JERUSALEM, Israel - Fifteen years after the Second Lebanon War, Israel is preparing for the next war with the Iranian-backed army Hezbollah.
Israel is developing tactics to both defeat Hezbollah and protect civilians caught in harm’s way.
In 2006, Hezbollah fired nearly 4,000 rockets at Israel for more than a month, forcing Israelis to seek shelter. Today, the terror group has amassed an arsenal of some 150,000 rockets and could fire as many rockets in one day as they fired in that 34-day war.
"In the ongoing week, we are exercising several scenarios against [the] terror organization Hezbollah," says Col. Barak Hiram, commander of the Golani Brigade.
Hiram says the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) exercise is all about getting ready for the next conflict. They face a complicated battlefield and enemy.
“Hezbollah is targeting most of its arsenal against civilians and Israeli civil population. Secondly, is holding most of its activity embedded within the Lebanese civilians and using them as human shields for its terror actions," says Hiram.
Tactics haven’t changed in 15 years although the scope is likely larger.
“We will not hesitate to take the most severe measures on those who are aiming thousands of rockets and missiles against innocent civilians, to kill them," then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in 2006.
For years, the IDF has documented how Hezbollah embeds its war machine within civilian infrastructure like schools, hospitals and homes. That’s why Israel is preparing a state-of-the-art countermeasure called "Sufa."
The Sufa combat vehicles operate on the battlefield to direct fire at the enemy while also protecting civilians. Using integrated touchscreens, software, and real-time intelligence, personnel synchronize air, land and sea forces to target the enemy.
Hezbollah wants the IDF to miscalculate and hit the terror group’s human shields. The mission of these Sufa units is to constantly check and re-check targets so civilians are not harmed. The goal is to wage war, be humane and deprive Hezbollah of a propaganda victory. Military leaders expect these units will make a difference as the next war will undoubtedly require boots on the ground.
“We understand that in any scenario that will occur in the future we will be forced to use ground forces inside Lebanon in order to eliminate threats against Israel and in order to protect Israeli sovereignty and civilians all around," says Hiram.
CBN News learned at a background briefing that the next conflict will be known as the first northern front war, because Hezbollah is so entrenched in both Lebanon and Syria. The IDF adds that the next war will be on a bigger scale and hopefully create a new situation inside Lebanon, a scenario they hope ultimately leads to peace.