Hizbullah shoots down IAF helicopter

IAF Commander Shkedy orders IAF to continue with operations over Lebanon despite downing of helicopter.

Hizbullah guerrillas succeeded in shooting down an IAF helicopter over southern Lebanon on Saturday night, the IDF said. The helicopter, the IDF said, crashed into enemy territory and there were casualties. By press time, the number of casualties and their conditions were not released for publication. Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV said the helicopter was brought down by a missile, the "Waad" (Arabic for Promise), new to the Islamist organization's arsenal. The IDF would not say what type of missile brought down the aircraft. IAF Commander Maj.-Gen. Elazar Shkedy ordered the air force to continue with the operations over Lebanon despite the downing of the helicopter. It was the fourth helicopter to crash since Operation Change of Direction began on July 12. Two helicopters collided and crashed, and a third crashed separately in northern Israel early in the fighting. Last week, IDF reservists from Brigade 609 captured two Hizbullah gunmen in the town of Bint Jbail as they were preparing to fire anti-aircraft missiles against Israeli jets.