We’ve remarked several times on how hard it is to get a fix on how the fighting in Lebanon is going. This Associated Press article, titled “Israel launches attack deep in Lebanon,” suggests that the battle is going better for the Israelis than we might have thought:
In southern Lebanon on Tuesday, troops battled guerrillas after Israel ordered its army to punch all the way to the Litani River. Thousands of troops were operating along the Israel-Lebanon border. Additional soldiers crossed into Lebanon on Tuesday, Israeli defense officials said, joining forces already fighting there.
Thousands of reservists, called up over the weekend, also were gathering at staging areas on the Israeli side of the border, ready to join the battles and extend the invasion.
There has been a very significant reduction in the number of rockets Hezbollah is able to fire at Israeli civilians:
Hezbollah fired just 10 rockets across the border Tuesday, well below an average of about 100 a day since the fighting began 21 days ago, Israel said.
But the Hezbollah casualty figures seem disappointing:
Israeli Cabinet Minister Haim Ramon said the fighting to date had killed about 300 of Hezbollah’s main force of 2,000 fighters, which does not include its less-well trained reserves. “That’s a very hard blow,” he said.
Not hard enough. It’s no time for a cease-fire.