On November 1, 2010, the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, which is close to Hizbullah and Syria, reported that on October 28, 2010, Hizbullah conducted an "electronic and on-the-ground simulation" of a takeover of Lebanon – an operation that is to be carried out in the event that the international tribunal for the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Al-Hariri indicts Hizbullah.
According to the report, the drill included the deployment of forces countrywide within two hours, the cordoning off of extensive areas of the country, the arrest of wanted individuals, and the seizure of ports and border crossings.
The day after Al-Akhbar reported the story, the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsatstated that the simulation was an illustration of a practical plan by Hizbullah, Amal and other pro-Syrian forces to take over Beirut and other parts of the country.
As of this writing, the March 14 Forces have not yet responded to these reports.
The following is a review of reports from both Al-Akhbar and Al-Sharq Al-Awsat:
Al-Akhbar: Extensive Security Deployment on the Ground in Under Two Hours
The report on Hizbullah's takeover drill was included in an article in Al-Akhbar by Fidaa 'Itani. It read: "Before Nasrallah began his short speech [on October 28, 2010], a major force in one of the opposition's special units conducted an electronic and on-the-ground simulation of what will happen at approximately zero hour, on both the security and the political level.