IDF: 40-50% of Hizbullah's military capability destroyed

IAF jets target Hizbullah long-range missile launch sites; ground troops operating in cross-border incursion to uproot Hizbullah outposts.

By JPOST STAFF, , AP
July 18, 2006 10:52
2 minute read.
IDF: 40-50% of Hizbullah's military capability destroyed

Lebanon / UN 298.88. (photo credit: AP)

Tuesday night, IAF planes showered southern Lebanon with flyers making fun of Hizbullah head Hassan Nasrallah and calling on him to come out of hiding. For a Jerusalem Online video of events click here "Where are you hiding?" the flyers read in a mocking tone.

WAR IN THE NORTH: DAY 7
Earlier Tuesday, The Jerusalem Post learned that 40 to 50 percent of Hizbullah's military capability has been destroyed in the six days of the IDF counter-attack following last Wednesday's Hizbullah raid in northern Israel. The IDF, it is understood, believes it needs at least another week or so to achieve its military goals in terms of removing Hizbullah's capacity to threaten Israel. The IDF further believes that it will be given at least that long to continue its actions, in light of the G8 nations' essential support for Israel and those nations' branding Hizbullah and Hamas as being responsible for the current escalation. Operations in Lebanon, the Post has learned, are costing Israel NIS 50-100 million a day. The IAF reported that it hit 52 targets in Lebanon during Tuesday. Only Tuesday afternoon, IAF aircraft attacked two weapons-filled trucks parked on the coastal road in the town of Byblos, north of Beirut. They also hit two similar trucks on the narrow mountain road between Beirut and Syria, which has become the main route to Damascus since the air attacks made the highway unusable. The IAF has recently begun targeting vehicles in Lebanon it suspects of transporting missiles for Hizbullah. Television showed pictures of one truck on fire and another damaged on the mountain road. One driver was reported wounded. In other attacks Tuesday, IAF jets carried out two raids on southern Beirut - where Hizbullah is known to occupy many buildings - and the eastern city of Baalbek. Earlier, Deputy IDF Chief of General Staff Maj.-Gen. Moshe Kaplinsky said in an interview to Army Radio that the offensive against Hizbullah would reach its completion "in a matter of weeks." Meanwhile, Defense Minister Amir Peretz approved a call-up of three additional reserve battalions. The reservists are set to replace troops currently operating in the West Bank, allowing those soldiers to be deployed in the north, to assist in the conflict with Hizbullah. The orders were expected to be distributed on Tuesday. Nevertheless, Kaplinsky said a massive ground incursion was not necessary at the moment. "At this stage we do not think we have to activate massive ground forces into Lebanon but if we have to do this, we will. We are not ruling it out," Kaplinski told Israel Radio. The deputy chief of staff added that Hizbullah had a very large system of different types of rockets. "The (group) still has the ability to fire at the north and residents still feel this. We will do everything to shorten this suffering," he said.


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