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Why did IDF land incursions extend only until the protrusion of Metulla to the East?

I'm not exactly sure what "Metulla" refers to on the map. I heard of a village near Mt Hermon, but I guess you are refering to a region?

I'm assuming for this comment you're asking "Why didn't the IDF go into places like "El Khiam" and "Chebaa" (and the area around and between them, on your map.

  1. Who knows the mind of military planners?

  2. More seriously, they may have had PR reasons (when designing the offensive) to not wish to draw attention to the Shebaa situation. Likewise, the design may have included earlier fears about ground forces too close to Syria bringing unwanted attention from the Syrians.

  3. They really believed bombing was the key and never intended even the level of ground operations they undertook. Thus, obvious (looking at the map) territory maneuvers weren't the issue. That is to say, the ground force attacks were not planned in advance and so occured in an ad hoc manner, depending on where the rockets landing on Israeli towns seemed to be coming from.

  4. Or, if you look at the map of undertaken attacks, it looks a lot like the political imperative was to annex the territory along the line of the Litani. Maybe turn it into a buffer zone or something. If we consider that the Israelis never expected the level of world opinion outcry to reach what it did, then the strategy of annexation makes sense in terms of the offensives undertaken:

a) Strike along the Litani towards the coast, encircling the desired territory.

b) Push troops from the south up toward the Litani.

c) Strike towards Marjayoun to prevent resupply and reserves from Metulla coming to the rescue of resistance south of the Litani.

All this is predicated on the idea that the Israelis thought they would have easier time of it than they did on the ground. And that they estimated they could conduct an operation to "annex" south of the Litani, then hold it for negotiations to turn it into a buffer zone or something.

That's a pile of speculation, but it's hard to draw more out of the limited information available.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Aug 25th, 2006 at 07:10:33 AM EST
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