Thursday, August 10, 2006

Lunchmap, 10/08

Today's updated Google Earth overlay is here. It seems that the right flank march, long predicted here, is now underway. A new Israeli armoured division has appeared in the north and is moving north through Khiam (yup, where the UNTSO guys were until that unfortunate contretemps with the six-hour artillery barrage) and Marjayoun. This is the fourth division to be employed, therefore a one-third increase in force. However, note that it's not (at the moment) heading west down the Litani Valley to envelop the Hezbollah force in the south - it's going north, into the upper Litani valley.

There are two possible explanations for this. One is that the Israelis have decided to go down the river on the north bank as well as the south, and they are seizing the start-line for this movement, perhaps also doing the rumoured move towards Nabatiyeh to get rid of rocket teams said to be firing from this area. The other is that they are going much further into Lebanon, either up the river into the Beka'a or else over the Druze Chouf mountains towards Beirut. Either of these would require more than one division, and the other in the Kiryat Shmona area will be needed in part as a flank guard in the Litani bend (note that the Golani brigade has been pulled out to rest).

The first would make more sense, but then, nothing in this war makes much sense.

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