Monday, November 5, 2007
"05/11/2007 Hezbollah conducted its largest military exercise ever in southern Lebanon several days ago, the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar reported Monday. According to the report, the exercise was three days long and spanned thousands of the Islamic resistance movement's fighters. Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah was said to have commanded the drill personally.
According to the sources quoted by Al-Akhbar, one of the exercise's main objectives was to convey to Israel the "big surprises" Sayyed Nasrallah had threatened to unleash if Israel attacks Lebanon.
The exercise, the report said, was meant to deter Israel from launching another assault against Lebanon, and increase Hezbollah’s readiness. Hezbollah resistance fighters gathered south of the Litani River for an “exercise of defensive nature against an overall Israeli strike”, and which set to prove that the scope of Hezbollah's missiles could cover the entire territory of Israeli settlements.
The drill included the mass deployment of fighters, including thousands of infantry fighters, anti-tank missile units, anti-aircraft missile units, the engineering unit and the movement's star units of rocket launchers. The drill reportedly took into account the Israeli army's deployment near the Palestine-Lebanon border, as well as the deployment of UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) and Lebanese forces in southern Lebanon.
UNIFIL "was amazed by the covert action of Hezbollah, which was able to keep the drill under wraps right up to its start."
The Israeli Air Force, added the report, followed the exercise with "unprecedented activity along the border".
"We hope the enemy, like our friends, will understand Hezbollah’s willingness to stop any Israeli threat," said Sayyed Nasrallah at the drill's conclusion.
Hezbollah, said Al-Akhbar, conducted the drill while aware of the mass intelligence activity in the area, both by Israel and by other nations.