Beirut Largely Unscathed as Israel Targets Hizballah Strongholds
Lebanese spokesmen have characterized Israel’s air campaign as a systematic destruction of Beirut, while news reports have shown images of what appears to be widespread devastation. In reality, an overwhelming majority of the city remains untouched. Israel’s strikes are targeted on Hizballah strongholds, which are largely centered in the city’s southwestern corner and in its southern suburbs. To minimize civilian casualties, Israel has dropped leaflets and taken other steps to urge civilians to leave the areas before attacking specific Hizballah command-and-control locations. The map below illustrates the limited scope of Israel’s air campaign in Beirut and its southern suburbs.
1. Hizballah’s Main Compound: Located south of Beirut proper. The Haret Hraik neighborhood has served as the headquarters of Hizballah. The area is a gated compound controlled by Hizballah, creating a mini city within a city where only Hizballah leaders and commanders live,
2. Suburban Hizballah Strongholds: These suburbs well south of the densely populated areas of Beirut are the key strongholds of Hizballah. Many Hizballah officials have offices and live in this area.
3. The Beirut Airport: Israel targeted the airport runways to prevent Hizballah from flying the two captured Israeli soldiers out of the country and from receiving additional weapons by air. Israel is now allowing planes carrying humanitarian supplies to land.
4. Hizballah’s Beirut Stronghold: The site of Hizballah command-and-control centers and weapons storage facilities, This is one of the few Beirut city locations targeted by Israel.
5. Radar Station: Radar station targeted to prevent Hizballah from using the radar to fire more sophisticated missiles. Lebanese coastal radars were used in Hizballah’s deadly attack on an Israeli Navy ship and in the sinking of an Egyptian civilian vessel.
6. Weapons Storage Facilities: Israel has targeted Hizballah weapons transport and storage facilities and fuel depots in the area of the seaport.