Israel strikes deep into Lebanon
Peres: End of fighting 'counted in measures of weeks'
Tuesday, August 1, 2006; Posted: 6:52 p.m. EDT (22:52 GMT)
BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) -- Israeli troops landed Tuesday near the eastern Lebanese town of Baalbeck, Lebanese security sources said, and the Israeli military engaged in fierce fighting with Hezbollah forces just across the border with Lebanon.
Israeli aircraft flew support missions as troops hit the ground about 10 km north of Baalbeck in the Bekaa Valley near the Syrian border, the sources said.
The Lebanese army also reported heavy helicopter traffic east and west of the town.
Israeli troops entered Hikma Hospital in northern Baalbeck, where they checked the identification cards of all staff and patients, the sources said, adding that there was no indication that anyone was taken from the hospital.
The Israel Defense Forces had no comment on the reports, but earlier in the day the Israeli Security Cabinet approved an expansion of Israel's three-week-old military campaign in Lebanon.
Tuesday's fighting was concentrated near the Lebanese villages of Tayba, just outside the Israeli town of Metulla, and Aita Al-Shaab further west.
The IDF said three of its soldiers were killed and 25 wounded in the fighting in Aita Al-Shaab. Five other soldiers were wounded on the Israeli side of the border when they were hit by a mortar shell, it said.
In two days of fighting, the IDF said forces have killed or wounded more than 20 Hezbollah fighters across southern Lebanon. Hezbollah issued a statement saying four of its forces died in Tuesday's fighting
Israel is getting desperate. They semi-suprised Hezbollah, and were lucky not be hit by missiles. Despite the movies, when you start using helos to move that far, even when you own the sky, you're taking a risk. Once the Israelis headed north, Hezbollah spotters had them tracked.
What if it had been a trap and the doctors were really Hezbollah soldiers and they were chewed apart? There is a LOT of hype about special forces, some commanders think they are supermen, and they are not. But it seems like there is bad intel all the way around. Hezbollah is extremely well dug in and protected They control their territory, and there is little chance of Hezbollah being defeated.
Why? Because they can sit in their holes, knowing Israel isn't going to risk the number of men needed to dig them out.
Here's a comparison. On November 20, 1943, the 2nd Marine Division landed on Tarawa Atoll, with 35,000 men, including part of the 27th Infantry Division. There were less than 5,000 Japanese on the Island. It was about a mile long.
Three days later, with no aerial or naval opposition, nearly all the Japanese and 1,000 Americans were dead.
It took 35,000 men to attack 5000 dug in Japanese.
Israel is trying everything but the brusing infantry assault needed to dislodge Hezbollah. Because Hezbollah is just waiting for the IDF to attack in force. They can bounce the rubble, bomb buildings, and even launch raids, but they cannot go toe to toe with Hezbollah without risking massive losses.
And when they have tried it, they got beat, and beat bad. Hezbollah will let them run around and bomb things, but holding ground, a very different story. We're going to have to wait two more weeks to find this out?
posted by Steve @ 8:14:00 PM