June 19 (UPI) -- Israeli forces wrapped a large-scale military drill on Wednesday to simulate a future war against Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu observed the exercise by the Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday and warned other countries against threatening Israeli defenses. The drills began Sunday and included war games with ground troops, fighter jets, helicopters and a variety of military vehicles, officials said.
The drills occurred at a time of increased tensions across the board in the Middle East.
"I hear our neighbors to the north, south and east threatening to destroy us," Netanyahu said of Iran. "I say to our enemies: The IDF has immense destructive power. Do not test us."
The drills are intended to sharpen defenses against Iranian-backed Hezbollah, which some officials believe could pose a threat via organizations in neighboring Syria and Lebanon.
"I was very impressed by the improvement in [combat] readiness, by the soldiers and commanders' fighting spirit, and mainly by IDF's destructive power," Netanyahu said.
IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi briefed Netanyahu on the drills as the prime minister talked with commanders and soldiers who participated in them.