Thursday, August 10, 2006

Picking Up Speed

Israeli Army has reached Marjayoun on the road to Baalbeck.

Sydney Morning Herald

Syria is checking its bomb shelters.

Y-Net News

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Links and deepeer analysis are coming later. As I predicted once things start moving even bloggers will have trouble keeping up.

Update: 10 Aug '06 1008z

I have added links where appropriate to the original post and also more analysis.

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Update: 10 Aug '06 1149z

It looks like the army is in the start stop mode again. As soon as the leash is taken off the Army it is put back on again. Shimon Peres says give diplomacy a chance. So what is likely going on? It seems to me that the Israeli Army advances. Attracts all the local guerillas. Attrits them. Then will probably move forward again. Rinse, repeat. The purpose of this is to reduce the quality of troops on the flank of the advance. They will be from outside the area so they will not know the bunkers and terrain as well. Plus after fighting them for a while you can determine the strength required to hold the flank.

The Israeli Army is superb. They do what ever is asked of them. Yesterday there were 40,000 additional troops massed at the border. That is one heck of a battering ram if divided between the flanks. Right now I do not have enough information to decide if there is a strong move to Beirut as well as towards the Litani on the right flank.

At this point it might be good to cut all the bridges across the Litani, except those needed to move up the flanks. Or it might be good to cut all the bridges and do a bridging operation similar to what Sharon did in '73. We shall see. That is the advantage of having a well trained, well equipped army. It gives you a lot of tactical options. Making defence more difficult. It is an excellent army that causes the defenders to suffer 5X the casualties of the attackers. Espeially since the Hizbollah are not doing banzai charges.

Y-Net says there are massive battles in Marjayoun.

Another day of battle in southern Lebanon: Exchanges of fire erupted Thursday morning on the eastern region between Israel Defense Forces soldiers and Hizbullah members in the area of the Marjayoun and the village of al-Khiam, north of Metula.

Hizbullah fighters fired an anti-tank missile at a military supply convoy and several soldiers were lightly injured.

Battles are also taking place near the village of Aytaroun on the western region. The soldiers encountered light weapon fire and anti-tank fire.
Just as I expected. A fight for the flanks. The roads have to be secure enough for the required supply convoys. What is refered to in the trade as "soft skinned" vehicles. I'll have to look up where Aytaroun is in the west but that may signal at least a feint to Beirut if not a strong move.
"Massive exchanges of fire were heard in Marjayoun from 3:30 a.m., and many bombardments took place at the entrance to the town. A petrol station burned and one house was also bombed," said Fouad al-Hamra, one of the town's senior officials.

"They arrived at around 3:30 a.m., we heard tanks. Now we see a great fired which has been ignited in the eastern part of the town," he added, stressing that there were no exchanges of fire inside the town between Hizbullah members and IDF fighters.
Massive exchanges of fire, no exchanges of fire. These folks have to get their stories better co-ordinated. Could be just the fog of war. Could be. Come to think of it why would he be stressing his point? What is he implying was done and by whom in this Christian village? Well I will leave it to your imagination.
Lebanese sources reported that another Air Force Strike was directed at the road connecting Baalbek and the Syrian city of Khomes.
I wonder. Maybe the Israelis want the Syrians to attack their prepared positions in the Golan. The Syrians made good progress on the Golan in '73. Perhaps the Israelis are trying to make a Bekaa advance difficult and a Golan advance easier. As usual. We shall see.

Because of the fluidity of the situation it is difficult to be sure what is happening. These are problems that are standard in warfare. What can I do? What can the other guy do? What does he appear to be doing? Is my interpretation correct? How do I position my troops if I'm right? If I'm wrong?

Note the Syrians did not prepare their bomb shelters in '82 - the last time Israel invaded Lebanon. They did prepare them in '73. The last time Syria attacked Israel. Now that is kind of interesting, don't ya think?

6 comments:

Russ said...

You're still engaged in the wishful thinking that Assad will commit suicide by attacking...
(not that I'd mind, actually...), otherwise, no disagreement here.

M. Simon said...

Russ,

Every one tells me Syria will not attack Israel because it would be suicide. I agree on one point. It would be suicide.

And yet it looks like they are preparing for just such a mission. One they did not prepare for in '82.

Curious don't you think?

Maybe Iran has a plan to force Syria to war. Maybe other reasons:

Syria Has a Problem

Anonymous said...

I'm not willing to assume Olmert is such a schmoe he'd allow the backstabbing to continue; the way Golda did.

Then, there's another thing on the shelf. Even the SIX DAY WAR created the problem that it went "too fast."

I think there's a hidden mechanism in place that's meant to deceive. Since syria could, more than likely fail on its own weight.

Syria now owns about a million refugees. So I think its resources are stretched. And, the way it used to get money has been crimped.

While in Eygpt there's fears America could shut off the $2-billion spigot. At least it has what to threaten Mubarak with; Besides, Mubarak's fear that any involvement with the IDF at this time, loses eygpt the Sinai. The UN couldn't exactly grab those chips back out of the fire.

On the political stage, however, Olmert came in with very litle. A loss of seats to Kadima. And, then he went to the ugly ducklings to compose his government. Even now, where the country is united, among 10 ministers, or so, 3 abstained from voting for an increase in troop buildup. And, they were all from Amir Peretz' labor party. This party is shrinking right before everyone's eyes. Amir Peretz knows this. And, today, he had a fight with Mofaz. His excuse to Mofaz that "all this got built up while Mofaz was in charge," actually stinks as an excuse. Because there really were agressive plans the IDF had that were not followed.

What wasn't followed? Hitting Beirut earlier and harder; before nasrallah could run into any bunkers, or go to where he is now: In the iranian embassy.

And, Britain just rolled up a big terrorism attack. Where the muzzies want to scare the pants of the British so they give up Israel, as it was once easy to give up Czecheslovakia.

But terrorism works both ways. It could equally do more damage to the muzzies. Who are seen as vicious cowards. And, making air travel dramatically deadly isn't something you could do more than once. With all sorts of repercussions.

Is it still a threat that we're treating this more as a "justice" problem, then a war? Sure. But if anything the muzzies keep losing chips.

And, an unpopular Olmert still has to react to the will of the people; or they won't be able to wait to go to new elections. I'm guessing Bibi's stock rises. And, ditto for Mofaz. While Krapinski, is Gonen. And, who knows who wants to be Bar Lev?

Can the Left, and Kadima, come out of this gaining ground? Because I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

I should'a signed my name. CAROL HERMAN

Just not used to "bloggers" approach to leaving a comment.

I'd also like to add that it's possible that syria could fall if Israel leaves her alone. But Assad does nothing. Since he's alerted his people to check bomb shelters. What does that do to his million refugees? Given that the old 1973 bomb shelters have been sold to private individuals. And, turned into homes? Time to go out and buy metal bars for all the doors? (After Katrina, just locking things up this way, doesn't seem so safe when the bulldozers get requisitioned.)

Anyway, Assad doesn't seem to be coming off as a successful leader.

Why just think Olmert's over his head?

Fares said...

M. Simon,

You fail to understand how the Syrian regime communicate and scace the shit of its masses. The bunker mover is purely theatrical and for public consumption. Just like the 5 million people parading and training in Badgad after invading Kuwait.

Anyway Carol enjoy reading your racist comment here

Israeli Arrogance and Bush latest Trick

and see how other Israelis respect other cultures here
Breaking the cycle of violence

Adam said...

The scary thing to me about Syria is not what's in Syria but what's behind it. How hard would it be for Iran to create the circumstances in Iraq that would drive large numbers of Iraqi refugees through Syria and all the way to the Golan, which mass of humanity could become an enormous mobile human shield? All that’s needed is for the Syrian regime to temporarily cease to exist.

If Syria were to attack I think it would create a very delicate situation for Israel.