IDF commandos operate south of Tyre

IDF troops lebanon 29888 (photo credit: AP [file])
IDF troops lebanon 29888
(photo credit: AP [file])
About 40 IDF commandos landed on a southern hilltop near Lebanon's Mediterranean coast, fighting Hizbullah in close combat in a bid to destroy its rocket launchers. Helicopters dropped off the troops on a hill overlooking Ras al-Biyada, south of Tyre, Lebanese security officials said. It is believed that the majority of rocket launchings take place in the region of Tyre. Also on Monday, IDF forces destroyed Hizbullah's headquarters in the western sector of south Lebanon. Combat engineers and infantry troops planted explosives, demolishing the outpost, which once served as the IDF's Karkoum outpost. Before the explosion, the soldiers discovered several rocket launchers in the outpost. IDF troops killed two Hizbullah gunmen and discovered an ammunition cache inside a home in the south Lebanese village of Rabat-Taltin. Another four Hizbullah operatives were killed in the village of Itaron in the western sector on Monday morning when IDF troops opened fire on an anti-tank rocket cell spotted in the area. Meanwhile, IAF warplanes attacked Beirut's southern suburbs at daybreak Monday, renewing bombardment of the Hizbullah stronghold a day after cross-border guerrilla rockets killed 15 Israelis. The sound of eight loud explosions in less than an hour from the southern suburbs and the roar of raiding jets shook the Lebanese capital. The missiles kicked up smoke and dust in the sky. It was not clear what was hit in the eight airstrikes. IAF jets also struck south Beirut on Sunday afternoon. Three soldiers were moderately wounded in clashes in Houla in south Lebanon, just west of Kibbutz Manara. Two Hizbullah gunmen were killed in the battle. Early Monday, IAF warplanes targeted a northeastern region that is a symbol of Hizbullah power, witnesses and the group said. At least four explosions were heard around the Bekaa Valley city of Baalbek, 100 kilometers (63 miles) north of Israel's border, witnesses said. There was no immediate word on casualties. Warplanes struck roads about 20 kilometers (13 miles) south of Baalbek, and in the Rashaya region farther south on the corridor linking southern regions with the Bekaa in the country's east, the witnesses said. Hizbullah has many bases in the Baalbek region. Israeli commandos on Wednesday landed troops in the Baalbek area, engaging the guerillas and kidnapping several Hizbullah operatives before withdrawing. Sixteen Hizbullah gunmen and Lebanese were killed in the raid. Warplanes also carried out five air raids on the southern market town of Nabatiyeh. Two unleashed seven missiles on an empty, seven-story office building behind local government headquarters. One strike destroyed a two-story building housing one of the offices of Shi'ite Muslim Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah and another struck a house. The renewed airstrikes came as Hizbullah battled Israeli forces attempting to advance deeper into southern Lebanon early Monday. In addition to repeated air raids since fighting erupted July 12, Israel has sent thousands of troops into southern Lebanon to try to stop Hizbullah rocket attacks, which on Sunday killed 12 Israeli soldiers and three civilians in the deadliest such strikes.