Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Update On Lebanese Attack On Israeli Troops

Summary Briefing from IDF Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich

Today's unprovoked attack by the Lebanese army against the IDF, took place in Israeli territory along Israeli's Northern border. In some areas, there is a gap between the IDF security fence and the actual border, which is where this attack took place. IDF soldiers were conducting routine maintenance work including clearing bushes from the area. This sort of activity is crucial to keep an open line of sight, to prevent attacks and kidnappings, like the one in the summer of 2006, which was in a similar location.

This crucial work was fully coordinated with UNIFIL, and there was nothing unique about it.

A Lebanese sniper opened fire towards IDF forces in a clear and blatant violation of UN security council resolution 1701.

The IDF retaliated with artillery and helicopter fire.

IDF intelligence is investigating if this was premeditated attack.

The LAF opened fire not at the soldiers who were doing the routine maintenance work on the fence, but at the commanders who were standing nearby observing the work. This indicates that it was a preplanned attack not in reaction to the work on the fence.

We estimate 4 casualties on their side.

Some parts of the LAF are influenced by Hezbollah

After the initial exchange of fire, we were requested to suspend our fire so that they could evacuate their wounded. roughly half an hour after we suspended our fire, LAF shot an RPG at one of our tanks. They missed the tank and our tank returned fire.

IDF only opened fire in response to our soldiers being shot at and wounded.

This is the most serious incident along the northern border since 2006.

Official Casualty Statement:

Lt Col (res) killed: Dov Harari.
Critically wounded (res) company commander (Captain).

(hat tip: Carl)

There are a number of other indications that this was a preplanned ambush.

The Hezbollah press, including photographers was present. One of the Lebanese dead was a reporter for al-Akhbar, a Hezbollah newspaper.It's also interesting that UNFIL troops were right in the immediate area and were able to intervene once the Israelis started retaliating.

This was obviously a Hezbollah operation, which means their Iranian masters were involved. That's the real back story behind today's attack, and we'll no doubt find out the full implications presently.

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