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Friday, July 21, 2006

Hezbollah consolidates position as Israel offensive enters its 11th day

Tactical Report: As Israel-Hezbollah showdown is entering its eleventh day, all Israeli attempts on the border to make a breach in Hezbollah’s wall of resistance have failed.

Some military analysts now expect the Israelis to expand the circle of land attacks by carrying out a landing on the Lebanese coastline from Saidoun to Khaldeh.

If they succeed in doing so, the Israeli Army will be then close to the Southern Suburbs of Beirut, the main stronghold of Hezbollah. However, this will bring Israel-Hezbollah showdown to highest levels.

Latest reports form South Lebanon show the border confrontations are all over the fronts: Zarit-Naqura-Labuna in the west, Avivim- Maroun Al-Ras-Aitaroun in the centre and Metula-Kfar Kila in the east.

Hezbollah managed to repel all the Israeli units that tried to pierce through its “invisible” defences.

Shiite sources say Hezbollah and the other main Shiite Movement Amal lost four men in confrontations, while the Israelis lost six men. In addition, Israel lost three Apache helicopters.

On the Maroun Al-Ras front, Hezbollah proved its defence capabilities. Its fighters could besiege a 9-strong Israeli unit and clear seven houses close to the agricultural community of Avivim.

The Israelis launched new advanced missiles to break the siege on their soldiers, while Hezbollah used the way of closing with the Israeli soldiers to keep the Israeli Air Force out of the battlefield.

Hezbollah did not use any advanced air defence system in these confrontations. It only used a shoulder-held SAM-7 missile to hit one Apache helicopter.

However, Hezbollah is said to have a Russian-made shoulder-fired SAM-18 Igla anti-aircraft system. Although it is a 5km range missile, it helps Hezbollah make the Israeli helicopters stay away.
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