Lt. Col. Emmanuel Moreno, 35, from Tlalim, one of Sayeret Matkal’s most outstanding commanders, was killed in Saturday pre-dawn raid nearf Baalbek. Two Hizballah were taken prisoner.
Two Israeli soldiers were injured – one seriously. Three Hizballah were killed. The IDF reports the commando unit’s mission was accomplished.
A high-ranking officer commented on the report that the unit returned with two Hizballah prisoners: “Undercover wars cannot be fought through the media. We carried out our mission and brought home what was necessary.”
debkafile‘s military sources add that the Bodai covert mission was one of a series the IDF has been carrying out against Hizballah’s clandestine units since the Lebanon war began. These units are made up of Hizballah’s top specialists in terrorism and undercover combat and are more dangerous than the men in the field.
One of the objectives of the Israeli commando raid was to disable one of these units and bring members back for interrogation. The commandoes were dropped outside Bordai, at a distance from the target. As the two Hummer vehicles landed with them carried the troops along the Bordai stream, air force helicopters fired rockets to destroy the bridges and cut the area off from Baalbek. The helicopters with warplane cover tried to prevent Hizballah forces from severing the Israeli force’s line of retreat. An exchange of fire ensued in which Lt. Col. Moreno lost his life.