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Hizballah Declares 'Open War' After HQ Strike

With intelligence that Hizballah’s leader was inside, Israel launched an airstrike on Nassam Nasrallah’s headquarters and home. An audio tape was aired by Hizballah’s al-Manar television station declaring that Hizballah was now going to engage in “open war.” That it was not a video recorded statement leaves open the possibility that he may have been injured but not wish it to be known.

Hizballah HQ StrikeOn the tape, Nasrallah praised a Hizballah attack on an Israeli warship, an attack reportedly executed by loading an Iranian-supplied unmanned drone with explosives. Nasrallah said that this was “only the beginning.” Israelis fear a similar attack on its nuclear power plant.

Throughout the day, Hizballah fired over 50 rockets into Israeli towns. Thursday’s 100+ Katyusha rocket barrage into twenty Israeli cities has hardened Israel’s resolve to address the threat forthwith and decisively.

The Israelis also clearly hold Hizballah’s terror masters and arms suppliers responsible, undaunted in the face of bellicose threats from Iran that were no less present long before any Israeli action. Unlike Iran, Syria - Hizballah’s co-state sponsor - has offered few words in bellicosity, as they do not enjoy the same two-nation geographic buffer from the fearsome and determined Israeli war machine suddenly stirred into action at Iran’s direction.

At a special meeting at the UN Security Council requested by Lebanon, the Lebanese special envoy’s language was harsh, accusing Israel of trying to bring Lebanon to its knees. Israeli UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman asserted that many in the Lebanese government secretly back Israel’s actions to smash Hizballah. He was direct with Lebanon’s Nouhad Mahmoud for the emergency Security Council session, saying “You know deep in your heart that if you could, you would be sitting here right next to me right now because you know that we are doing the right thing and that if we succeed, Lebanon would be the beneficiary.”

While refusing to call on Israel to cease operations, President Bush did say that he would urge Israel to ‘limit harm’ in their attacks on Hizballah. This is no small task against an un-uniformed opposing force that, as a strategic design, places itself among its civilian population, and the principal reason there have been over 70 Lebanese civilians killed in the Israeli operations.

But, with an un-uniformed enemy such as Hizballah and their Iranian IRGC mentors – a sort of Blue Jean Brigades – who is to distinguish between innocent civilians and Hizballah in plain clothes among the dead? Observers should consider that here have been no figures released on Hizballah deaths at the hands of a highly precise Israeli military.