By Vladimir Sazhin
Against the background of the growing political tensions in the region, on September 19 Israel conducted a brief but full-scale military exercise on the Golan Heights that was designed to test the level of combat readiness of the Israeli Army in the event of a sudden attack. The observers believe that the most probable reason for such an attack from the states neighboring the Golans would be a potential Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The exercise in the Golans only took a day, but was quite intensive. Military units from all regions of the country were engaged in it. In its turn, that exercise was just a part of a series of such full-scale exercises of different types; combat arms and services, as well as testing the readiness of the civilian population for a potential beginning of a military conflict. In late August the Israeli Home Front Command together with the rescue services conducted an exercise simulating the evacuation of civilians from buildings as well as tested the civilian population warning systems that warned people of a missile strike via mobile telephone text messages. Bomb shelters were also inspected.
Military exercises including those involving Israel’s civilian population are not rare. But recently they have become too frequent. Why? There is no secret about it, According to the rumors widely spread by the mass media; Israel is already ready to strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Journalists learned about a potential two-phase attack by Israel. First, the communications, military command and missile defense facilities will be attacked by ballistic missiles from submarines. Then the Air Force will join in to demolish nuclear facilities and ballistic missile bunkers.
That is what the exercise is needed for. Below is the opinion of Vladimir Yevseyev, a military expert and director of the Russian Center of Social-Political Studies:
“Naturally, Iran will respond. And Israel understands it very well. And Iran’s response can be absolutely unpredictable: from missile strikes against Israeli facilities to employing terrorists and secret agents in Arab countries. As recently stated by Ali Jafari, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard commander, if the country is attacked, Teheran will strike back against Israel and the American military bases located in the region (in Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE and Saudi Arabia). He added that in the event of a missile strike from Israel there would be “nothing left of that state.” Hezbollah that is preparing missile strikes for the event of Israel’s attack on Iran has promised to help with that. That is why in order to stay alive, Israel is getting ready to shield against a counter strike. That is the purpose of yesterday’s exercise as well as that of all the preceding ones.”
And let’s add that that will be the purpose of the future exercises. A large-scale joint military exercise between Israel and the US entitled Austere Challenge 12 is scheduled for October. Thousands of military personnel, including pilots, specialists in missile defense, marines, naval officers, technicians and intelligence personnel are getting ready to take part in the exercise from the US side. The Iranian military is not wasting any time either. Iranian General Farzad Esmaili has announced that in October Iran will conduct a large scale exercise during which they plan to work on “emergency situations.” In other words, both potential sides of the conflict have launched a series of non-stop military exercise. And that is a very worrisome sign.