NICOSIA — Israeli military forces, including elite units, will hold a giant exercise on Cyprus this summer, using the country as a stand-in for Judea and Samaria in Israel as well as the Gaza Strip, the self-governing Palestinian territory.
The Hebrew language newspaper Israel Hayom said among the troops involved will be commandos and Special Forces, Air Force and Navy troops, and regular and reserve forces with the military's Depth Corps, which coordinates long-range missions and operations deep behind enemy lines.
The drill will be part of the "war month" – a comprehensive, four-week exercise seeking to simulate prolonged battle conditions with the aim of boosting the military's wartime readiness, the paper also said.
Maneuvers will also include multiple battle scenarios and simulate combat in unfamiliar territory. Besides ground forces, the exercise will also include large Air Force and Navy contingents, fighter squadrons, assault helicopters and transport planes as well as missile boats and warships.
While the Cyprus drill takes place another large-scale drill will take place in Israel, seeking to streamline the General Staff's command and control protocols, Military Intelligence and army logistics in a multi-front battle simulation, the paper said.
There was no report on whether Cypriot forces would be involved nor why the government would let Israeli forces train on the side of the island that’s a member of the European Union.