IDF: Terrorists running out of rockets

Military Intelligence assesses 10 days left for Lebanon operation.

July 24, 2006 01:38
2 minute read.
katyushas 298 .88 ap

katyushas 298 .88 ap. (photo credit: AP)

IDF Military Intelligence (MI) believes the army has 10 days left before diplomatic pressure puts an end to Operation Change of Direction against Hizbullah, The Jerusalem Post learned on Sunday. In addition, MI - reflecting its latest strategic assessment - believes that the Islamist group has already been dealt a severe blow by the IDF operation launched 12 days ago, and that within a month it will run out of Katyusha rockets to fire at Israel.

Hizbullah is organized along military lines, with regional commands in southern, northern and central Lebanon. The unit in the south, called the "Katyusha Unit" by the IDF, consists of some 1,000 fighters who have been responsible for most of the rocket attacks on communities north of Acre and Amiad. The unit has been able to recruit reserves, but MI has noticed that it has run into difficulty convincing members of the terror group who reside in northern Lebanon to travel south to participate in the fighting. Once the unit exhausts the missiles currently in its possession, it will, MI believes, have difficulty acquiring more, since most of the roads and supply routes have been destroyed by the IDF. Several Syrian and Iranian attempts to send supplies to Hizbullah have been thwarted by the IDF. North of the Litani River, Hizbullah operates a unit called the "medium-range rocket unit" believed to be responsible for firing Katyushas at Haifa and Israel's northern coast. Most of that unit's missiles were supplied by Syria prior to the current conflict. This unit is also believed to have an arsenal of long-range rockets - Iranian-made Fajr 5 and Zelzal missiles capable of reaching targets 200 km. away. Hizbullah still has several functioning military command centers in different regions in Lebanon, according to MI assessments. Officials in these centers are still able to command Hizbullah's men in the field. Military Intelligence has set up a team to oversee targeted killings of Hizbullah officials, but the unit has had limited success. MI does not believe that killing Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah would necessarily end the conflict. MI believes that Hizbullah has been dealt a "critical blow" to its image in Lebanon and throughout the Arab world. Lebanese leaders blame Nasrallah for provoking Israel and "bringing a disaster upon their country," MI believes. Hizbullah also reportedly has three units charged with intelligence operations. One unit is in charge of espionage against Israel, including the recruitment of agents who gather intelligence on IDF bases and other strategic installations. A unit called "1800" is reportedly responsible for the recruitment of Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. There is also reportedly a third unit, in charge of counter-intelligence operations.

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