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August 02, 2006

Israel Floods Troops Deep Into Lebanon, Capturing Hezbollah Guerillas

Via the Captain:

Israel poured up to 10,000 armored troops into south Lebanon Tuesday, and separately sent commandos deep into the eastern Bekaa Valley where they raided a Hezbollah-run hospital and captured guerrillas during pitched battles, a major escalation of the three-week-old war.

The Israeli military confirmed the attack on the ancient city of Baalbek, about 80 miles north of Israel. It said troops, ferried in by helicopter, captured an unspecified number guerrillas and all soldiers returned unharmed.

He's heartened by the lesson Israel is giving the terrorists.

Dan's got more on this daring helicopter-commando blitz:

Residents said the Dar al-Hikma hospital is financed by an Iranian charity, the Imam Khomeini Charitable Society, which is close to Hezbollah. The hospital is also run by people close to the Shiite militant group, the residents said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

After several hours of intense fighting in and around a hospital in the eastern Lebanon town of Baalbek, IDF commando forces on Wednesday morning took a number of Hizbullah officials captive.

Officials? That's better than operatives. Apparently they were looking for a senior Hezbollah operative, Muhammad Yazbek, "surrounded" by lesser officials. Apparently this great Holy Warrior had the courage to be elsewhere for the actual fight; he doesn't seem to have been there, and there's no conclusive word about the other "officials" who may have been netted.

Dan cites sources claiming only low-ranking "gunmen" were seized. But we'll see.

Even if the big fish weren't netted, Israel taught Hezbollah a lesson: For you, no sanctuary; for us, no casualties.

Michelle, of course, has more.

Is this all just a warning by Israel, or a one-off mission to attempt to capture a high-ranking Hezbollah, or is it the beginning of frequent raids into Hezbollah's redoubt in the Bekaa Valley, denying them safe haven and fighting them in their favorite hiding holes?

They've certainly proved they can manage the last, if they have they will to do so.


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posted by Ace at 12:28 AM

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