The Israeli Air Force has launched a "surprise exercise" called Galilee Rose along the northern front bordering Syria. The Israeli military on Monday said the exercise is aimed at improving the combat readiness of troops, which will include all components of the air force's core missions, from conducting airstrikes, to rescue ops to gathering intelligence beyond enemy lines. The exercise is expected to last until Wednesday, said the Israeli Defence Forces.
The drill was announced hours after Israel carried out airstrikes against the Syrian Army and Iran-backed militias in Syria. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Israeli rockets hit headquarters of the 4th Division of the Syrian Army in the mountains surrounding Damascus-Beirut road, where weapons and missiles of Iranians and their loyalists are present. As per the UK-based rights group, the Israeli shelling lasted for approximately half an hour, killing at least six people of foreign nationalities.
Israeli Air Force also targetted the First Division of the Syrian Army and its surrounding area in the Al-Kiswa town. The Syrian regime responded with its air-defence system, which intercepted a number of Israeli missiles and destroyed them before they could reach their target. The Israeli Air Force was particularly targetting assets belonging to Iran-backed militias and fighters affiliated with the Lebanese Hezbollah, which Tel Aviv sees as major threats to the national security because of their anti-Israel position.
"Hezbollah and Hamas have entrenched themselves in the urban territory with thousands of rockets and missiles, and have become terror militaries. The solution? To expose and attack the enemy in a magnitude like never before," Lt. General Aviv Kohavi had said during a briefing to the Jewish Institute for National Security of America last week. Israel aims to end the entrenchment of Iranian-backed militias and their Lebanese allies in Syria.
(Image Credit: AP)