The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched a surprise military drill in northern Israel on Monday, warning local residents to expect increased troop and vehicle movements in the area, as well as sirens and the sound of explosions.
According to the IDF, reserve forces have been called up for the drill, which will test “the Northern Command’s readiness and operational capabilities” by simulating an attack on Israel by Iran, Syria or Lebanon.
The drill occurs as Israel remains on high alert following an Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure with drones and cruise missiles in September. The incident caused IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi to warn of the possibility of a similar attack against Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said recently that a war with Iran would pose a threat to Israel of a similar magnitude to the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
The drill, which is being overseen by IDF Comptroller Lt. Gen. Ofer Sarig, is the second large-scale drill under this year under Kochavi’s direction. The IDF concluded a week-long drill in northern Israel in September, simulating a war against the Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization in Lebanon.