Israel military holds largest snap drill in years

FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2012, photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a joint press conference with his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borissov, not seen, in Jerusalem.  (AP Photo/Gali Tibbon, Pool)

FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2012, photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a joint press conference with his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borissov, not seen, in Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Gali Tibbon, Pool)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli defense officials say the military is conducting its largest snap drill in years. The exercise comes against the backdrop of tensions with Iran and the civil war in Syria.

A military spokesman says Wednesday's drill under way in northern and central Israel is a planned, routine event.

But other officials say the exercise is unique in terms of number of soldiers and senior officers involved. Part of the exercise is in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights next to Syria.

They say tens of thousands of soldiers are participating, including the artillery and air force.

All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity according to regulations. Israel is worried that Iran is closer to developing nuclear weapons. It also fears Syria's chemical weapons and missile stocks will fall into rogue hands.

Associated Press
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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