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(photo credit: IDF)
"The air force is ready for any operation that will be necessary during the current military campaign against Lebanon," Brig.-Gen. Yohanan Locker, Commander of the IAF's Air Division, told The Jerusalem Post Thursday night.
The officer revealed that IAF fighter jets, helicopters, and AWACs had participated in hundreds of airborne operations over Lebanon since two soldiers were kidnapped and eight others killed in a Hizbullah attack along the northern border on Wednesday.
He said that the IAF F-15Is, F-16s, Apache helicopters, and other surveillance aircraft were participating in Operation Just Reward against Lebanon.
The air force, he said, has struck dozens of homes in southern Lebanon that were also used as cover for Katyusha launchers as well as other strategic sites, including the Beirut International Airport, a fuel depot in Beirut, and two other airports in Lebanon. Regarding the homes, the officer said the roofs were sometimes removed and the Katyushas were fired from inside, landing in Nahariya, Safed, and other communities in northern Israel.
In other cases, he said, the Katyusha rockets were leaned against the walls of the homes and fired from there.
The officer stressed that there was no distinction between Hizbullah and Lebanese targets. "Lebanon is responsible for what has happened," the officer said. "The air force is prepared to continue operating around the clock over Lebanon during this operation."