Update: Homeland Security advises stepped up vigilance in US:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Department ofÂ Homeland Security said on Sunday it was urging stepped-up vigilance for possible spillover from mounting Middle East violence. “We urge vigilance during this heightened state of tension in the Middle East,” although there was no specific or credible information suggesting an imminent threat to the United States, the department said in a joint assessment with the FBI.
As nations scramble to see what they can do to evacuate the war zone, six Canadians are hit by an Israeli attack on Hizbullah. This heightens the urgency, but hopes and means for evacuation are diminishing with harbors in range of indiscriminate Hizbullah rockets, and the BeirutÂ airport unusable. I would wager that sometime soon there will be a short window of cease-fire while evacs happen.
The United States is working on a plan to evacuate American citizens from Lebanon to the neighboring island of Cyprus, the U.S. Embassy said Saturday.
“We are looking at how we might transport Americans to Cyprus. Once in Cyprus, Americans can then board commercial aircraft for onward travel,” an embassy statement said.
One possibility is to evacuate the Americans by helicopters to Cyprus.
The US had already been calling its citizens to consider leaving Lebanon once the conditions enable such a departure.
Jerusalem Post reports that Russian Presdent Putin is trying to gain the Israeli soldier’s release, however the G-8 consensus on the war contains measures that Israel might be reluctant to meet having seen all past agreements with these two terrorist groups unilaterally broken by them in the past.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sunday at the G8 summit in St. Petersburg that his country was in contact with a number of groups in an effort to secure the release of the three kidnapped IDF soldiers.
Putin added that he had reason to believe that the efforts were not in vain, Army Radio reported.
JPÂ also reports that the Hizbullah chain of command in Southern Lebanon is much diminished but still functioning.Â
Other sources are firming up the fact that many of the armaments Hizbullah is using are from Iran, and that Hizbullah trained in Iran.
London, Asharq Al-Awsat- According to a source close to a high-ranking official in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Teheran has supplied Hezbollah with approximately 11,500 missiles and projectiles.
The source said more than 3,000 Hezbollah members have undergone training in Iran, which included guerilla warfare, firing missiles and artillery, operating unmanned drones, marine warfare and conventional war operations. He said they have also trained 50 pilots for the past two years.
According to the source, Hezbollah currently possesses four types of surface-to-surface missiles, some of which extend to a distance of 150 kilometers.