With ten days of the War behind them, Israel and Egypt wee still fighting out a fierce tank battle in the Sinai Desert on Tuesday (16 Oct.).
With ten days of the War behind them, Israel and Egypt wee still fighting out a fierce tank battle in the Sinai Desert on Tuesday (16 Oct.). However, details of the engagements were scant as newsmen were being kept away from the front on the Israeli side, giving rise to some speculation that a counter-offensive may be in the offing.
The Israelis were claiming that the fighting was going on not only in Sinai, but also on the Western Bank of the Suez Canal, Prime Minister Golda Meir made this disclosure to the Knesset (Parliament) and a military spokesman added that a task force had been operating behind Egyptian lines for 24 hours since Monday night (15 October). He said they were attacking Egyptian artillery, armour and anti-aircraft missile systems inn what he described as "a commando type operation".
Mrs. Meir said that though the war was in full swing, the Egyptian impetus had been halted two days earlier (Sunday). She claimed there had been considerable success" in blocking the Egyptian advance.
In Cairo, President Sadat spoke of "a big war and a long war". And he warned that Egyptian missiles wee ready "at any minute" to strike deep into Israel. In an address to the nation before the National Assembly he said Egypt had recognised the responsibility of using the "Al Zafer" rockets and had held back from putting them into operation.
An Egyptian communique claimed that on Monday night Egyptian forces had destroyed 34 Israeli planes, 21 tanks and three naval vessels.
SYNOPSIS: After ten days of warfare, Israeli and Egyptian forces and amour on Tuesday continued their intense fight in the Sinai Desert. Details of the battle were scant as newsman were being kept away from the Israeli side of the front, giving rise to some speculation that Israel was preparing a counter-offensive.
Over two days a pattern emerged in which both sides appeared to suffer heavy losses, but neither would give ground, Speaking to Parliament, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir said that the Egyptian impetus had been halted on Sunday and there had been considerable successes in blocking enemy advances. It was Mrs. Meir who first disclosed that an Israeli unit had crossed to the West bank of the Suez Canal.
A military spokesman in Tel Aviv claimed that commando operations were being conducted against Egyptian artillery, armour and anti-aircraft missile systems of the opposite side of the waterway. For their part,the Egyptians claimed to have destroyed 34 Israeli planes, 21 tanks and three naval vessels during Monday night. In the Sinai, Egyptian tanks, such as this one, would occasionally make swift forays forward to try and outflank the enemy.
The artillery, tank and air battle appears to be continuing day in, day out, along the hundred miles of the front. Both sides are becoming well dug in and President Anwar Sadat may have described the situation preciously when he spoke in Cairo of "a big war and a long war".
It remains to be seen whether the war will remain in Sinai, or whether the Egyptian leader will use long range missiles to strike deep into Israel.