Amid Tensions, Israeli Army Launches Surprise Drill Near Syria Border

Yaniv Kubovich
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An Israeli soldier walks next to tanks at the Golan Heights, Israel May 10, 2018
An Israeli soldier walks next to tanks at the Golan Heights, Israel May 10, 2018Credit: \ RONEN ZVULUN/ REUTERS
Yaniv Kubovich

The Israeli army launched a surprise drill in the Golan Heights on Sunday, scheduled to take place over several days. The army said there will be increased vehicular activity and explosions will be heard. Reserve soldiers were also called up.

The military said the drill is part of the 2018 training program and is meant to maintain combat readiness.

Last week, the Israel Air Force conducted a four-day drill in bases across Israel.

Tensions have been high on the Golan Heights in the wake of several strikes in Syria attributed to Israel, as well as a diplomatic effort spearheaded by Prime Minister Netanyahu to expel Iranian forces from Syria.

Last week, Netanyahu embarked on a four-day European tour which was aimed, in this own words, to "bring about an international agreement" about an exit of Iranian forces from Syria. On Wednesday, political sources in his entourage said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May had agreed that Iranian forces should be removed from Syria and that the goal “had been significantly advanced.”

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