Sharon To Use Iraq War As Cover For An Attack On Lebanon
LONDON. -- Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has given the go-ahead for the army to launch an attack on thousands of Hizbullah rockets in south Lebanon during hostilities in Iraq, an Israeli security source has told the London Sunday Times.
The paper quoted the source, an officer in the IDF's anti-terror branch, as saying that "it is clear to us that Hizbullah is our job in the war against terrorism."
"If they are stupid enough to open a second front during the war with Iraq, it will give us a great pretext," the source was quoted as saying. "But we'll hit them in any case."
Hizbullah has expanded its presence along the border since Israel evacuated the security zone almost three years ago and now has more than 20 outposts, from the Mediterranean to the Syrian border.
Hizbullah is believed to have some 10,000 rockets, mostly short-range Katyushas, but the real cause for concern are Iranian-made Zelzal-2 and Fajr rockets, which could strike Haifa and Tel Aviv.
The longer-range missiles are said to be under the control of Iranian Revolutionary Guards based in the Beka'a Valley of east Lebanon.
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz is said to be a strong advocate of military action against Hizbullah.
The Sunday Times quoted military sources as saying any operation in Lebanon would not involve a fresh occupation and could be over in a day: "We are talking here about a very swift operation based on good intelligence regarding the whereabouts of the secret locations of the missiles," said one source.
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