Saturday, July 15, 2006

Israel expands offensive in Lebanon, Syria vows support for Hezbollah

The Jerusalem Post is reporting that "[t]he IAF attacked Beirut on Saturday evening for the first time in the four-day-old offensive, striking a lighthouse and the Beirut seaport". In addition, "the IAF fired missiles into the seaport of Lebanon's northernmost city of Tripoli in the deepest attack into Lebanese territory since fighting began four days ago".

According to the AP, Israel is claiming that "Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards have 100 troops in Lebanon providing Hezbollah key support — including helping fire a missile Friday that badly damaged an Israeli warship". This may or may not be true, but: "An Israeli intelligence official said Hezbollah has missiles with ranges of 60 to 120 miles that could reach Tel Aviv..."

Hezbollah, which is backed by Syria and Iran, denies that Iran's Revolutionary Guards are currently supporting its activities in Lebanon, but, according to Reuters, "Syria will support Hizbollah and Lebanon against Israel's attacks on the country". Syria's ruling Baath party said this: "The Syrian people are ready to extend full support to the Lebanese people and their heroic resistance to remain steadfast and confront the barbaric Israeli aggression and its crimes."

Right. Israel's aggression and Israel's crimes. That's always the spin, isn't it? When groups like Hezbollah and states like Syria make the case that Israel is to blame for their ills, they can justify their ongoing attempts to wipe Israel out entirely.

Here's a bit more from The Washington Post: "The leader of Hezbollah promised an all-out war Friday after Israeli warplanes attacked his residence and Hezbollah's main headquarters in an apparent assassination attempt, and Israel vowed to press its offensive in Lebanon until the Shiite Muslim militant group was disarmed."

So what now?

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We continue to monitor this story closely. For all of our posts on Israel-Lebanon-Hezbollah, scroll down through posts from the past several days or, if you're not already there, go to the main page and do the same.

Stay tuned for updates.

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