thursday.
Government offices and 252 local councils and municipalities will open "crisis rooms" that will respond to various emergency scenarios.
Military patrols were seen near the Israeli border in the south of Lebanon Saturday. Hezbollah has also said that its fighters were ready to respond to any "possible aggression."
Lebanon is preparing for a general parliamentary election on June 7, when a close contest is expected between the Western-backed ruling majority, and the opposition led by Hezbollah.
"Turning Point 3" is the third large-scale Home Front Drill to be held since the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and the founding of the Defense Ministry's National Emergency Administration, which is responsible for setting national emergency standards.
The drill will, for the first time, include an exercise to evacuate approximately 6,000 civilians from a commercial Tel Aviv building.
Eilat will also take part in the drill for the first time, and the exercise there will simulate an attack on a school perpetrated by a terror cell that infiltrated the city. There will also be a simulation of an attack causing multiple casualties.
Representatives of international agencies, governments and armies from the United States, Uruguay, Turkey, Japan, Hungary, France and Germany will be visiting Israel to witness parts of the drill.