Report: Israeli enemy military excercises in Cyprus to invade Lebanon..?!

The Israeli occupation army’s announcement of sending a commando brigade to Cyprus in order to train there to invade Lebanon, in any future confrontation with Hezbollah, for it has a similar climate to Lebanon’s. This comes as part of the “fire chariots” maneuver that is taking place these days, raises questions about the context of this maneuver, and its objectives. This maneuver, which is taking place this year, is not the first and has been taking place for several years, as a lesson from the failure of the Israeli occupation army in the July 2006 war.

Context

The bad calamity afflicted by the Israeli occupation army in general, and the ground units in particular, during the July 2006 war, sounded the alarm bell at the political and military levels in Israel, and sparked a tumultuous debate, regarding the necessity of the ground maneuver to achieve the desired and hoped victory in any future battle against Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the conditions required for the success of this maneuver.

In the context of drawing lessons from the failures of the July 2006 war, the idea of ​​introducing changes to the concept of operating the military forces on the one hand, and their building and structure, on the other hand, arose, which finally led to the creation of the so-called depth command, in 2011. Then, this was followed by the formation of the Commando Brigade in 2015, which includes a number of elite units in the Israeli occupation army, and was grouped with 98th Division, along with other brigades, so that its mission would be to operate deep in Lebanese territory.

The success of this mission requires that the new units be trained in geographical terrain similar to the Lebanese terrain. Hence the choice of Cyprus as a testing ground for future Israeli aggression against Lebanon. In 2017, the commando brigade participated in its first training in Cyprus, during which it maneuvered to fight in areas that mimic the Lebanese terrain.

Happenings

These days, Israel is conducting the “chariots of fire” maneuver, which simulates a multi-front and multi-dimensional war, for a period of “a month of war.” This maneuver, Israeli officials say, is the largest in the history of the Israeli occupation army’s maneuvers.

The maneuver, which will last for four weeks, began on May 9 and will end on June 2.

According to the maneuver scheme, which was officially announced by the Israeli occupation army, in the fourth week of the maneuver, i.e. next Sunday, large forces of the Israeli occupation army will maneuver in a mountainous area and in “unknown” areas (meaning that the forces did not train in an area like this before). The combat training will simulate a battle on the northern front (Lebanon), and include a land maneuver in a mountainous area in Cyprus (similar to the Lebanese terrain), in parallel with training command headquarters in “Israel.” Forces from the 98th Division, which includes the commando brigade of the Israeli occupation army, will participate in the maneuver. The Israeli Air Force will also take an active part in the drill.

Why Cyprus?

The Israeli officers and experts do not hide the background that prompted the Israeli army to choose Cyprus, in order to be trained in it to invade Lebanon. Cyprus is, as they say, according to the newspaper “Israel Hayom” (06-12-2019): “A copy of Lebanon, in the distance, and also because of the similar geographical conditions that they will witness in the next war against Hezbollah.” The newspaper added that “Cyprus is like Lebanon: mountains, plants, the necessity of working between civilians. For young officers and soldiers, this is a new and unknown world. Most of them were born shortly before the withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, and did not participate in the Second Lebanon War. What happened in the Second Lebanon War cannot happen next time: Troops were caught within a meter of the fence; Wounded people waited hours for medical evacuation; Weapons and food did not arrive on time; Fighters have lost their way, and in particular did not realize that war is a kingdom of doubt, that it did not and will not contain complete intelligence, and all plans may collapse, or change.”

What encourages the Israeli occupation army to train in Cyprus, is the “deep strategic relationship that binds the two countries. It is a system of intimate, friendly relations in all levels: from the prime minister, through the Ministry of Defense and the IDF leadership, even the forces in the field,” according to Yoav Limor, an analyst for military affairs in the newspaper, “Israel Hayom,” who stated that in the maneuver that took place in 2019, the commander of the Cypriot Air Force came to sit with the Israeli pilots and talk to them. During the military exercise, he also met the then-commander of the Air Force, Major General Amikam Norkin, who had come for a lightning visit. Moreover, the Chief of Staff, Lieutenant-General Aviv Kohavi, arrived in Cyprus in 2019 for several hours to visit the Israeli forces that are training there, and took advantage of the opportunity to come to Nicosia to meet with his Cypriot counterparts. Kohavi was accompanied in Cyprus by the commander of the Northern Front Command, Major General Amir Baram, and the commander at the time, Major General Yoel Strick.

Problem

Cyprus’ allowing the Israeli occupation army to use its territory to train in the invasion of Lebanon poses multiple problems, because Cyprus is a friendly country with Lebanon, and it maintains normal, if not very good, political and diplomatic relations with it. These relationships are multidisciplinary. The problem lies in the fact that “Israel”, the “state” the enemy of Lebanon and always the aggressor, maneuvers annually in Cyprus to carry out aggressive operations against Lebanon, and it announces this, and says that it benefits from the Cypriot geography, which in many areas of it resembles the Lebanese geography, for training on attacking Lebanon and carrying out a ground maneuver in it in any future war. Israel is practicing “offensive warfare,” not defensive action. This raises the following questions:

Is it acceptable and accepted in international relations for a country to open its territory (Cyprus) to a second “state” (“Israel”) to train in attacking the territory of a third country (Lebanon), which has normal relations with the first country (Cyprus)?

Does this not violate good neighborly relations? Is this not a violation of the most basic principles of diplomacy and international law? And does Cypriot participation absolve it from bearing the multi-field consequences?

Why does Lebanon, with its government, ministry, and political, security and military apparatuses, remain silent, do nothing, raise any objection against Cyprus, do not ask for any clarification from it, and do not take any action against it? Can it be assumed that there is a country in the world that accepts this reality?

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