Israel's military has launched a surprise large-scale exercise in Golan Heights, testing its battle readiness amid tensions over Iran's nuclear drive and civil war in Syria.
IDF spokesmen said the exercise was part of a routine training schedule. A similar snap exercise was held around this time a year ago.
In the early hours of the morning, reservists were summoned from their homes by telephone after the end of the two-day Jewish New Year's holiday and told to report for duty. Along with units of conscript soldiers, the troops were to be flown by helicopter from central Israel to the Golan Heights bordering Syria for a live-fire exercise, due to end later in the day and overseen by the chief artillery officer.
Israel has urged world powers to set a red line for Tehran's nuclear programme, saying time was running out to stop what it sees as its quest for atomic arms and raising international concern it could launch a go-it-alone strike against Iran.