TYRE, Lebanon (CNN) -- An Israeli airstrike leveled a four-story residential building used as a shelter by refugees in the southern Lebanese town of Qana early Sunday, killing and wounding as many as 65 people, half of them children, a Lebanese emergency official said.
The IDF said the neighborhood bombed was a launching ground for Hezbollah rockets aimed at Israel and that residents had been warned by radio announcements and leaflets dropped from the air to leave because it was a combat area.
Lebanese army sources said the building sheltered about 60 people, mostly women and children.Video broadcast by Arab TV showed the limp and bloodied bodies of woman and children who appeared to be wearing night clothes. Many of these bodies were under rubble in the basement of the building.Red Cross worker Sami Yazbak, who was helping to pull bodies from the building, said many of the children who were sleeping inside were handicapped.
Qana, 10 miles east of the southern Lebanese coastal city of Tyre, was the location of an attack by Israeli forces 10 years ago in which more than 100 Lebanese refugees were killed. On April 18, 1996, Israeli artillery pounded a U.N. center crowded with civilians. Israel later said the attack was a mistake. At that time, Israel accused Hezbollah militants of hiding behind civilians.
Condi Rice hit a wall in her diplomacy, after the attack on Qana. Rice called for an immediate ceasefire. "There is no place on this sad morning for any discussion other than an immediate and unconditional ceasefire as well as an international investigation into the Israeli massacres in Lebanon now," Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora told a news conference in Beirut.
After the announcement, Rice cancelled her planned visit.
Earlier Israel has rejected UN proposal for 3-day ceasefire.
Around 500 protesters in Beirut stormed a UN building destroying its courtyard, and much of the interior on the ground floor. UN staff was hiding in basement during the attack. Protesters shouting slogans in support of Hezbollah and against Israeli war campaign, pushed trough destroying offices.
Jul 30, 2006
Jul 27, 2006
Jul 25, 2006
More than 380 Lebanese and 42 Israelis have died in nearly two weeks of conflict in Lebanon, which began after Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid on 12 July.
Although The Israelis said that they had no intention to hold land, Mr Peretz said a zone in southern Lebanon would be maintained "under the control of our forces if there is not a multinational force". An unnamed Israeli official quoted by Reuters news agency said between 10,000 and 20,000 international peacekeepers would be needed. Ms Rice arrived in Israel from Beirut, where she met Lebanon's Prime Minister Fouad Siniora. She said: "It is time for a new Middle East, it is time to say to those who do not want a different kind of Middle East that we will prevail; they will not." So, what did she mean by WE? Are the United States taking sides in this conflict? My guess is that they never forgot the bombing of US Marine base back in 1983 which was described as a largest non nuclear bomb blast since Hiroshima. (In June 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon, and US Marines were sent to Lebanon as a peacekeeping force in September 1982. On April 18, 1983, the US embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, is bombed by a suicide truck attack, killing 63 people. On October 23, 1983, a Marine barracks in Beirut is bombed by another suicide truck attack, killing 241 Marines. In February 1984, the US military will depart Lebanon. The radical militant group Islamic Jihad will take credit for both attacks. This group is led by Ayman al-Zawahiri, who will later become the number two leader in al-Qaeda. However, many believe Hezbollah is involved in the attacks. The Beirut bombings will also inspire bin Laden to believe that the US can be defeated by suicide attacks. For instance, he will say in a 1998 interview, “We have seen in the last decade the decline of the American government and the weakness of the American soldier who is ready to wage Cold Wars and unprepared to fight long wars. This was proven in Beirut when the Marines fled after two explosions.”) So they need an excuse to come back.
In the meantime, Israel continues to pound Beirut, devastating whole building blocks and making it impossible for refugees to come back. US are giving Israel more time to “finish the job” because they are not ready yet to press for cease fire… So whose war is this and who’s fighting whom and are the Americans really the peace keepers or the wolf in the sheep skin?
Jul 23, 2006
Ok, the greater picture is slowly emerging. What is the “World’s only Superpower” trying to achieve here: Israel will be “given” few more weeks by UN, to create a Hezbollah free buffer zone in South Lebanon. That would make room for diplomacy and a NATO led “peace keeping” force will enter the region making everybody happy.
What’s the idea: US will return to Lebanon to create a military base for future operations, introducing NATO as a new global “peace keeping” force, making UN obsolete. Next logical step is overthrowing Syrian government introducing “democracy” to the natives. Then, Iran… War over black gold could not be won with Iran in the middle.
One could think that Israel had a green light for this operation from US which knew exactly what was going to happen months ago. Israel only needed a provocation and the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers was good enough. So why the mindless destruction of the Lebanon? Because behind every modern war there is an army of companies fighting for new grounds and markets, and with new puppet government in Lebanon, guess who will get the job of rebuilding the country.
And how do I know this? Because I live in Serbia and I’ve seen it before…
Why it won’t work? United States with their (smartest ever) president are overstreching and overestimating its power to control everything in the World. They don’t control the situation in Afghanistan and war in Iraq is raging still. They don’t control it either, not in a way they would like to. They’re spending billions and there is still no profit. George W Bush wants it all and wants it now, before the end of his mandate because it is his last, and he is rushing, putting his own country in jeopardy. What are his achievements so far? World is a safer place? Freedom and justice are spreading over the World like blumming flowers over fields of Texas? There are less terrorists wanting to destroy the American life? I don’t think so… I would happen to think that Osama Bin Laden was their player all along.
If destroying Hezbollah (Party of God) is Israel’s top priority, why are the innocent civilians in Lebanon being targeted? Why are the civilian convoys under fire? How can devastating the Lebanon’s infrastructure, factories, roads, bridges, TV stations, help their fight against terrorism? What message Israel is sending to the people of Lebanon and why are they being punished?
Back in the 90’s, Serbia launched a military campaign against Albanian terrorists in Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija (Kosovo Polje: The Blackbird’s field (ser)) on a much smaller scale than Israel did nowadays, out of their borders. There were clashes between so called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and Serbian anti terrorist forces with minimum civilian casualties or none. Villages that were being used as terrorist bases and training camps have been attacked as a legal right of every country to defend itself on its own territory. NATO reacted and took terrorist (KLA was then a terrorist group with connections with Al Qaida, according to CIA) under protection. NATO bombed Serbia for more than 70 days destroying its infrastructure and helping the terrorist groups from Albania to infiltrate Kosovo. KLA and some U.S. senators that supported them, were financed from Albanian mafia, NATO was their air force. Serbia and their leaders were accused for war crimes against humanity and Serbia lost its province. War ended when NATO soldiers entered the Province under UN mandate as a peace keeping force.
Today, Israel is destroying a neighboring state, Israelis crossed the Lebanese border, their fighter jets are bombing Beirut creating humanitarian catastrophe and forcing thousands of refugees to flee the country and the whole world is watching, doing nothing to stop it.
There’s no food and no water and no escape since Israelis have destroyed their escape routes. Who can stop this? UN? US? So we have some very different views of justice for The Balkans and for Middle East. Justice works in funny ways. What is the definition of terror and who are the terrorists?
UN can’t stop this madness and that’s rather obvious, not if US doesn’t want it to happen and they don’t. G.W.Bush puts oil on fire and he would like to see Syria and Iran in this spreading conflict. Is this a part of United States’ war against terrorism? Does war against Syria and/or Iran comes next? Too many questions and I don’t know the answers, I’m just making wild guesses and maybe I’m too stupid to see the whole picture but I know that something is very wrong here…
Jul 15, 2006
Airlift Operations During the Lebanon Crisis
by Lieutenant Colonel Mark A. Olinger
Airlift of a Marine Corps battalion to Lebanon demonstrated that deploying contingency forces from the continental United States to an overseas operation was feasible and expeditious.
During the Cold War, the United States deployed its Armed Forces to support the national objectives of various countries around the globe. The majority of those operations were short in duration and occurred in underdeveloped areas of the world. Most were joint operations, and some were conducted with forces from allied nations. Nearly all of them were contingency operations in which the goals, the time available, and the operational area were limited. One such mission was Operation Bluebat, the code name for the U.S. military intervention in Lebanon in 1958. That country, which is situated between Israel and Syria, was threatened by a rebellion aimed at toppling its pro-Western government. Because the resources needed to deploy an airborne brigade were limited, Operation Bluebat was one of the most complex operations of the Cold War.
Unrest in the Middle East
In the spring of 1958, U.S. interests in the Middle East were compromised when nationalist uprisings threatened pro-Western governments. In May, troubles sprang up in Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria. On 14 July, King Faisal and Crown Prince Abdul Illah of Iraq were assassinated in a coup d’état led by Brigadier General Abdul Karim al’Kassim, a nationalist. At the same time, it was rumored that another coup was in the making against King Hussein of Jordan.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower, alerted U.S. forces and deployed to Europe a tactical strike force . A naval task force of 75 ships, including three aircraft carriers and two cruisers, and 45,000 men, 5,000 of whom were marines, was deployed to the Middle East from the Sixth Fleet in Italy.
The Government of Lebanon, faced with political turmoil, requested United States military intervention to prevent a collapse. The purpose of Operation Bluebat was to bolster the pro-Western government against internal opposition and threats from Syria and Egypt. The plan was to occupy and secure Beirut International Airport, a few miles south of the city, then secure the port of Beirut and the approaches to the city. A total of 3,234 personnel and more than 2,310 tons of equipment were airlifted for the Army in 242 aircraft. All operations had gone according to plan, and conditions remained stable until a new government was installed in Lebanon.
During Operation Bluebat, one U.S. soldier was killed by sniper fire and four others died in accidents during what a Pentagon spokesman told the New York Times on 16 July was “not war, but like war.”
Operation Bluebat was a nominal test of power. Because its amphibious and air landings were unopposed, the operation has been recorded in history only as a brief note.
Jul 14, 2006
As many of you may or may not know, at this very moment there is a war raging in Middle East and I'm not talking about Iraq. Israeli qovernment launched the full scale attack on its neighbours, the Lebanese. The airstrikes came after Israel's Cabinet authorized a "severe and harsh" response to the Wednesday kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah guerrillas. Some would expect anti terrorist special units to be sent in attempt of rescuing those soldiers or something like that, but no, when you are United States' special ally and you're filling their pockets with billions, you can simply nuke the god damned state. Does anyone care? The Israelis are targetting international civil airport, highways, country's infrastructure, even the centre of Beirut. With more than 60 civilians dead at this moment on the Lebanese side you can find on CNN only the headlines like: "Hezbollah fires missiles into six Israeli towns. An Israeli naval ship off the coast of Lebanon was damaged by what appeared to be a rocket.Israeli woman, grandson reported killed by a rocket..."
US are condemning Lebanon, Iran and Syria for "sparkling up" the crisis. George Bush says that every country must protect itself from the terrorist attacks...
What the hell is going on here? When Serbia was protecting itself from the terrorists back in nineties on its soil(yes I'm talking about Kosovo), it was bombed by those same Americans for using excessive force and we were using footsoldiers. Now, Israel can launch what really is a barbaric aggression on a sovereign country recognized by the UN and get away with it? Missiles hit bridges, fuel depos in Beirut leaving hundreds without electricity, highway the only way out from Lebanon after the airport was destroyed and that should make the Lebanese get rid of Hezbollah? I don't think so. The Jews were the victims once, but that was long ago...
The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers July 11 following violent clashes in the disputed Shebaa Farms area along Israel's northern border with Lebanon. The effects of this latest provocation against Israel will extend well beyond Israel's volatile borderlands.
Israel is now experiencing one of its worst nightmares: major flare-ups on both its northern and western borders. Israeli military strategy is designed exclusively to undermine the confidence of its Arab neighbors, split Arab alliances to the best of its ability and avoid a situation in which it faces multiple conflicts and its forces are stretched in different directions. With all of the above taking place, the Israeli government is locked down in a crisis that involves a number of key players in the region.
With the United States in the picture, Israel cannot resort to launching a widespread military offensive against its Arab neighbors to convince them to back down and think twice about future provocations against the Jewish state. The United States simply cannot deal with a regional crisis while it remains bogged down in Iraq. Washington also does not want Israeli actions to jeopardize its negotiations with Tehran over Iraq. However as we saw in operation bluebat it only takes few thousands of airborne troops with heavy air support. They would also need an airport though...
Israel will most likely sustain an aggressive military campaign in both its northern and western fronts. The idea is to wear down Hezbollah and Hamas in an extended military confrontation through calibrated attacks. These attacks are designed to destroy critical infrastructure and alienate Hamas and Hezbollah from the civilians affected by the airstrikes in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.
However, that scenario didn't work earlier...(in Serbia for e.g. when airstrikes united civilians and government in fury over mindless destruction), the terrorist acts will continue on both sides. But who is the greater terrorist now?
The Israelis were not kidding when soon after the abduction of the Israeli soldier by Hamas they said this crisis will be a long one.