Which attacks are you referring to when you say "There were certainly IDF on the ground prior to the attacks"?
Not the first small land incursion on the 12th but the later airstrikes on Hez supplies. The rumours were that Mossad/Sayeret Matkal (I had to google the name) were operating on the ground before the attacks on the Hez munitions dump in S.Beirut. Whilst they have been just rumours, as I've mentioned, we saw the aftermath of an exfil by some sort of sneaky types via the IDF's 669 unit. The IDF SF also conducted
snatch operations in the North of Lebanon via helicopter of course.
Most of the spotting was done by drones (known as MK or Mother Camels due to translation error!) and certainly a strike would be proceeded by the buzzing of it's engine. However the Lebs reckoned that there were FO on the ground too.
In 2006 however, the IDF was shamefully unprepared for the attack by Hezbollah. The then Prime Minister, Olmert, was a peace orientated non-former military type. The IDF CoGS was an air force type who apparently thought everything could be done by air. As a result we paid a very high price in lives and health.
I made it down to the Litani River a few times and the duty rumours there were that the Hez prepared positions had taken their toll on a number of IDF AFV.
It was here that I experienced, for the first time, what an air attack is like: basically I was completely unaware until a Lebanese Army lorry disappeared in a flash and then about 30 seconds later I heard the a/c.
Note: it was a Lebanese (LAF) column that was being attacked and we just happened to be close to it. The driver survived because he was having a piss against a tree.
Your accounts of the scenes there are interesting btw.
Full disclaimer: I was working for Fox News at the time: hence Hez's slightly combative attitude to my activities. We had people on both sides of the border. We could see the rockets launch and then watch the sat feed via New York, to see our blokes in Haifa running about taking cover.
The interviews in Dixie (our code for Israel) were always with very 'American' IDF spokespeople and the viewers back home in the States lapped it up. Not helped by our journos referring on air to the IDF advance by saying 'We are rolling over the border...'
I've always wondered if some the strikes were from naval vessels?