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IDF wraps up four-week Exercise ‘Chariots of Fire'

Israeli soldiers pose for a photograph in during Exercise ‘Beyond the Horizon', which was held in Cyprus from 29 May to 2 June. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) completed Exercise ‘Chariots of Fire' on 3 June, saying it was the largest it has held in decades. The exercise was designed to simulate simultaneous fighting in several arenas, with the primary focus on the north, meaning against the Lebanese militant group Hizbullah.

It was broken into a series of smaller exercises that included ‘Beyond the Horizon', which was held in Cyprus in the fourth week to practice a long-range operation in unfamiliar terrain and improve co-operation with the Cypriot National Guard.

“This will be done by combining and maximising multibranch capabilities as a form of assistance to the Ground Forces by using combat helicopters, performing emergency evacuations with IAF [Israeli Air Force] transport helicopters, directing and escorting forces using visual intelligence, and facilitating the movement of logistics equipment through the heavy transport squadrons,” the IDF said in a statement released at the start of the exercise.

It added that the exercise would be carried out in various types of terrain that included mountain and urban areas, with JCOM (previously the IDF's Depth Command) overseeing strikes against “command centres deep within enemy territory” in co-operation with units from the 98th ‘Fire Formation' Division, special forces, Israeli Navy, and IAF.

It also included an amphibious element, with the IDF releasing photographs of Israeli soldiers aboard a landing ship that could be identified as one of the Greek navy's five Jason-class landing ships. Janes

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