Thursday, July 24, 2014

Global SITREP C24-14: "Their God Changes the Path of Our Rockets!"

 HAMAS terrorists and their Qassam-3 rockets poised to fire at Israel

24 July 2014 - OPE Day 17/Ground War Day 7: Please consider this SITREP as an update to what was posted in "SITREP C17-14: Exposing a False god on the Altar of Gaza." In that SITREP I began the second paragraph with:

These enemies of the God of Israel (Psalm 83:2) are very fond of saying "if Allah wills" and who cry out how great he is every time they send a rocket to bring fire upon the children of Israel.

And concluded the third paragraph with:

On the altar that is Gaza will these prophetic words now begin to be made manifest before our own witnessing eyes. "Then you shall know that I am the Lord."
Now I can report that something miraculous is happening in this war, something that is light years well beyond the man-made technology of Israel's vaunted Iron Dome anti-missile defense system. The unseen hand of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is literally altering the planned trajectory of the terrorist missiles on their way to targets in Israel. What's so amazing is that the terrorist missileers and their commanders in Gaza know that the God of Israel is responsible for taking those missiles off their well-planned trajectories.

In the U.K.-based Jewish paper Jewish Telegraph - published last Friday - appears an article on page 17 by Barbara Ordman titled "GOD CHANGES PATH OF OUR ROCKETS."  In this article it states that the people of Israel have been witnessing "hourly miracles." The very next sentence of this article reads:

As one of the terrorists from Gaza was reported to say when asked why they couldn’t aim their rockets more effectively: “We do aim them, but their God changes their path in mid-air.”
The terrorists in Gaza are no dummies. Before they fire a single rocket at Israel they have already taken great diligence to ensure their mathematical throw-weight calculations are correct and that each missile's ballistic trajectory in its planned flightpath will strike where it is aimed.  So when the terrorist commanders ask their missileers why the al-Qassam and M-75 missiles are not hitting the selected targets (as reported back to them in very near real time via Israeli online media) the response that the God of Israel is altering the trajectories in mid-flight is an exceptional admission we would be remiss not to make very careful note of.  "Then you shall know that I am the Lord." Amen!

 A mass HAMAS surrender of 150 to the IDF

In Gaza - not all Muslim's are suicidal and desirous of going into the non-existent arms of 40 virgins in a non-existent islamic paradise.  Last night approximately 150 HAMAS terrorists surrendered to live and potentially fight another day (Israel has been fond of releasing terrorists in the past) when IDF troops poured accurate fire directly on their Rafah position which had been firing missiles at Israel and other ordnance at the IDF.  And at the Kerem Shalom border crossing in the extreme southern corner of the Gaza Strip there was an active military defense of Israel by Egyptian army troops who killed a would-be Islamic suicide bomber attempting to cross into Israel. A little further south Egyptian army troops also killed Islamic terrorists in their vehicle who were preparing to fire Grad artillery rockets into Israel from the Sinai. Egypt is acting like the military ally Israel deserves and the United States under the Obama Administration is anything but. Also of note, there were no IDF casualties during heavy fighting in Gaza overnight. There is no question that Israel is taking it to the terrorist enemy in a very big way, even as IDF battlefield commanders await the order to delivery the crushing blow upon the enemy.

 Brazilian Humanitarianism in Rio de Janeiro

Overseas and in Tel Aviv: One can't help but wonder if Israel would withdraw its ambassador from Brazil if the proverbial shoe were on the other foot. What if the desperately poor and disadvantaged of the favelas (over-crowed ramshackle slums) above Rio revolted against the Brazilian government and began lobbing rockets and mortars into the city. Would the socialist utopia of Brazil respond with "disproportionate force" against acts of war against its population? Would Israel withdraw its ambassador in political protest? The fact of the matter is that heavily armed Brazilian troops and police clad in full armor have very recently used "disproportionate force" against their own desperately poor and homeless citizens for nothing more egregious than squatting in buildings (humanitarian shelters) in and around which they had built and were utilizing as makeshift homes. Those uninhabited buildings sure beat the heck out of living in the rotten wood, plastic sheeting and cardboard materials that the favelas are constructed of. The reason for the use of excessive, disproportionate force (gas and rubber bullets) was so that foreign visitors to the recent seven game World Cup venue in Rio de Janeiro would not see the abject poverty up close and personal that is clearly visible from Rio's Maracana stadium or the high rise beach front hotels. Brazilian socialist hypocrites. And Ecuador too.

And as for "Palestinian" demands relative to any ceasefire... "Nuts" is the only proper response. HAMAS is in no position to demand anything of the State of Israel which it refuses to accept as existent.

More to come...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Global SITREP C23-14: IDF Taking All of Gaza

21 July 2014: OPE Day 14/Ground War Day 4: It is now obvious to this observer that what may have begun as a limited IDF operation to disarm the various Gaza jihadists has of necessity become a full-scale war of conquest. Gaza is to be completely conquered; the Islamic jihadists liquidated and their weaponry permanently destroyed. The political decision to destroy HAMAS, et al, stems from their abject refusal to accept Israel's right to exist. The only question I have at this time: How long will it take for HAMAS military allies to intervene on their behalf against Israel?


22 July 2014 - OPE Day 15/Ground War Day 5: The focus of late in the media is on the numbers of casualties: IDF casualties and enemy casualties. The enemy has no regard for casualties, combatant or non-combatant civilian. In Islamic jihad casualties are irrelevant except as a propaganda and psychological warfare tool with which to bludgeon the morality of their Judeo-Christian enemy. The media focus on casualties is almost certainly due to the limited amount of information trickling back in from the front lines as the IDF advances deeper into and around Gaza City. The battle raging in and under HAMAS' heavily armed Shuja'iyya district redoubt is extremely fierce, however at least one column of IDF armor has reportedly pierced through to the Zeitoun neighborhood that lies directly east of Shuja'iyya and south of Gaza City.

To the north Hezbollah in Lebanon is voicing its support of HAMAS and the PIJ. It remains to be seen exactly what Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah meant by saying, "The Lebanese resistance is willing to cooperate completely, in order to realize the goals of the Palestinian resistance, and to ensure the failure of the aggression."

Final Update - OPE Day 15: It is very much worthwhile noting this morning that a very curious block of pro-HAMAS nations has emerged which has aligned itself against the Israeli-Egyptian alliance, even in the attempts at achieving, or thwarting as the case may be, a ceasefire in Gaza. The curious block most notably includes the Muslim nations of Turkey, Sudan (Kuwsh), Iran (Persia/Paras). Little Qatar is the lone purely ethnic Arab state in this group. Prophecy students will immediately notice the first three in this alignment also figure in Ezekiel 38/39 as the second-tier nations listed by Ezekiel who will in the future come against Israel as part of the northern Magog confederation. Everywhere we look these days the nations involved in current and future Bible prophecy fulfillment are exactly where they should be with respect to those prophecies.

23 July 2014 - OPE Day 16/Ground War Day 6:  It is my opinion that the current U.S. FAA ban on flights to Israel has nothing to do with the safety of commercial aircraft and their passenger but has everything to do with a form of economic and political punishment upon Israel because the IDF is in the process of destroying HAMAS and re-conquering the territory of Gaza. Were the FAA ban truly what the U.S. Obama Administration claims it to be then all commercial flights to Russia would have been banned since their military shootdown of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 on 17 July 2014.

Day 16 begins with the IDF having achieved the hard-fought position of now being able to inflict a crushing blow against the entire terrorist infrastructure in Gaza. IDF commanders are looking to Jerusalem for approval to launch such an operation across the remaining unconquered parts of Gaza, and then to take the war down into the terrorists subterranean C2 (Command and Control) bunkers. They have the technical means of executing such an offensive that would significantly reduce combat risks to individual IDF soldiers but prove to be imminently lethal to the terrorists. Git'r'done.

More to come...

Friday, July 18, 2014

Global SITREP C22-14: Pressing the Advantage of Tactical Superiority

19 July 2014 - OPE Day 12:  First things first. Israeli PM Netanyahu needs to ignore anything that comes his way from the inept American CInC Barack Hussein Obama. Just plain ignore him. Period. Also ignore the rabid Turkish Islamists like PM Recep Tayyip Erodgan. Erdogan may be the leader of Turkey which remains within NATO, but he is not to be trusted as a potential ceasefire negotiating partner any farther than Bibi can spit a wad of tasteless bubble gum. 

Now that that's settled we can move on and tie into where the last SITREP left off prior to the final update - the location of the bulk of HAMAS and the PIJ combatant forces the IDF must search out and dispatch to eternity.  In some instances enemy combatants are clearly using their own families as human shields. Again, to the Islamist, there is zero reverence for human life during jihad.

I am fairly certain that a very large and eminently capable IDF force entered both northern and southern Gaza and then proceeded cautiously to identify each and every warfighting tunnel the enemy could potentially exploit to suddenly pop up on a flank or in rear areas, or to avoid any dwellings or roads seeded with IED booby-traps. A minimum of 22 tunnels have been identified thus far. 

Central Gaza is being held in kind of tactical limbo by an equally massive IDF force. Now it seems that these IDF tactics have successfully isolated some pockets of the enemy forces which resulted in at least one surprise firefight each in northeastern Gaza and in Khan Younis. Both contacts with the enemy concluded very well for the IDF. It looks as if the IDF is engaged in a standard tactical pincer movement, with a focus in southern Gaza to cut off potential terrorist escape routes to the open spaces of the Sinai. This tactic is reminiscent of the US battle plan of the late-General "Stormin' Norman" Schwarzkopf against Iraqi Republican Guard units in 1991's Operation Desert Storm, the objective of which was to cut the enemy from escape off and then to kill them. The plan was nearly flawless which resulted in the US political leadership erring in a decision to limit the war to exactly 100 hours. Let's hope Israel's political leadership does not make that same mistake this time.

Missiles continue to be fired by Gaza's Islamic terrorists, but the number of missiles fired at Israel's civilian population centers has been very significantly reduced in the past 24 hours. It seems that the bulk of the terrorist missile teams may have gone underground in order to extend their life expectancy. Smart move on their part.

First Update - OPE Day 12/Ground War Day 2: The number of rockets that have been fired into Israel in the past 36 hours was 136. That's an average of 4 per hour. Prior to the ground operation the average was significantly higher by a factor of two or three. One fatality has occurred in the Dimona area. Israel very intelligently went into the ground invasion phase of this war without the burden of embedded corporate media within its units. So, news reports coming out of Gaza will be a scarce commodity; media reporting coming from areas of Gaza still under HAMAS and PIJ control should be regarded as either biased or under duress. For the most part it appears as though the ignoble Islamic jihadists have gone to cowering among Gaza's captive human shield population now that a real, heavily armed and professional army is confronting them on their home turf. So goes the myth of the invincible islamic holy warrior of the false god allah.

Final Update for OPE Day 12: Day 12 saw a tunnel ambush carried out by HAMAS terrorists dressed in IDF uniforms. An Israeli officer was killed in the ambush, one of the attackers was killed in return fire and the rest were likely killed as they were attempting to escape back into their tunnel by IAF close air support. This is one tunnel that IDF HUMINT sources in Gaza did not learn of and IDF boots did not discover it in time to avert the infiltration.

 Ever larger and more powerful IDF units are on the move to engage the enemy in Gaza

20 July 2014 - First Update OPE Day 13/Ground War Day 3: The IDF has called up another 50,000 reservists just as the surge of the previous 40,000 strong IDF call up began materializing and making their presence felt in the Gaza ground operation this morning. At present it appears that Israel has committed about one-sixth of its front line and reserve forces to Operation Protective Edge. By all indications OPE Day 13 will see a near doubling of IAF air strikes and both land naval naval artillery bombardment on terrorist positions. The IDF has thus far suffered less than 10 KIA, but the same cannot be said of the terrorist enemy where their dead now number in the hundreds and counting. Soon, as the tunnel clearing operation progresses, there will be fewer and fewer places for the enemy to hide. The IDF may also soon find it is easier (far less costly with less risk) to simply burn HAMAS out of the tunnels by fire and other oxygen depleting methods.



Final Update OPE Day 13:  The fiercest fighting thus far in the IDF ground operation in Gaza occurred today in the Shuja'iyya (a/k/a Sejaiya) district of eastern Gaza City. This is the high ground west of Gaza City, a north-south ridge overlooking all of the city to the Mediterranean shoreline. One might anticipate an IDF left flanking maneuver to the shore from the southern edge of the Shuja'iyya ridge in order to completely isolate and thereby cut off all the Gaza City combatants from all other jihadi forces in the urban centers further to the south. This would constitute a classic tactical envelopment of an enemy force in its primary defensive redoubt, yet with its back to the sea and no chance of escape. Typical Islamic treachery can be expected, and no ceasefire should be contemplated by IDF commanders unless it is essential to their objectives. Israel should pursue its tactical advantage with great vigor and dispatch the enemy where is now trapped. Nothing gets a jihadists attention like the spectre of death or unconditional surrender at the hands of the IDF. If Gaza City must be razed to the ground, and then some, so be it.

NOTE: The literal fulfillment of Bible prophecy has been in progress for the past 66 years. There is a very strong possibility, if not a certain probability, that we are now witnessing the commencement of the final battles between Israel and the Psalm 83 confederation. Virtually all of the major and minor Old Testament prophets have something to say to us about the conclusion of this war. How well do you know your Bible? We're about to find out.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Global SITREP C21-14: IDF Enters Gaza (Again)

18 July 2014 - OPE Day 11: As Israel's armored and mechanized forces entered Gaza above and below ground level the paradigm of this war began to change in ways that we may not be able to determine just yet. Another truth in war is that truth is usually the first casualty even though it was well protected by a bodyguard of lies. That's just the nature of warfare. On the surface, Israel's leadership preconditions this as a war not to beat up HAMAS but to break all of their "toys." 

I'd prefer they just shoot all of the terrorists with their fingers on the triggers and missile firing buttons because their weapons cannot fire themselves and they can be gathered up for destruction after all the enemy has been dispatched to the hereafter. Is this not what we learn from the prophecy of Ezekiel 38/39? Somebody please suggest to Bibi and his cabinet to read those prophetic chapters for a hint on how to prosecute this war.

 Stay aloof, stay alive IDF soldiers!
Now that the IDFs armor and boots have gone in there is word of the IDF being ordered by Israel's political leadership of "significantly widening the operation." This is a good thing, a necessary if not essential thing. Let the generals and on-the-ground commanders run the war, not the politicians. Limited objectives always yield limited results. At home in Israel all traitors need to be arrested, stipped of any official duties or office and tried for giving aid and comfort to the terrorist enemy. And let the generals leading this war realize that it is not "good luck to all of us" they they need to invoke and rely upon, but the God of their fathers. Aside from this, it is good to see that Rabbi Dov and many Israelis "get it" on how this war needs to be prosectued.

First Update - OPE Day 11: With OPE Day 11 about three-quarters complete, the IDF ground operation in Gaza continues progressing. So far - so good in other words. The only cautionary note I will sound is that the IDF troops have not met with any large-scale HAMAS or PIJ resistance. The enemy has thus far suffered only about 20 KIA in actual ground combat. This means there are hundreds of the Syrian and Iranian/Hezbollah-trained Izz Ad-Din al-Qassam Brigade and PIJ soldiers in hiding, plus the untrained reserve force of perhaps 10,000 who have yet to make any appearance on the battlefield. So, where are they? With nightfall's rapid approach and a moon rise over a mainly cloudy sky not for another 6 hours (midnight Israel time) the conditions might be right for an appearance.

Final Update - OPE Day 11: With just a couple of hours left in the first full 24-hour day of the IDF ground operation comes the second indication that the reality of what the war in Gaza truly encompasses is finally beginning to register upon the political leadership of both Likud and Kadima - that is realization of the necessity to completely destroy HAMAS and their fellow jihadists in order to achieve the minimalist goals that were announced by the PM prior to the commencement of the ground op in Gaza. In short, the return has to outweigh or exceed the investment. As noted above, the first indication was the necessity to expand the scope of the ground operation after just 12 hours since IDF boots initially crossed the border. May the Lord's prophetic word be made manifest in the coming hours, days and or weeks.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Global SITREP C-20-14: The Hammer, the Anvil and the Crucible - A Joint Operation to Destroy HAMAS

IDF Merkava MBTs maneuver on Israeli side of the Gaza border. Egypt wants to see them on HAMAS side of the border.

16 July 2014 OPE Day 9: Israel security cabinet delays yet again the next logical military step against HAMAS in the face of an ever increasing and lethal barrage of rocket fire striking Israel. Here's my take on what I believe is the new dynamic at work here. 

One day after the so-called failure of the Egyptian ceasefire proposal it is becoming increasingly clear that the Egyptian plan was a tactical maneuver that was designed to fail - both Israel and Egypt knew in advance there was little if any chance of HAMAS accepting a ceasefire, just as there was no chance of Iran allowing its proxies to in Gaza; now that the war is on, it's on. The alleged "collapse" of the Egyptian proposal gave Israel an open door to begin operations to finish off HAMAS once and forever inside Gaza. Egypt, under the anti-Muslim Brotherhood-anti-HAMAS presidency of General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, would like nothing better than to play to role of the anvil and for Israel to play the role of the hammer, with HAMAS and the other jihadists being the molten metal coming out of the crucible they intend to make of Gaza. 

See Global SITREP A16-13 and Global SITREP A20-13 for the established background on the Egyptian-Israel Alliance. Those two SITREPs will powerfully illustrate the current de facto military alliance that has existed between Israel and Egypt since General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi's coup in Egypt against Mohamed Morsi and the al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun (Muslim Brotherhood) ever so briefly established rule in Egypt. It was only a about 7 months ago that Egypt was ready to launch a military operation against HAMAS in Gaza. 

At that time Israel was going to support the Egyptians fully as HAMAS was then attacking Egyptian troops in the Sinai after the coup against the MB government. Egypt was just that close to taking on HAMAS in Gaza. Now the roles are reversed, but the way forward is not perfectly clear and this is what I think is the delay in Israel going full tilt against HAMAS. The Netanyahu cabinet is looking for assurances that when the IDF is ordered into Gaza (the hammer) the Egyptians will act to the full extent of their military capabilities against HAMAS as well (the anvil). There is much at stake for both Israel and Egypt, and the potential future prophetic implications of this may well be found in both Isaiah 19 and Ezekiel 29.

First Update - OPE Day 9: A fairly detailed article in today's edition of the Jerusalem Post confirms what I posted within SITREP C16-14 on July 11 about the IDFs inevitable ground combat operations in Gaza. This report contains information that I have been reluctant to report concerning the number and type of roadside, tunnel and entire building IEDs HAMAS has prepostioned to greet the IDF on arrival. To his credit, some of PM Netanyahu's reluctance to dispatch the boots is based upon HUMINT on this issue presented to him by the IDF. The real surprises are in store for HAMAS, PIJ, et al.

Second Update - OPE Day 9: It appears as though a major - possibly last ditch - effort is underway by various foreign governments in trying to convince HAMAS that it is in their best interests to make a serious attempt towards an immediate ceasefire. This is not so much for the benefit of the terrorists, but for the estimated 80,000 civilians that remain imminently in harms way. These are the civilians which HAMAS has cajoled or otherwise pressured into remaining in what will soon be a full-scale warzone. Israel has done and will do its utmost to preserve the sanctity of human life irregardless of the hostility they may hold for Israel. HAMAS and the rest of the Islamic jihadists have no such compelling morals as has been clearly demonstrated with their rocketry targeting civilians, both Arab and Israeli within Israel and Gaza (at least 100 of HAMAS and PIJ rockets have landed in Gaza). Israel now has about as many front line combat troops arrayed against HAMAS and PIJ in Gaza as it had on all fronts in the June 1967 Arab-Israel war. And Israel has just called up another 8,000.

First Update - OPE Day 10: It's well after midnight in Israel (8PM EDT/5PM PDT in the US), so we're firmly into the 10th Day of Operation Protective Edge.

The news at this time is that a "humanitarian" cease fire has reportedly been agreed to according to many OSINT reports. The cease fire, also known in Islamic, particularly in Egyptian Ikhwan conceptual terms, as a "hudna." A hudna is merely a tactical ploy that came into being via an Egyptian imam between the 1948 and 1967 Arab-Israel wars. It is the means by which Muslims engaged in kinetic jihad against the infidel enemy (i.e. Israel) can 'legally' take a breather from the combat, re-arm, push their logistical efforts forward or generally take advantage of a very temporary situation after which cold-blooded murder of the Jews can continue with relish.

There is absolutely nothing "humanitarian" in the Judeo-Christian sense about an Islamic hudna, especially when it comes to the land of Israel which to Muslims is a Dar al-Harb; that is a land where incessant war must be waged until it becomes conquered and therefore Dar al-Islam, or Muslim land.

In Israeli/Hebrew terms, which in no way correlate to the Egyptian Islamic hudna concept, a cease fire is referred to as hafsakat esh, and is essentially a true cease for a given duration of time unless Israel should learn that the terrorists plan to resume their attack prior to the official end of the hudna. At that point Israel may strike first to bring the ceasefire/hafsakat esh to its conclusion.  The hudna/hafsakat esh agreed to for later today is scheduled to run from 10 AM to 3 PM Israel time. Until then the war continues uninterrupted. A totally ridiculous situation in my opinion; political nonsense. War is war.

Second Update - OPE Day 10: So much for the second non-starter ceasefire. It appears to have been a very large ruse through which a dozen or more strong HAMAS commando team of would have infiltrated well into Israel and attacked. HAMAS commandos were are with RPGs, SAWs (squad automatic machine guns), explosives and assault weapons. It appears that Israel had acquired HUMINT indicating when and where the infiltration would occur. The terrorists were observed by the pre-positioned IDF troops as they began emerging from the tunnel exit inside Israel. After the majority of the terror commando team had emerged from the tunnel the IDF brought down withering fire upon them and an IAF strike destroyed the tunnel. Apparently there were no survivors as there is no report of any prisoners being taken.

A second terrorist infiltration event occurred in Israel's northern Negev Desert along a line from Ofakim, to Be'er Sheva to Dimona. Heavy IDF special forces and security responded, all major highways and roads were secured to all traffic.The 'all clear' was given about twenty minutes ago. Over in Gaza, the IDF hacked into Local TV to broadcast a message that southern Gaza residents must evacuate their homes immediately.

Third Update - OPE Day 10: The ground offensive looks very likely, but there is still a small chance that it could be cancelled, or curtailed. Almost certainly curtailed. A limited invasion. It seems that PM Netanyahu has now laid all of his cards on the table for all to see... even the enemy, and that has to be very, very encouraging for them.

What the short-sighted PM Bibi Netanyahu has just got done saying is that he'd rather not preempt Gazan participation in a coming multi-front war.  A reasonable Israeli military commander would rather not have to split his military forces onto three fronts in any land war; he would opt to remove one front from any consideration if the circumstances presented themselves for him to do so. And right now Netanyahu has an ally in President el-Sissi of Egypt who would like nothing better than to see HAMAS, the Egyptian MBs heavily armed wing, completely neutralized as long as good care is taken to inflict as few civilian casualties as would be possible.

So, Bibi is scared and afraid to wield the overwhelming power he has at his fingertips. Much too scared; much to afraid. But how much more scared will he be when the time comes and Gaza, the Sinai, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and the Golan all become active fronts in an existential war? I believe Bibi will wish at that time that he went ahead and secured Israel's entire southern frontier  when he had the chance. Thank God Bibi was not Israel's PM in 1948, 1967 and 1973!

Egypt will not likely remain an ally of Israel indefinitely if, as Bibi now plans, HAMAS is allowed to survive. HAMAS and their MB allies will return their focus on el-Sissi's Egypt for their betrayal of the Islamic cause, and then they'll come back at Israel with the Egyptian military's full arsenal. The time to kill HAMAS permanently is right now, but Netanyahu look like he's going to pass on that. Even if the IDF armor and boots go into Gaza, they will not go in with orders to annihilate HAMAS. That is bad news, really bad news.

Final Update for OPE Day 10:  Yes, the imminent ground op got underway as I was focused on the Russian war crime in Donetsk, Ukraine. But that's another issue entirely.

Yes, the IDF ground op is massive, but according to PM Netanyahu (as detailed in the previous update) this mission does not have as its objective the total destruction of HAMAS, or to effect a regime change in Gaza, or otherwise revert control of Gaza back to Israel as it had been prior to 2005. The objective is to demilitarize HAMAS, the PIJ and the other armed Salafist jihadis in Gaza. The objective is to restore quiet and do so in a manner that it will take HAMAS years to reconstitute any offensive military capability for use against Israeli civilians. In sum, and at this point, the IDF has not been ordered to go in for the kill, but for a military neutering of HAMAS, et al.

Moreover, as with any and every war, no battle plan however well conceived and executed survives much past initial contact with the enemy. Case in evidence... the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. A couple weeks of rolling over an enemy that simply melted away from the battlefield resulted in almost a decade of occupational mission creep and nation building on a totally unsuitable foundation. Mission creep is as likely to plague the IDF in Gaza as it did US forces in OIF, and OEF for that matter. Secondly, this battle plan appears to assume all other Islamic jihadists in the region (such as Iran/Hezbollah/Syria or even the Islamic State) will just benignly stand by and allow the IDF to neuter the Islamic sacred bull in Gaza without so much as a peep.

 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Global SITREP C19-14: The Operationally Invalid Cease Fire That Failed; the War Continues and includes Iran

IDF armor in a 'hurry up and wait' formation near Gaza border.


15 July 2014 Operation Protective Edge - Day 8:  Now we know what has been holding a massive IDF armored invasion force up on the Gaza border. It is a Netanyahu government that is all too eager to placate, if not outright capitulate, to a leftist American presidential administration which clearly does not have Israel's best interests as its foreign policy's cutting edge.  There is no doubt that the failure to execute a Gaza ground operation as the only and truly effective means of neutering, and possibly even giving a coup d'grace to HAMAS, PIJ and other Islamic terrorists bombardment of Israeli cites and towns from Gaza, came at the hands of an inept Netanyahu government; a government which by all accounts on the evening of 14 July has acquiesced to an unenforceable cease fire agreement and agreed to a unilateral cease fire to take effect in about 5 hours from now (0900 IST) based upon terms which the Islamic aggressor has not even agreed to. 
OPE Day 8 - First Update: The security cabinet accepted the Egyptian mediation offer and agreed to the ceasefire imposed only upon Israel that went into effect at 0900 this morning in Israel.  HAMAS and PIJ are enemies of the government of Egypt; they rejected the ceasefire straightaway. Not only have the terrorists rejected the ceasefire, but it never discussed directly with them by anyone in the Egyptian government. So, combat missions continued in Gaza right up to the 0900 hour and then Israel honored the ceasefire agreement with Egypt. HAMAS and the PIJ have rejected the ceasefire and continue to fire heavy barrages of their artillery rockets into Israel, as have the terrorists in Lebanon and the Syrians who lobbed rockets into Israel from the north. HAMAS also fired rockets against Eilat in southern Israel for the first time. As noted in the title of this SITREP, this is an operationally invalid ceasefire to which only Egypt and Israel have agreed, yet Egypt is not involved in the hostilities and has been, more or less, an ally to Israel since the start of the war. This ceasefire had zero chance of success.

So, at this point (0600 in the US/1300 in Israel) it appears as if OPE combat operations against the Gaza terrorists have resumed after a very brief hiatus. Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu spoke about 20 minutes ago on the current situation saying (emphasis added):

We accepted the Egyptian proposal in order to present an opportunity for Gaza to be disarmed of its missiles, rockets, and tunnels through political means, but if Hamas does not accept this proposed ceasefire, and this is how it appears at present, Israel will have full international legitimacy for an expanded military operation to return the necessary quiet.

Operation Protective Edge continues on Day 8, hopefully without further unwarranted interruption.
 
Second and CRITICAL UPDATE OPE- Day 8: The Islamic Republic of Iran, specifically the Islamic Republic Guards Corps - Qods Force (IRGC-QF)  is the driving force of the continuing rocket fire from HAMAS and PIJ in Gaza as well as the rocket fire coming out of Lebanon and Syria by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command (PFLP-GC). The PFLP-GC and the PIJ are operational commands within the overall structure of the IRGC - Qods Force. This means that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and IRGC-QF commander Brigadier General Qasem Suleimani have issued an order to maintain rocket fire against Israel irregardless of any other external considerations (such as a ceasefire). Technically speaking, it is not only HAMAS that is openly at war with Israel, but so is the Islamic Republic of Iran waging an undeclared war against Israel through their proxy forces in Gaza, Lebanon and Syria.

The links between IRGC-QF, PIJ and the PFLP-GC are very well known to both the United States, Israel and probably Egypt as well. An official Fact Sheet published by the US Department of the Treasury on October 25, 2007 makes these interconnections abundantly clear and has included updates which cite US President Barack Obama's Executive Order 13227 of April 13, 2013 in the enforcement of sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

 Proof positive that IDF troops will have to enter Gaza City itself during a ground invasion. Here are three rockets being launched at Israel from the crowded urban city center today, 15 July 2014. Hard and dirty fighting lay ahead for IDF troops.

Third Update - OPE Day 8: Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu addressed the nation this evening and pretty much repeated the same things he has said all along. Nothing new here, except that he is operating in lock-step with the leftist Obama Administration.  Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman is calling for a full-scale invasion resulting in total IDF control of Gaza. While the Israeli security cabinet as a whole democratically accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal, both Liberman and Naftali Bennett cast their votes against accepting it. They were the only members of the cabinet to do so. OPE Day 9 could turn out to be a turning point in this war.

 Former Israel Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon

A very short time ago Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu fired Danny Danon, the Deputy Defense Minister and a member of Netanyahu's own Likud Party. The reason for the firing is a public statement Danon made that, on the surface at least, appears to  betray the PM's public comments. Stated DDM Danny Danon, "Once again, Hamas is dictating the terms. We must not be humiliated. We must correct the mistake of accepting the ceasefire proposal made this morning and let the military do its job."  I cannot help but think that Danny Danon will become the political leader of Israel that many thought Bibi Netanyahu would become. In fact, Danny Danon strongly reminds me of the young Bibi Netanyahu of a couple of decades ago. Watch Danon, his rise in Israeli politics could become meteoric in a very short span of time. He could become Israel's "Ronald Reagan."

Empty IDF HETs (Heavy Equipment Transports) seen in the vicinity of the Gaza border on 15JUL14. Empty HETs usually means the armor they transported to this point will be advancing into combat under their own power.

Final Update - OPE Day 8: Looks like the final blitz prior to the expected IDF ground operation will commence just after 0800 tomorrow Israel time - about 5 hours from now which is 8 PM EDT/5PM PDT in the US. The IDF delivered yet another warning order to approximately 100,000 Gaza residents to evacuate their residences prior to 8 AM.

Global SITREP C18-14: Meanwhile, back in Mesopotamia...

Iraqi Army M1A1 Main Battle Tank goes up in flames.

14 July 2014: Meanwhile, back in Mesopotamia the jihadists of the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS) ambushed and completely destroyed a large and powerful Iraqi army column in the area of Al-Khalidiyah, Anbar Province, Iraq in very recent days. Al-Khalidiyah is about halfway between Ar-Ramadi and Al-Falluja, so it would seem that the Iraqi armor (mostly M1A1 MBTs and M113 APCs) was enroute to strike Al-Falluja from the west when it was ambushed by Islamic State fighters.

A column of several Iraqi Army M-113 APCs continue burning after the ambush.

The Iraqi Army clearly fought the Islamic State ambush at first, but then succumbed to the pressure of seeing their main battle tanks being overwhelmed and promptly abandoned their remainder of their armored vehicles in place rather than fight on or effect combat maneuvering to escape from the ambush. After the battle was finished the Islamic State drove the surviving and abandoned Iraqi Army armors off the field of battle as very prized war booty. This report can be seen in full at The Long War Journal.

Islamic State jihadists drive off with their M113 APC war booty.

Islamic State jihadists stand on top of a captured M1A1 Main Battle Tank.

One has to wonder what the reaction of the armed forces of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is to images such as these which have made the rounds after publication of the Islamic State's Twitter account four days ago. The Islamic State achieved this rather stunning victory without any overhead combat air support such as the government of Iraq is now known to have at its disposal.

UPDATE 14 July 2014:  Iraqi and U.S. officials have confirmed that fighters allied with the Islamic State not only captured hundreds of U.S.-supplied Humvees and large amounts of ammunition in their march across Iraq, but they also now possess as many as 52 U.S.-supplied artillery pieces with GPS aiming systems. The 155mm guns have a range of 20 miles, putting many Iraqi cities still in government hands easily within range of Islamic State positions. (Update via Mitchell Prothero @ mcclatchydc.com)