Israel approves wider ground offensive
Updated: 2006-08-01 08:35
Syrian President Bashar Assad called on his army Monday to increase readiness
to cope with "regional challenges." Travelers from Syria have reported that some
reservists have been called up for military duty - a sign that Syria is
concerned the fighting in Lebanon could spill over.
Thousands of Lebanese took advantage of the lull in airstrikes to make a dash
for safety farther north after weeks trapped in homes in the war zone, afraid to
move because of intense missile strikes on roads.
Across the south, cars and trucks packed with women and children, mattresses
strapped to the roofs and white flags streaming from the windows, made their way
to the coast, then turned north. They passed flattened houses, shattered trees
and burned-out cars strewn on the roadside.
At one point north of Tyre, vehicles gingerly made their way around a
gigantic crater half filled with water into which a car had toppled when a
In Qana, grocer Hassan Faraj - who had sworn a day earlier never to
leave - jumped at the chance to escape. He shuttered his shop and loaded
his wife and child into a van to go north into the mountains.
"My mother is very unwell, I must go and see her," he said, explaining his
change of mind and insisting he was just dropping off his family to return.
Aid groups were caught off guard by the sudden break and struggled to rush
aid to the south.
Outside Marjayoun, a U.N. peacekeepers' convoy carrying food found the
bridges across the Litani destroyed. So the trucks drove across the knee-deep
waters. Indian peacekeepers assembled a ramp out of stones to get them up the
steep opposite bank.