The IDF is fighting hard in Lebanon on the Litani offensive.
Forces have been upgraded from 6 brigades to 3+ full divisions, which for general purposes we will say is about 20,000 fighting men.
- Operations have moved over 10 KM into Lebanon on the ground, and airborne operations via helicopter are farther in still.
- It is clear, generally speaking that the IDF will secure ground north, and operate at greater length waiting for the full cessation of fire towards the south in mop up operations.
- A number of dozens of Hezbollah fighters killed in fighting today. Seven IDF soldiers killed on the sabbath.
- IDF Special Forces are also involved a 'one of a kind operation' in Lebanon. Read that as mass chopper insertions.
The race is on to secure larger objectives. The IDF has moved to secure high ground around the Litani River in a rapid advance, will enclose the Hezbollah and squeeze it. In such high mobility movements with armor also moving in rapid support, and the establishment of artillery fire zones the Hezbollah don't stand much of a chance.
These combined arms and the IDF speed are the Hezbollah worst nightmare. Until the pincer has closed and fighting becomes more fixed with Hezbollah able to utilize their bunker networks, and cockroach like hiding tactics they are very much on the defensive. It will take a few days to secure territory before clearing can begin.
I will update the Tyre situation which has seen interesting activities once operations have ceased. All the big names like Bit Jbeil, Al Marajoun that have been in the headlines are involved or bypassed entirely well North.
It was evident before the advance that Hezbollah had taken the worse for wear in this conflict, but there is now a move to make gains large enough that the media will report it as such as well.
With no real force that will engage the terrorists coming in once hostilities cease, it is now critical for the IDF to do as much as possible in long term damage to the Hezbollah..
UPDATE: Surrender with Honor
JPOST: An Israeli radio station, broadcasting in Arabic into Lebanon called upon all Hizbullah operatives south of the Litani River to completely cease their fighting against Israel.
The message called upon the operatives to raise a white flag over their houses, gather their weapons and place them in a common area outside their homes, Channel 2 reported.
Airborne Rapid Insertion: If you are Hezbollah, you don't want to see these babies landing next door, as they 'disgorge' quite a few of the World's most motivated fighting Men who take particular pride in anti-terror operations. (Yasur / CH-53)
UPDATE II – One of the many dozens of choppers used in the offensive has gone down, shot by Hezbollah. Unfortunate clearly & sad, but to be expected as these helicopters are ferrying units & supplies to a rapid forming distant front.
UPDATE III – I just saw the fabulous Jennifer Griffin on Fox News Channel speaking about the IDF MLRS, or Multiple Launch Rocket System, similar to the US version and making up some of the artillery fire zones I mentioned above.. She correctly called it a fierce weapon system. It is indeed, the multiple rockets carried on this mobile launcher are independently targeted, and also can contain independent warheads as well as bomblets with a devastating area affect.
Israel has pioneered / upgraded its MLRS type systems beyond the usual effectiveness in both range & accuracy, up to 150 KM which is frankly unreal, with strikes within feet and metres of their target. Keeping in mind that these are just rockets, they make the Hezbollah rockets which are lethal enough look like firecrackers..
Here is some info on the Israeli TCS system being applied to these highly effective weapons.
If one remembers footage from both the Gulf Wars, the mighty USA made great use of these MLRS artillery systems, I believe this was the 1st use of them in combat actually (may be mistaken) and they were quite devastating against Iraqi forces.