July 17, 2006

Israeli military estimates up to 25% of Hizballah’s rocket assets destroyed

Israeli military estimates up to 25% of Hizballah’s rocket assets destroyed in six days. No immediate timeline for ending operation

July 17, 2006, 1:53 PM (GMT+02:00)

They say it is too early to discuss a new international force for South Lebanon. DEBKAfile adds: Hizballah still has three quarters of its 10-13,000 rockets intact, and, moreover, according to our sources, is receiving fresh supplies through smuggling routes across Syria into the northern Lebanese pocket of Hermel. It is therefore impossible to draw up a time table to end the Israeli campaign to crush Hizballah’s war machine.

The IDF still relies mostly on its air force to destroy Hizballah stores and infrastructure. Sunday night saw 60 Israel air strikes over Lebanon, reported to have killed 23 people. Israeli artillery, responding to every-deepening Hizballah rocket attacks, is shelling suspected rockets stores secreted in the homes, garages and schools of south Lebanese towns and villages, after advising southerners to leave their homes. Elite troops also took part in these operations.

Tyre, whence Hizballah fired the 15 rockets that killed 8 civilians in Haifa, was targeted Sunday. Eight Canadian dual citizens were killed. Later 5 Hizballah rocket crews were taken out. Nine Lebanese troops are reported killed in raids to knock out their coastal radar stations which assisted the Hizballah attack an Israeli warship last Friday.

The southern suburbs of Beirut and fuel tanks at the international airport took a pounding too, as did the Hizballah’s logistics and training centers in the Beqaa Valley and roads connecting Lebanon to Syria to cut off Hizballah’s supply routes.

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