The Israel Defense Forces conducted a large-scale simulation of war with Hezbollah this week in the north of the country.

The exercise was the culmination of a 17-week training period by the Paratroopers Brigade, and included units from the Armored Corps, Artillery Corps and the Israeli Air Force.

Soldiers practiced urban combat, as well as fighting in bushy areas like those in southern Lebanon, and drilled rapid helicopter evacuations.

Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who arrived to observe the exercise, said the IDF is at the “highest level of preparedness.”

“This is the strongest force that exists in the entire Middle East,” said Lieberman. “No enemy can stand up to it, and I truly hope that we will not need to test that.”

Hezbollah, the Iranian-funded terror organization occupying much of southern Lebanon, is considered Israel’s primary threat in the region—believed to possess an arsenal of 100,000 to 150,000 mortar shells, rockets and missiles, some of which are sophisticated, advanced models.

Israel fought the terror group in the Second Lebanon War of 2006, which was seen as a mixed victory, given a relatively high number of casualties: 121 IDF soldiers killed, 1,244 wounded, and 44 Israeli civilians killed.

Since then, the IDF has emphasized preparedness for war, including training, logistics and intelligence-sharing.