Israel's army began in the country's north what could be the largest military drill in nearly two decades simulating a conflict with the Lebanese Shiite movement of Hezbollah, military sources said.
Sounds of live munitions were clear in Lebanon's border villages and towns, where the Israeli air forces participating in the drill violate Lebanese airspace many times, witnesses said on Tuesday.
The drill, according to the Israeli Defence Army, will last 10 days and is meant to simulate scenarios in the next confrontation with Hezbollah, Xinhua news agency reported.
The drill involves tens of thousands of soldiers including thousands of reserves, as well as aircraft, boats and submarines, the defence army said.
In the meantime, the Lebanese army was put on high alert, while the UN Interim Force in south Lebanon (UNIFIL) deployed extensive patrol units to monitor the situation and prevent any possible escalation on both sides of the border.
"That is to keep the readiness of the Israeli Army on its high level to face Hezbollah that has gained huge experience after its participation in the war in Syria during the past five years," a Lebanese security source said.
"The Israeli army is in need to boost its troops' moral and send a warning to Hezbollah," the source added.
The Israeli army last held a drill of this size in 1998, when it simulated a war with the Syrian army for a week.