How many more?
An Israeli soldier looks on as a helicopter delivers
troops injured in fighting in Lebanon to a hospital
in the northern Israeli town of Haifa August 9, 2006.
Israel OKs expansion; 15 troops killed
By RAVI NESSMAN, Associated Press Writer 14 minutes ago
Israel approved a massive new ground offensive into southern Lebanon in a gambit aimed at bringing Hezbollah to its knees before the international community imposes a cease-fire. Fifteen soldiers were killed Wednesday, the deadliest day for Israeli troops in the war.
The plan to force Hezbollah guerrillas — and their short-range rockets — out of southern Lebanon and past the Litani River would escalate the fierce fighting there and, if successful, leave Israel in control of a security zone that it evacuated six years ago after a bloody 18-year occupation.
A new Israeli offensive would also put tremendous pressure on the
United Nations to agree quickly on a cease-fire to end the fighting that has killed at least 829 people, caused widespread destruction across southern Lebanon and forced hundreds of thousands of Israelis into bomb shelters. Israeli officials implied they would halt the new offensive if a cease-fire agreement removes Hezbollah from the border.
In a televised speech, Hezbollah's leader taunted the Israelis.
"If you enter our land, we will throw you out by force and we will turn the land of our invaluable south into your graveyard," Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said. "We will be waiting for you at every village, at every valley. Thousands of courageous holy warriors are waiting for you."
The White House said neither Israel nor Hezbollah should escalate their war. Although White House press secretary Tony Snow said the message was for both sides, the criticism was among the Bush administration's strongest concerning longtime ally Israel since the fighting began.
There is one simple fact.
Hezbollah can lose 15 men a day and it will keep fighting.
The IDF cannot.
They have bombed so much of Southern Lebanon that the defenders can fight as long as they have supplies, which I imagine to be emplaced, man carried or pack animal carried. Things F-16's can't bomb effectively.
The more land that they have to hold, the more vunerable their supply lines are to stay behind teams of Hezbollah fighters. They may get to the Litani River, but they won't stay there without allies. Hezbollah is perfectly willing to fight to the last man in their bunkers and in ruined buildings.
posted by Steve @ 6:15:00 PM