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Today every country has grudges with its neighbouring countries for various past issues. Such hatred leads to situations like war. Such an incident took place with Israel and Lebanon, where an issue broke down in the form of war. Although the world had already watched many battles, this was slightly different as most conflicts were related to financial reasons, while some were for past malice. The cause behind this war was to release the Lebanon prisoners. Lebanon had proposed a lot of time for releasing them, but Israel refused every time. This refusal led to a massive war between both of these countries.
The war emerged from the Hezbollah cross-border raid in 2006. On 12th July 2006, rockets were fired by the Hezbollah fighters at the towns near the borders at the Israeli side. Although this was a diversion so that they could complete their primary objectives. It was to destroy the two armoured Humvees paroling Israeli side of the border by an anti-tank missile. They aimed to capture Israeli soldiers and demand the Israeli Government to release the Lebanon citizens prisoned in Israel. By this attack, three soldiers died immediately, but two remained alive and were seized by the Hezbollah. Israel Defence Forces (IDF) carried out rescue operation for their soldiers, but it failed. So they retaliate with airstrikes and artillery. They attacked not only Hezbollah military targets but also the civilian infrastructure in Lebanon like Beirut's Rafic Hariri International Airport. They even began with ground invasion in Southern Lebanon and imposed an air and naval blockade on Lebanon.
This situation diverted the mind of the Government of India to Lebanon. They began their processes of planning the evacuation and all the required paperwork. Sri Lanka and Nepal also requested the Indian Government to get their citizens back because of lack of power and resources.
Flying into Lebanon was not possible because it had become a no-fly zone, so the people had to be evacuated through the sea route to a safe place and air-route from there. Thus, the Indian Navy Task Force 54 which was returning from the Mediterranean or were appointed for carrying this evacuation. This task force including the destroyer INS Mumbai, the frigates INS Brahmaputra, INS Betwa and the fleet tanker INS Shakti was about o cross the Suez Cross where they were notified about the situation and ordered to reach the Lebanon port. They had to evacuate the people from Lebanon and leave them in Cyprus, and Air India would Airlift them from Cyprus to India. While en route to such war zone, ensuring the safety is very important anyone can attack from any side, so seven helicopters of the task force itself were deployed to ensure the safety of these vessels.
20th July 2006
23rd July 2006
26th July 2006
23rd July 2006
23rd July 2006
The task force had one more option for evacuation, which was INS Shakti. However, it was not deployed for front-line evacuation because it was vulnerable without rapid reaction defence system. Although it was used as the supporting ship for providing fuel and related resources for other vessels and it also had provisions for the evacuees on other ships. In this operation, around 2300 people including 1764 Indians, 112 Sri Lankans, 64 Nepalese and 7 Lebanese citizens with Indian spouse were evacuated.
Indian Navy, especially the ships which executed the evacuation, played a vital role in this operation. India had already performed such evacuation, so planning this one was not a difficult job. Although the situations had changed so, this became a hurdle in this process.
Salam to the navy force!
Very Great sir