Beirut could be ‘reduced to rubble’ as Israel seeks Lebanon resolution within weeks

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun30,2024

Israel is prepared to use the full might of its armed forces to “reduce Beirut to rubble” in the next few weeks if a diplomatic solution with Hezbollah isn’t found, a senior IDF commander said.

Speaking just five miles from the Lebanese border, Lt Col Yarden said Israel was determined to enable tens of thousands of Israeli families to return to their homes.

More than 60,000 Israeli men, women and children were forced to evacuate homesteads within 30 miles of the border to become “internal refugees” after October 7, when Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement began a barrage of rocket attacks in support of Hamas in Gaza.

“Kids have lost the entire year of school. It has been a tragedy. It is one one of the prettiest areas in the country – both tourism and agriculture are dead,’ said Lt Col Yarden, an IDF brigade commander who cannot reveal his full name for security reasons,

“Whether through diplomacy or force this situation must be resolved by September. Our children cannot afford to miss another year of school.”

Last night it emerged that some Israelis were disobeying orders and sneaking into the forbidden zone at night to harvest crops in readiness for a mass return.

With IDF troops expected to leave Gaza within two weeks, all focus will be across Israel’s northern border into Lebanon, from where Hezbollah has an arsenal of 140,000 rockets and missiles, and commando forces ready to invade.

“We are fighting a defensive battle coupled with offensive strikes to destroy Hezbollah assets,” said Lt Col Yarden, a reservist whose other occupation is in mergers and acquisitions.

Israel has already carried out 6,000 airstrikes, displacing 100,000 Lebanese citizens and killed 500 activists of whom 80 per cent were “Hezbollah terrorists”

Adressing journalists attached to the Europe Israel press Associaiton, he added: “I have been here for nine months and we are training for any possibility.

“We will send a very large force. It will be a full effort by every element of the IDF. Of course, we know historically that when it comes to war with Lebanon, it means using ground troops. “

He acknowledged that Hezbollah was using capable precision- guided anti tank weapons and sophisticated UAVs

“I don’t want to belittle the enemy – they are well-trained and heavily funded by Iran,’ he said.

“They fire from civilian homes in Lebanon and target civilian homes here. They have capable and advanced precision-guided anti-tank missiles, and there has also been an advancement in UAVS. This is why we withdrew our people.

“But we need to remove Hezbollah forces from 7 miles of the border. We have a massive force and it’s ready to go, and they will be destroyed.

“If I had a choice on which side of the fence I would be when war happens, I would choose this side.”

Iran’s UN mission threatened “obliterating war” if Israel launches offensive against Hezbollah.

Writing on the X social media platform , the Iranian UN mission said that if Israel were to launch a war on Hezbollah, “all options, including the full involvement of all resistance fronts, are on the table.”

Israel was aware of the, said Lt Col Yarden, adding: “There is a concern, of course, that if there is an all out war with Lebanon, it won’t stay in Lebanon. This is something which other countries should consider, however.”

Israeli defence minster Yoav Gallant said: “[We are] preparing the military force and this can happen quickly.

“On the other hand, the political alternative is being prepared, it is always better.

“We are not looking for war but we are ready for it. And we will reach a junction, it will be a T junction both for the enemy and for us. If Hezbollah chooses to go to war, we will know what to do.

“If it chooses to go to an agreement, we will respond to this matter.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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