Israeli Continues Air Strikes Despite Moratorium

Israel’s 48 hour halt to air strikes lasted about 8 hours.

The Israeli air force carried out strikes Monday in southern Lebanon despite an agreement to halt raids for 48 hours after nearly 60 Lebanese civilians were killed in an Israeli bombing, the army said.The airstrikes near the village of Taibe were meant to protect ground forces operating in the area and were not targeting anyone or anything specific, the army said.

Nothing like air strikes that don’t target anything specific to assuage anger over air strikes that kill mostly children. . . .

FILED UNDER: General,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Matt says:

    Just channeling what it would be like to be responsible for an army here, but given the hypothetical choice between keeping some troops alive or assuaging the anger of Kofi Annan, I’d pretty much go with the former.

    But hey, that’s just me.

  2. Anderson says:

    The airstrikes near the village of Taibe were meant to protect ground forces operating in the area and were not targeting anyone or anything specific, the army said.

    I confess my lack of tactical acumen, but how does one protect ground forces by failing to target anything specific? (Let alone prevent unnecessary civilian casualties.)

  3. James Joyner says:

    Matt: If the Army is coming under fire, of course. But, then, one would think a specific target would have presented itself.

    Anderson: The only thing I can think of is that they’re laying down the aerial equivalent of suppressive fire–just laying down a hail of rounds along an axis to force the enemy to keep their heads down. They could also be laying down non-lethal marking or illumination rounds; but one would hope that would be reported more clearly were that the case.

  4. DC Loser says:

    James – re supressive fire – isn’t that what the artillery is for? Or is this just some kind of interservice pissing contest since the IAF seems to be running the show? Also, Hezbollah must be pretty ballsy still trying to close in with the IDF positions (hugging the Israeli positions) and the Israelis having to resort to using aircraft to deliver suppressive fire

  5. legion says:

    I just caught part of an interview on NPR with some Isralei general this morning on the way in to work (didn’t get the details, but I figure they’re at NPR’s site). The interviewer pressed him pretty hard on the discrepancy between advertising a ‘moratorium’ and continued bombing, but I _think_ (and the general didn’t do a real good job of explaining) that the IAF is only attacking “immediate threats”, like close-air support for the Army, returning fire from rocket sites, etc. As opposed to targeting Hezbollah supply or HQ sites farther in Lebanon.

    I’m not sure that makes much sense, or is even tactically possible in that environment, but that’s what he said.

  6. McGehee says:

    James – re supressive fire – isn’t that what the artillery is for?

    Air strikes have been serving a similar purpose to artillery since WW1. Even then, planes had a greater range than cannon. And ground-based artillery can be counter-targeted more easily than today’s fast-moving, highly maneuverable jet aircraft.

  7. DC Loser says:

    McGehee, you aren’t seriously proposing that Hizbollah can countertarget the Israeli artillery? The frontline Israeli positions are less than 10 miles from their artillery positions, as best I can tell, which is well within the SP109 range.