Small news item


The town of Fih-el-Koura in North Lebanon was attacked today. According to several local residents, backed up by a phone call to a government office, a broadcast tower suffered a rocket attack of some kind. No word on what kind of ordnance was used or what type of vehicle did the bombing, though given Fih's altitude (427 meters above sea level), I'd expect it was an airborne rather than sea-based attack. No casualties reported. There are two antennae in Fih: You can see the one in the center of town in the second thumbnail on this page, and the other in the last thumbnail. Given the lack of casualties I'd expect it's the second; there are some watchmen, a road, and a few new homes in the area of that one, but it's not directly in a population center. All cellular and broadcast communications are out in the area, which may be a result of that attack or several others that occured today, including one that knocked out an LBC tower. [Update: LBC is reporting that the tower fell on some houses, but does not mention any casualties, and also says one of its employees was killed in the attack on a tower in the Keserwan mountains.]

Context: Fih is pretty much as far north as you can go in Lebanon, about two-and-a-half hours' drive from Beirut. It has not suffered any violence since the late 1970s, when it was the site of a battle between the Syrian Social Nationalist Party and a Maronite militia backed up by the Syrian army. It has never before been attacked from the air.

By passing this bit of data along I am neither bellyaching that people I know have become part of foreign policy nor passing along propaganda on direct orders from my handler Hassan Nasrallah. This information hasn't been reported anywhere else, and I am one of the few people who believe that more information is always better than less.

Update: This is all third-person testimony from a stateside family member, i.e., hearsay and inadmissable in court. A technician known to local folks was badly injured, no details on the injury. First name Khaled, last name unknown. Age about 45. Originally from Mena/Tripoli but known and liked by people in Fih. Studied at University of St. Joseph, a French school, then got a job running the antenna. Description of the attack: A warplane firing a laser-guided projectile. People in the area are said to have seen the attacking plane, which came in at a very low level off the ocean, broke the sound barrier over Fih proper, turned 360 degrees, came in again at a very low level off the ocean, and wiped out the tower with one shot. All this was told to me in a tone that was part sadness, part awe, and part I don't know but if I could get my hands on the Israeli sonofabitch that's flying that plane I'd give him a medal. Refer to the pictures above and you'll have a pretty good idea of the terrain: This tower is within 100 or 200 yards of the edge of the Fih valley, which faces the ocean. So it's essentially at the top of a cliff.