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in the Israel-Lebanon sector
The following information on developments in the Israel-Lebanon sector up to 1215 1/ on 15 March 1978 has been received from the Chief of Staff of UNTSO:
1. On l4 March 1978, between 2240 and 2340, United Nations military observers reported Israeli air activity in the vicinity of OP Khiam (AMR 2071-3025), 2/ OP Ras (AMR 1920-2785), Tyre, Nabatiye and Ras El Baiyada (AMR 1660-2852). Additionally, mortar fire initiated from Israeli territory was reported impacting in Naqoura and tank fire in Maroun Er Ras.
2. On 15 March, at 0024, IDF 3/ issued a statement announcing that IDF forces had, begun a short while earlier a mopping-up operation along the Lebanese frontier.
3. At 03155 Naqoura Outstation reported that a tank force of unknown size coming from the south was passing through Naqoura heading north. Additionally, six boats were observed firing into Tyre. Information received from ILMAC 4/ as of 0400 indicated that IDF had launched air attacks against targets in the vicinity of Maroun Er Ras, Bent Jbail, Nabatiye, Saddiqine and north of El Khiam and that mortar, artillery and tank fire was impacting in and around El Khiam, Maroun Er Ras Naqoura, Tyre, Ett Taibe and Ras El Baiyada. UNTSO headquarters lost contact with Naqoura Outstation. at about 0326, but the outstation was back on the air at 0400. By that time, Naqoura and its vicinity were reported to be under IDF control, and the outstation was no longer free to report.
4. At 0422, ILMAC headquarters reported that the United Nations military observe at the Naqoura Outstation were being escorted to safety by IDF forces while some buildings in the area were being demolished. Similar developments were reported to have taken place at OP Ras.
5. At 0930, UNTSO reported that the military operation launched by IDF was still progress. IDF forces appeared to be in control of Naqoura, Maroun Er Has, Bent Jbail and El Khiam. They were reported to be proceeding towards Ebel El Saqi with ground and armoured forces. Israeli naval vessels continued to shell the vicinity of Tyre.
6. At 1215, UNTSO reported that a IDF bombing attack was in progress in Beirut, The attack was carried out by three F-4 Phantom aircraft using machine-guns and bombs in strikes against a Palestinian refugee camp south of Beirut. UNTSO also reported that OP Has and its bunker had been destroyed. Some buildings at Naqoura Outstation were also destroyed, and others suffered substantial damage. All UNTSO personnel were reported to be safe.
1/ All times GMT.
2/ AMR - approximate map reference.
3/ Israeli Defence Forces.
4/ Israel-Lebanon Mixed Armistice Commission.