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Monday, July 24, 2006

IDF: Terrorists running out of rockets

The Jerusalem Post is reporting this morning that the IDF says that the terrorists are running out of rockets:

The IDF's military intelligence (MI) believes that the army has ten days left before diplomatic pressure puts an end to operation Change of Direction against Hizbullah. It believes that Hezbullah has about a month's supply of rockets remaining.
Hizbullah is organized along military lines, with regional commands in southern, northern and central Lebanon. The unit in the south, called the "Katyusha Unit" by the IDF, consists of some 1,000 fighters who have been responsible for most of the rocket attacks on communities north of Acre and Amiad.

The unit has been able to recruit reserves, but MI has noticed that it has run into difficulty convincing members of the terror group who reside in northern Lebanon to travel south to participate in the fighting. [Then what 'reserves' is it recruiting? CiJ]

Once the unit exhausts the missiles currently in its possession, it will, MI believes, have difficulty acquiring more, since most of the roads and supply routes have been destroyed by the IDF. Several Syrian and Iranian attempts to send supplies to Hizbullah have been thwarted by the IDF. [Why does that mean that the IDF - or 'international peacekeepers' - will be able to continue thwarting those shipments without an IDF presence in the area? CiJ]

North of the Litani River, Hizbullah operates a unit called the "medium-range rocket unit" believed to be responsible for firing Katyushas at Haifa and Israel's northern coast. Most of that unit's missiles were supplied by Syria prior to the current conflict.

This unit is also believed to have an arsenal of long-range rockets - Iranian-made Fajr 5 and Zelzal missiles capable of reaching targets 200 km. away.

Hizbullah still has several functioning military command centers in different regions in Lebanon, according to MI assessments. Officials in these centers are still able to command Hizbullah's men in the field.
I don't understand the basis for MI's belief that Hezbullah only has a month's worth of rockets left (only!), nor the basis for the belief that it will not be able to resupply, especially if the IDF is replaced by 'international peacekeeping forces,' which have been ineffectual in the past.

The Post's print edition has a chart on its front page (I have not found it on the web site) which indicates how many Katyushas have been fired at Israel each day. Obviously, what the chart is missing is a more detailed analysis of the launching sites and the range of the Katyushas fired, but from this chart, I don't see a downtrend in the number of Katyushas fired, and I see nothing that indicates that Hezbullah is running out of rockets. Here is the chart called "Number of Katyushas fired at Israel:"

July 13: 125
July 14: 103
July 15: 116
July 16: 47
July 17: 91
July 18: 136
July 19: 116
July 20: 34
July 21: 97
July 22: 129

Yesterday was not included in the chart, but the Post itself notes that more than 90 rockets were fired yesterday. So where is the downtrend?

I suppose it could be buried in the 129 rocket launchers destroyed I noted earlier. But do we really know how many rockets and rocket launchers Hezbullah has hidden in private homes all over Lebanon?

I think it's time for the IDF to stop trying to assess how much more time 'world opinion' is likely to give us to do the job and to concentrate on getting the job done. Regardless of how long we have to do it, the more of Hezbullah's capabilities we destroy, the better off we will all be.


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