bridge rubble 298.88.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
The IDF sent out emergency calls for 5,000 reserve soldiers on Friday in addition to the reserves already called up.
OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Udi Adam stated that the move was done in order to relieve some of the forces currently operating in northern Israel. He noted that ground forces were necessary to penetrate Hizbullah bunkers that could not be reached by the Air Force.
Meanwhile, in its continuing attacks on terrorist infrastructure, the IDF struck two rocket launch cells in southern Lebanon on Friday, apparently killing the operatives. The terrorists were struck as they were launching rockets. The IDF believed the people struck were the same ones who launched the barrage of rockets that assailed Haifa and the northern Galilee early Friday afternoon.
Hizbullah headquarters and communication lines were also among the targets struck during the day.
Adam told the press that the IDF had damaged Hizbullah's capabilities. He reported that at least 20 operatives were killed in the harsh cross-border battles in Maroun a-Ras, north of the Israeli town of Avivim along the northern border. He stated that the decrease in rocket launchings recently was a result of the IDF operation.
Still, the major general urged the public to be patient, as the current tension was expected to be a prolonged campaign and was likely to cost more casualties. The heavy exchange of fire cost the lives of five IDF soldiers on Wednesday and Thursday.
The IDF resumed attacks on Lebanon at daybreak on Friday, pounding the country's main road link to Syria with missiles and setting passenger buses on fire, Lebanese police said.
Part of Lebanon's longest bridge collapsed, police said.
The passenger buses were in the Bekaa valley about 15 kilometers from the Syrian border, on the road linking Beirut and the Syrian capital of Damascus.
The strike set three buses on fire at Taanayel, but there were no casualties, police said. Drivers abandoned the vehicles after one missile hit nearby, and then more missiles struck. The buses had dropped off in Syria evacuating foreigners, the police said.
Up in the mountains of central Lebanon on the Beirut-Damascus highway, IAF warplanes fired four missiles on a bridge linking two steep mountain peaks. Part of the bridge collapsed. The 1-mile-long (1.6-kilometer-long) structure has been hit several times since the fighting began.
Warplanes also attacked Hizbullah strongholds in south Beirut and in eastern Lebanon overnight. Witnesses said one explosion was heard in south Beirut, which has become a regular target for airstrikes over the past few days.