Sunday, August 06, 2006

The tide in Lebanon turns in Israel's favor

Hezbollah is on the ropes, unquestionably. The tide has finally begun to turn in Israel's favor. After almost four weeks of war, Hezbollah is feeling major pain from the effect of Israel’s air bombardments, tank columns, and repeated armored infantry assaults.

Proof of that is the call of Iran's Ahmadinejad and Iran's ally Russia's Vladimir Putin for an immediate ceasefire...echoed by the French and the EU. If Israel was on the losing end of things, you can be sure they would be singing a very different tune.

After losing 44 fighting men, and more than 30 civilians, not to mention the wounded and injured, the IDF was finally allowed by Israeli Prime Minister Olemert and Israeli defense minister Amir Peretz to do its job, mount an offensive in force and focus its firepower instead of spreading it out thin in mini-assaults.

It's easy to be an armchair general, but most military analysts and my IDF sources are quite open in saying that setbacks of the first three weeks were partly due to tactical incompetence and laggard decision-making on the part of Ehud Olmert and Peretz.

The small, tactical assaults against Hezbollah strongholds like Maroun er Ras and Bint Jubeil rather than the massive ground assault the IDF wanted played to Hezbollah's strengths, caused Israeli casualties and ate up badly needed time.

As soon as the Tzahal shifted to the massive, all out assault mode they wanted to do from the beginning, the impact on the war was immediate. The battles went their way with a minimum of casualties.

Lacking the weapons and resources to stand up to IDF’s precision attacks in force, Hezbollah's commanders in were forced out of most combat sectors of South Lebanon with heavy losses and had to regroup in concentrated areas: Tyre, the Wadi Hajar pocket east of Tyre, the Wadi Saluki area northwest of the northernmost Israeli town of Metullah, and a pocket cut off and isolated in Bint Jubeil, where fighting is still going on.

This concentration will enable the IDF to seperate the South Lebanon security buffer into three sections, western, central and eastern, and end movement for Hezbollah between the pockets similar to the tactics used in Gaza against Hamas. Once they're fully trapped, they can be forced to surrender or face annihilation.

Preferably the latter.

Tyre is already on the IDF's agenda, and several ground and air strikes have already been made. This will put pressure on Hezbollah from the west.

Another front in the coming days will probably be Sidon, where Hezbollah has been using the Tapuach and al-Haroub areas south and northeast of the city to shoot rockets at Israel. Sidon for shooting rockets. This is where Hezbollah fired the long-range Khaibar-1 missiles at Hadera Friday night, August 4. Yesterday, Sidon’s 200,000 inhabitants and its outlying villages up to the Zahrani River were warned by the IDF to leave and head north to escape the coming IDF air strikes.

However, here's the bad news: even if all of these areas are eliminated, it's unlikely that the rocket assault can be eliminated. Hezbollah's command structure is still intact, it is still a major part of the Lebanese government and its bases in the Bek'aa Valley still operating.Iran and Syria are constantly resupplying Hezbollh with rockets, launchers, manpower and weaponry. The IAF is able to destroy a substantial amount, but they have no means to get it all.

Until that supply route is severed by bombing the Syrian air facilities, Iran will continue to add to Hezbollah’s stockpile.

No matter what diplomatic niceties the UN comes up with, neither Iran, Syria or Hezbollah has any intention of complying.

Iran has alredy admitted supplying Hezbollah with Zelzal-2 long range missiles capable of hitting Jerusalem and as far south as Beersheeba.

This is merely the first battle in an ongoing war.


Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Patty,
Nice to see you!Sooner or later, we will have to confront this...and the longer we wait, the costlier it will be.
Hi Nazar,
In reference to your question, it's very simple...they airlift them into Syria.

A favorite method is to use the cargo space in commercial airlines, knowing that neither the Israelis nor the US will risk shooting one down because of the PR fallout.

As I reported here, most of the shipments go to Homs.

One of my `spook' friends has clued me in that the Mossad and the CIA are both very aware of this, but there's not much to be done unless Israel wants to bomb the airports and sever the airlinks between Iran and Syria.

Anonymous said...

the world are cowards and wants to bribe instead of taking care of the problems.

the word you are looking for is "danegeld".