Decision made, Israel pushes into Lebanon
I get reports from Stratfor.com, and this is a paraphrasing of a special report, Israel Launches Major Offensive.
Those in the Israeli government that wanted a full invasion have won over those who opposed such a plan. Israel is now on the move in force.
Combat operations will occur up to the Litani River and any other place IDF forces know Hezbollah is firing rockets into Israel, such as the Bekaa Valley.
The IDF knows it will take several days to encircle Hezbollah strongholds, and weeks to clear out the dug in guerrilla forces. Tyre and Sidon power-lines were cut, degrading Hezbollah’s ability to command, control and communicate.
The IDF will attempt to disarm Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, and will succeed if time permits. While the Bekaa Valley is only receiving air action presently, substantial ground operations may very well unfold there as well.
This recent advance of IDF forces has disrupted Hezbollah’s rocket attacks for the first time in this war. No rockets were launched in the morning; that is a first. Only 30 rockets total hit Amirim and Qiryat Shemona, which is substantially less than the 200 daily averages heretofore.
Destruction of Hezbollah is taking place as evidenced by the reduction of rocket attacks. Because the advance is methodical, it is a fairly conservative approach. The Israelis are using combined arms and armored attacks to systematically destroy strong points. Yet this only addresses the terror attacks from south of the Litani River.
Hezbollah has rockets that can hit Israel from positions well north of the Litani River. This will open up other fronts, like the Bekaa Valley, or even Beirut, if Hezbollah continues its terroristic assault on Israel and launches its longer-range rockets it claims to have in its arsenal.
How will Hezbollah respond? Hezbollah knows it is fighting an annihilation war in Southern Lebanon, meaning, it knows full well it will be defeated by the IDF. One of its goals and purposes then is to inflict maximum casualties. Its other goal is to delay its inevitable destruction in the south as long as possible, so that its prestige as a force to be reckoned with will continue to increase.
Hezbollah’s defeat in the south will hurt Hezbollah to be sure, but it will not eliminate its warfighting ability. This terroristic guerrilla group holds plenty of reserves in the Bekaa Valley, Beirut, and beyond.
Now that Israel has committed itself by invading southern Lebanon in force, two unknown questions remain: a) How far will Israel move into Lebanon, and b) what will Hezbollah’s response be?