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Special Forces Raid in Baal-bek (IDF) ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES) Thursday 03/08/2006 13:03) Source: http://www1.idf.il/DOVER/site/mainpage.asp?sl=EN&id=7&docid=55483&Pos=3&last=1&bScope=True
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IDF air and ground special forces conducted a precise surgical raid yesterday in the municipality of Baal-bek. The target of the raid was a hospital known to be used by the Hezbollah terror organization as a one of its headquarters. Hezbollah weapons, computers, computer storage media, and a large amount of vital intelligence materials were seized. Ten terrorists were killed during the operation and five others were captured by Israeli forces. There were no IDF or civilian casualties.
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All IDF forces returned safely to their bases. The operation was praised as an intelligence and operational success and demonstrated yet again the long reach of the IDF in its fight against terror and terrorists, no matter where they are.
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In the afternoon Lieutenant General Dan Halutz, the Chief of Staff, expressed his thoughts on the mission. "The end result of this undertaking is still unclear to us, because we collected a lot of materials and we still need to analyze them, to decipher them, and to understand from them what we brought with us," he said. "But I have no doubt that we will find further benefits of this operation, because part of them are still hidden from view since we haven´t had time to verify the quality of the items we brought."
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Aircraft, Air Force commandos
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"Baal-bek is a central Hezbollah stronghold in the Bekaa Valley, and constitutes the organization´s home front and command and control center in the area. This was warfare that required the exacting coordination of ground and air forces. The forces attained their targets and returned to their bases safely," said Brigadier General Yochanan Loker, an Air Force wing commander.
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"This special operation, commanded by the Commander of the Israel Air Force, included airplanes, helicopters and other types of aircraft. The ground part included the Air Force´s commando unit and another commando unit, one of IDF´s special forces units." The operation served the wider campaign by striking at Hezbollah targets, infrastructure, and logistics.
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Colonel Nitzan, who commanded the operation, explained: "Two commando units landed in the city with the help of helicopters and advanced to their targets. Four terrorists who caught the force´s attention were killed. During takeover of the building Hezbollah reinforcements arrived, and they were struck by the commando forces and air support."
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Brigadier General Loker: Operation had profound discipline
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"The city is located in close proximity to the Syrian border, enjoys air defense with supplementary air defense from Syria missile batteries, is defended by anti-aircraft and shoulder-launched missiles in the possession of Hezbollah," said Brigadier General Loker. "IDF and the Air Force demonstrated their long reach, their ability to get to every location in which Hezbollah chooses to situate itself, even if it turns a hospital into its headquarters."
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"This operation and warfare in places in the heart of territory in which Hezbollah feels secure, immune, under these different protective umbrellas, had very profound operational discipline," Loker concluded. (Copyright © 2006 Israel Defense Forces. 08/03/06)
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