A chain of mock Israeli villages has sprung up on the Lebanese-Syrian border for training Hizballah special forces in invasion tactics. They are copies of the mock Lebanese villages the IDF has set up on the Golan in case of another war breaking out with the Lebanese Hizballah. The imitation villages serve multiple Hizballah purposes – as bases on the Syrian border and way stations for the fighters Hassan Nasrallah is gradually pulling back from the fighting in Syria. There, he can keep a close eye on the returning veterans to guard against signs of disaffection. The training exercises taking place in the fake villages will also keep Hizballah fighters up to speed.
According to intelligence data, the Hizballah chief has withdrawn so far 4,000 combatants – around half of the fighting strength he deployed to help the Syrian army quell the seven-year long rebellion against the Assad regime. Most of the rest are on their way home, after their officers were ordered to pull them out of Syrian towns and villages and assemble them on the Syrian-Lebanese border. But there are suspicions that the appearance of a full Hizballah military evacuation from Syria may be faked for disguising Nasrallah’s real intentions.