August 12, 2006
By Ali Al-Hail
The turning point in the war between Hizbullah and Israel since July 12th has certainly, been Hizbullah’s anti tank missiles. The supposedly, fourth generation of Israeli most advanced tank ‘Merkava’, has since Israel began its ground offensive on July 19th, been significantly, deactivated.
By using Russian-made Metis-M and European-made Milan anti-tank missiles by Hizbullah, according to reports more than 40 Merkava tanks had been destroyed, including killing or injuring their crews. The AP (AP, Saturday August 5), was reported to have circulated that, during two days only, Thursday August 3rd and Wednesday August 2nd , Hizbullah fighters had fired anti-tank missiles at three Merkava tanks. They were immediately, pierced and 7 soldiers of its squads had been, killed.
According to the Israeli Army, quoted by the AP (August 5th ) The Israeli-made Merkava tanks — mountains of steel that, are vaunted as symbols of Israel’s military might. Despite this reputation, Hizbullah’s anti-tank missiles, according to reliable sources destroy routinely, an average of two Merkava tanks, on a daily basis.
This advanced progress by Hizbullah’s fighters, has succeeded, on one hand in restricting Israel within a maximum of 5 miles horizontally, inside the Lebanese borders. While on the other, had hindered Israel to reach South of the Litani River (18 miles from Israeli Lebanese borders). Israel has since July 19th been marketing to its people that, its army has controlled Bint Jbail, a two mile village from the borders.
Today, August 10th, it’s still talking about fierce and ferocious fighting with Hizbullah’s fighters, at Dibil village on the suburb of Bint Jbail. This resistance has made possible because of Hizbullah’s well made use of its anti-tank missiles.
Speculations and rumors began to spread about that, Hizbullah has over the past two years, been modifying the Metis-M and Milan anti-tank missiles. Though, these theories and anecdotes aren’t groundless, knowing Hizbullah’s aspirations to improving its military skills, they have not been officially, confirmed by Hizbullah.
Field reports from the AP and Jane’s Defense Weekly suggest that, most of the estimated 75 Israeli soldiers, including the elite troops from the Golani brigade were killed in their Merkava tanks by Hizbullah’s sophisticated missiles. Hizbullah’s tactics in utilizing the Metis and Milan anti-tank missiles, has answered the query as to why Israel had to delay its ground offensive.
Professor, Dr. Ali Al-Hail, Professor of Mass Communication, Twice Fulbright Award Winner, Fulbright Visiting Scholar, and Board Member of AUSACE ASC, IABD, NEBAA, BEA, IMDA and EAJMC American Associations.