The IDF called a snap military exercise on the Golan Heights on Sunday that it said will continue for several days.
“A short while ago, a large-scale surprise military exercise began in the Golan Heights area. As part of the exercise, the system to call up reservists was activated,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said.
Cognizant that tensions in the region due to the Iranian presence in Syria have been in the headlines, the military stressed that the operation was “planned in advance as part of the 2018 training schedule,” and not prompted by recent events.
Local residents were notified to expect heavy military traffic, as well as explosions, for the duration of the exercise.
Iranian activities in Syria were the subject of a Wall Street Journal report on Friday which said that Iranian-backed forces stationed near the Golan border, including from Hezbollah, were posing as Syrian soldiers, in a ploy to try to allay pressure from Israel to withdraw from the country.
Syrian rebel commanders were quoted, saying that Iranian proxy forces withdrew from the Daraa and Quneitra provinces in Syria’s southwest near Israel, but later returned dressed in Syrian military uniforms and under the regime’s flag.