There were conflicting reports on Sunday (October 21) about the success of the Israeli task force on the West Bank of the Suez Canal, with both the Israelis and the Egyptians claiming to be on the offensive.
GV Israeli tank
GV Egyptian plane being struck by Israeli missile coming down and exploding
CU Israeli troops in tank
LV Explosion erupts in ball of flame and black smoke
GV Israeli tank force (2 shots)
GV Israeli troop carrier
GV PAN and CU burnt out and abandoned equipment
SV and CU Israeli troop carrier. Moshe Dayan and Army Chief of Staff David Elazar (2 shots)
GV and SV Egyptian helicopter bursts into flames. Pilot runs from wreckage with white cloth surrenders to Israeli tank crew (6 shots)
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Background: There were conflicting reports on Sunday (October 21) about the success of the Israeli task force on the West Bank of the Suez Canal, with both the Israelis and the Egyptians claiming to be on the offensive.
For their part, the Israelis said their forces deepened their thrust to points up to thirty kilometres (18 miles) past the Suez Canal while warding off counter-attacks by Egyptian armour.
Israeli Radio said the task force had destroyed Egyptian antiaircraft batteries and missile sites -- one of their main objectives. It said the Israeli force was supported from the air, and in dogfights on both sides of the Suez Canal, some 13 Egyptian planes were brought down - five of them on the West bank.
But the Egyptians said the Israelis had put three bridges across the Canal to link up with the task force. They said 83 Israeli tanks in the incursion force had been destroyed, along with 56 other armoured vehicles.
The Egyptians said the Israeli force had ranged up to about eight miles (13 kilometres) from its position on the West Bank and added that there was "absolutely no truth" in reports that Cairo was threatened.
They said Egyptian airforce and air defences went into action to foil any attempt to drop supplies from the air to the besieged Israeli forces.
Correspondents said ground fighting in the Suez zone was fiercest west of the Canal, with the Israelis exerting a old over an increasing area. They said the destruction of more than ten Egyptian missile sites had opened up a gap for Israeli planes to operate, and both bridges and aircraft were being used to ferry men and equipment over the Canal from Sinai.
Correspondents said the Israeli thrust appeared to be aimed at flanking the Egyptian forces and cutting off and disrupting the supply routes of the Egyptian Army entrenched along the Eastern bank of the Canal.
The Israelis refuse to discuss the number of troops they have west of the Canal, but Untied States military sources estimate there are 12,000 troops and about 200 tanks.
SYNOPSIS: Amid conflicting reports about the success of their mission, the Israelis issued this film on Saturday showing their task force on the West bank of the Suez Canal, tackling Egyptian forces on the land and in the air. Here, an Egyptian jet is knocked out by an Israeli missile. Lerael Radie claimed some thirteen Egyptian aircraft were brought down in dogfights on both sides of the Canal -- five of them on the West bank.
Both the Israelis and the Egyptians claim to have the upper hand in the fighting West of the Suez Canal. The Israelis said their forces deepened their thrust to points up to thirty-kilometres past the Canal while warding off counter-attacks by Egyptian armour.
Israel Radio said the task force had destroyed Egyptian anti-aircraft and missile sites -- one of their main objectives. But the Egyptians reported from Cairo that the Israelis had been encircled by their forces, and the elimination of the task force was well under way. The Egyptians claimed 83 Israeli tanks had been destroyed, and 56 other armoured vehicles.
The Israeli Defence Minister, Moshe Dayan and the Army Commander in Chief, David Elazar visited the incursion force, which -- according to correspondents -- is trying to flank the Egyptian force and to cut off supply routes to Egyptian troops dug in along the East Bank. United States military sources estimate there are 12,000 Israeli troops and 200 tanks west of the Canal.
Egyptian aircraft and helicopters have been a prime target for the Israeli anti-aircraft guns and missiles. As this helicopter burst into flames, an Egyptian crew member who managed to get out ran forward with a white handkerchief and surrendered to an Israeli tank crew. Correspondents said ground fighting in the Suez Zone was fiercest west of the Canal, with the Israelis exerting a hold over an increasing area.