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Friday, August 04, 2006

IAF hits fifteen targets in and around Beirut

The IAF hit fifteen targets in and around Beirut today, according to a report on Arutz Sheva's web site. The IAF also struck a power station in the southern Bekaa Valley causing a blackout in the area around Kiraoun.
Four bridges on the main north-south coastal highway were hit. The road links Beirut to Syria. Three more bridges, linking Beirut to northern Lebanon were also destroyed. The bridges were located in Maameltain, Madfoun and Halat.

South of Beirut, a Lebanese soldier was killed in an air strike on an army base near the airport. Three were also killed as warplanes targeted a building, a 'safe house' and an office used by Hizbullah terrorists in the Dahiyeh neighborhood in south Beirut.

The IAF also flew 15 sorties over the neighborhood of Ouzai, another Hizbullah stronghold. The highway to the south begins in the southern Beirut neighborhood.
The strikes north of Beirut (apparently the bridges heading towards Syria), were the first time that the IAF has struck a Christian area north of Beirut. According to the Red Cross, four civilians were killed and ten were wounded in the strike. Here's an account from a Lebanese blogger:
At least three civilians were killed and 15 wounded Friday when Israeli warplanes struck four bridges along the coastal highway leading north from Beirut towards the Syrian border, a Red Cross official and media reports said.

The jets staged their first raids early in the morning on the coastal road 20 kilometers north of Beirut, including a main bridge near the "Casino du Liban," in Jounieh, they said.

Moments later they hit the Fidar bridge in the village of Halat before striking the Madfun main bridge linking northern Lebanon with the rest of the country, they said.

The bombs left huge holes in the bridges and collapsed the one at Fidar. A number of cars were thrown off the roads and some were set on fire. The body of one of the victims was found in a car below the Madfun bridge.

The bridges are along the northern coastal highway which was practically the only outlet leading out of the country by land through Syria after the bombardment of other border crossing points by Israeli air force.

The region targeted had up to now been largely spared by the Israelis who have been hitting Lebanon's infrastructure since July 12.

Other strikes were launched on the Faraya-Ouyoun al-Siman road that links the Kesrouan Mountains with the Bekaa Valley and on the Afka-Tarayya road connecting the Bekaa with Mount Lebanon.

Earlier, a soldier was killed and three others wounded when Israeli jets bombed a military position in Ouzai south of Beirut, an army officer said.

Israeli warplanes also bombed a major power station that serves the south of the Bekaa Valley and much of southern Lebanon, security officials said.

Fighter-bombers struck the Ibrahim Abdel Aal power station at Sohmor, four kilometers south of the Qaraoun artificial lake on the Litani dam in central Lebanon, the officials said.

Electricity was immediately cut in the region. The scale of damage was not immediately known, and there was no word of victims.

Security officials said Israeli fighter-bombers launched 19 raids in less than an hour on Ouzai. It was the first bombing of this coastal district which consists largely of low-income houses and workshops.

Warplanes broke the sound barrier over Beirut causing panic among residents.

A huge pall of smoke mixed with flames rose over Ouzai, reportedly caused by an explosion at a petrol station hit by one of the bombs.

A few hours earlier Israel had threatened to spread its bombardment to new areas of the southern suburbs, a Hizbullah stronghold, and dropped leaflets calling on residents to flee.

Missiles were fired at the Rweiss and Haret-Hreik districts, security officials said. Rweiss, which had initially been spared, was first targeted the previous night after a week's respite in strikes on the capital's suburbs.

Haret-Hreik and Bir al-Abed, where Hizbullah's headquarters is located, were pounded for two weeks and are in ruins.
Did I mention that this is a rather upset Lebanese blogger?
But have no illusions about this - this is Israel attacking all of the people of Lebanon, every single one. All of Lebanese infrastructure. And that is why many people believe that someone has to resist. It now happens to be Hizbullah - like it or not - because clearly the Lebanese army, America and the West don't care a damn about protecting Lebanon from Israel. Now Israel will invade up to the Litani having cleansed the area of its people and caused 1 million people to be displaced. Israel has no right to attack the whole of Lebanon - not in its battle against Hizbullah which could have been handled so clearly very differently and it has no right to cut off the only remaining road out of the capital north to Damascus. This is dividing the nation and blockading the people, their livelihoods and destroying the beautiful Lebanon, and it is not winning Israel any friends.
I'm not sure how 'differently' this blogger thinks this could have been handled. Hezbullah is all over Southern Lebanon, all over the Bekaa and all over Southern Beirut. Hezbullah is part of the government and owns much of Lebanon's infrastructure. Israel is determined to throw Hezbullah out of Lebanon's government and out of the area south of the Litani (at least). Like the big oafish marine, Nasrallah must give up. We all feel sorry for the Lebanese people, but by refusing to confront Hezbullah, they and their government have brought this on themselves.


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