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Israel Withdraws, Hezbollah Claims Victory

From the terrorist lovers at Reuters:

Israeli soldiers walk together after leaving Lebanon near the Israeli-Lebanon border August 15, 2006 in this picture released by the Israeli Defense Forces.

Israel begins withdrawal

By Lin Noueihed

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Israeli forces began leaving parts of south Lebanon on Tuesday as a U.N. truce largely held for a second day and the Lebanese army prepared to move south.

Thousands of refugees who had fled the month-long war between Israel and Hizbollah headed home to battered villages in the south.

In northern Israel, residents also returned after weeks away from their homes to escape cross-border Hizbollah rocket fire.

The Israeli army, which had poured 30,000 troops into the south to fight the Shi'ite Muslim guerrillas, plans to start handing over some pockets of territory to U.N. troops in a day or two, Israeli officials and Western diplomats said.

Israel's top general, Dan Halutz, said Israeli forces could complete a withdrawal within 7 to 10 days, army radio reported.

In line with the U.N. Security Council resolution that halted the fighting, the Lebanese army will begin moving 15,000 troops south of the Litani River on Thursday, a senior political source said. The force is assembling at various army bases.

"As we speak, the army is readying the force," the source said, adding that Lebanese units would stay out of areas occupied by Israeli troops until U.N. peacekeepers move in.

Lebanese Defense Minister Elias al-Murr has said the army will not disarm Hizbollah guerrillas in the south.

The truce remains fragile. Israeli soldiers shot five Hizbollah fighters in two incidents in Lebanon on Tuesday, the Israeli army said. It was not known whether any had been killed.

The army also said four Hizbollah mortar bombs landed near its troops overnight, causing no casualties. On Monday Israeli troops killed at least one guerrilla after the truce.

Israel's quicker withdrawal plans reflect concern that its forces on the ground are easy targets for Hizbollah attack

So much for all that talk about the Israelis staying until sufficient forces could prevent Hezbollah from moving back into southern Lebanon.

It sure looks like Ahmadinejad is telling the truth for once.

From the DNC's Associated Press:

Ahmadinejad says Hezbollah victorious

TEHRAN, Iran – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that Hezbollah has "hoisted the banner of victory" over Israel and toppled U.S.-led plans for the Middle East.

Iran and Syria are the main backers of the Islamic militant group. Ahmadinejad struck a tone similar to an earlier address in Damascus by Syrian President Bashar Assad, who said Washington's plans for the region have become "an illusion" after the 34-day conflict in Lebanon ended Monday with a cease-fire.

"God's promises have come true," Ahmadinejad told a huge crowd in Arbadil in northwestern Iran. "On one side, it's corrupt powers of the criminal U.S. and Britain and the Zionists …. with modern bombs and planes. And on the other side is a group of pious youth relying on God."

Both sides claimed success after more than a month of fighting between Israel and Hezbollah ended Monday with a cease-fire. Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah declared "strategic, historic victory" against Israel. But Israel and its main backer, the United States portrayed the Islamic militant group as the loser — and by extension, its main backers, Iran and Syria.

Ahmadinejad said Hezbollah foiled plans for nations seeking "to create the so-called new Middle East … a Middle East that would be under the domination the U.S., Britain and Zionists."

"The people of the region are also after the new Middle East but a Middle East that is free from U.S. and British domination," he told the crowd, which including many people waving Hezbollah banners and Iranian flags.

"They imagined that they can destroy the unity and resistance of the Lebanese people and stabilize their power but failed," he said.

He said the Hezbollah resistance also destroyed the image of Israel as an unbeatable military power.

"(Israel) was defeated … and (Hezbollah) hoisted the banner of victory," he said.

This is a tremendous setback in the war on terror.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, August 15th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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