Hezbollah stages wargames for media, asserts readiness to confront Israel

AARAMTA, Lebanon (AP) — The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has extended a rare media invitation to one of its training sites in southern Lebanon, where its forces staged a simulated military exercise. Masked fighters Sunday jumped through flaming hoops, fired from the backs of motorcycles, and blew up Israeli flags posted in the hills above and a wall simulating the one on the border between Lebanon and Israel. The exercise came ahead of “Liberation Day,” the annual celebration of the withdrawal of Israeli forces from south Lebanon on May 25, 2000, and in the wake of a recent escalation of the Israel-Palestine conflict in the Gaza Strip. Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers and Hezbollah have had long-standing ties.