No Surprises in Tyre
UPDATE: IDF releases awesome footage / documentary of the attack with english subtitles. Ynet has a feed.
This week looking at the IDF's western most ground assault prong I speculated about the Lebanese port city of Tyre.
What will be interesting to see on this prong is how far the IDF goes in regards to Tyre (on the map as Sour). Tyre is where the rockets hitting Haifa are believed to be originating from, it is a big city with a heavy duty Hezbollah presence. Chances are the IDF will not venture too far towards Tyre, but we might hear about special forces and continued air pressure on the city to knock out that threat as the IDF moves towards the Med sea to establish the left most area of the security zone. [...]
In response to the rocketing of Hadera and the Haifa regions Israeli naval commandos supported by gunships have conducted a daring raid into Hezbollah territory yet again, two commandos took bullet wounds in the fierce fighting with 8 more lightly wounded but the mission was a success.
YNET has video, and official IDF accounts
A senior official in the Israeli Navy praised the army's overnight raid on Tyre Saturday, which targeted the Hizbullah terror cell responsible for the Friday night rocket attack on the Israeli city of Hadera.
"This was a heroic operation which exhibited courage, daring, planning and performance," the official said. "The operation came full circle in a very short time, as intelligence abilities led forces to the terrorists, who then navigated and overcome the targets within an urban area." [...]
The 13th Flotilla (Naval Commando Unit) set out during the night in an operation against those responsible for the firing of strategic weapons from a vehicle inside a built-up neighborhood. This was a daring and intricate operation carried out inside a developed area with courage and determination. Forces reached the building inside the city. They approached the five-story, 16-flat building and went up to the second floor," he said.
"The fighting area very crowded, inside of a small apartment building," he continued. "Forces quietly entered the apartment, where three terrorists were hiding out with Kalashnikovs and grenades. When contact was made, the three Hizbullah men were hit by our forces, who suffered bullet and shrapnel wounds. The terrorists are linked to the launching of strategic rockets. The movements leading up to contact with the terrorists were carried out with utmost stealth."
According to the official, when soldiers were exiting the building, gunbattles erupted against a number of Hizbullah cells outside the apartment. Israeli commandos killed ten of the operatives, the official said, adding that the Hizbullah casualties were central figures linked to the firing of long-range rockets at Israel. He noted that the Air Force covered the ground operations throughout the raid. By five in the morning, the forces were out of Lebanese territory. [...]
Looking at the Tyre raid we see a number of notable events.
- Whether it be Ben Wederman of CNN reporting early last night that 'he could not make out any Hezbollah presence in the city' but saw one or two rocket firings from the distance, or the statements on CNN last week by Tyre residents via video assuring us all that there was NO Hezbollah in Tyre, No Hezbollah in Tyre.. One thing is becoming abundantly clear. CNN's reporting is compromised, and Tyre is a Hezbollah stronghold. In Wederman's small defense, his passport has been photocopied and he is now as much a Hezbollah spokespeson as a CNN reporter. But frankly I'm all out of patience with the Nic Robertson & company Hezbollah propaganda fest where these reporters are clearly admittedly reporting the Hezbollah version of events while under general threat. If you have to give us tainted information stop risking your life and get out please. The look on Wederman's face in an early breaking news report of these events as he signed off spoke volumes. It is beyond irresponsible for CNN not to constantly note to viewers that some of their reporters reports have been affected by obvious Terrorist threat / duress.
- The Lebanese Army engaged the IDF units during the raid with Lebanese Anti-Aircraft Batteries opening fire on the support gunships in the area. Threats by Lebanon's Syrian puppet president Emile Lahoud, and the supposed Pro-West Prime Minister Siniora that the Lebanese Army would support a terrorist group over the Lebanese people appear to have come true. If the Lebanese government has disavowed all of Hezbollah's actions, claimed ignorance, powerlessness etc in fancy speeches at the Security Council, they sure are doing a wonderful job of looking two faced to me. Footage aired of blasted Lebanese personnel carriers and the anti aircraft unit was engaged and destroyed with Lebanese Army casualties.
Hezbollah on the battle field & Lebanon's now total lack of credibility:
- There is no doubt they are fighting hard, this is after all the most well armed, & largest terrorist guerrilla army in the World but let's put the negativity floating around in perspective. The IDF is taking it to Hezbollah and Nasrallah and his cockroaches are feeling the pain. If the IDF says central figures in the firing of long range rockets were killed it means central figures in the launching of rockets were killed. If Hezbollah says a brave victorious stance in Tyre has been achieved, it means central figures in the firing of long range rockets were killed, along with ten more Hezbollah gunmen. It has become EVIDENT that Lebanese casualty figures are fabrications of the worst sort. Hundreds of Hezbollah gunmen are now dead in morgues & hospitals tagged by Lebanon as 'civilians'. If that is the case, it is becoming more & more difficult to differentiate between Lebanese lies. Whatever sympathy I may have had personally at the outset for Lebanon has totally evaporated. Five more captives were taken by the IDF yesterday as well, so I'm guessing we can tack on 5 to the category of 'Missing Civilians' in Lebanon
During a speech to Arab & Muslim representatives PM Siniora two days ago claimed over 900 civilians dead in Lebanon for propaganda purposes, but officials late last night stated around 700 civilians dead. It brings no comfort to now know both parties are frankly disingenuous. For people with historic propensity for massive exaggeration in regards to massacres, atrocities and other fabricated fantasies on the World stage, farting out fictional numbers and claiming these inflated casualty figures is a very bad move and it has weakened Lebanon's position. There is no doubt there is massive hardship for many, no doubt innocents have been tragically killed, but lying about the numbers or telling half truths brings out the skeptic in all of us and damages the real claims of real innocent Lebanese.
Job well done, and there is more work to do
There is talk of American & French agreement on a cease fire resolution, perhaps as early as this weekend. My American friends, despite the massive support without which such accomplishments and defense has been facilitated I hope none will take this the wrong way when I state that Ehud Olmert must get on TV and immediately following any such announcement proclaim loudly - NO CEASE FIRE until conditions on the ground can accommodate one.
The cessation of hostilities must be on Israel's terms, and a bold stance will be needed to secure gains for Israel's security & safety. Sec. Rice, and Bolton have done exemplary work, but Israel must continue to reap gains on Hezbollah, continue to make commando raids, and continue the fight. Now is not the time for a cease fire, now is the time to push onward..
Israel has gained the initiative after three long weeks of hard fighting. Pour it on.
LINKS: Updates on the Mid East Crisis: On Israel, and many Jewish bloggers covering the situation, at the Truth Laid Bear which is also highlighting the other side, and at Pajamas Media. Soccerdad consistently does HQ round ups as well.