January 16, 2024 | Israel at War Situation Report
Israel SitRep: Jan. 16, 2024
January 16, 2024 Israel at War Situation Report
Israel SitRep: Jan. 16, 2024
Today’s Issue: Iran Strikes Northern Iraq and Northern Syria, Aims to Hit Israeli Target | Israeli Forces Clash With Suspected Arms Smugglers Near Israel-Egypt Border | ‘Intensive’ Ground Operations Will End Soon, Says Top Israeli Defense Official | U.S. Government Cautions Gulf of Aden Shipping as Houthi Rebels Threaten U.S. Ships | Latest FDD Analysis
Iran Strikes Northern Iraq and Northern Syria, Aims to Hit Israeli Target: Between January 15 and January 16, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps launched ballistic missiles in northern Iraq and northern Syria, reportedly targeting an Israeli “espionage headquarters” and “anti-Iran terrorist groups.” At least four civilians died, and multiple injuries occurred from the strikes. The missiles, targeting Erbil in northern Iraq, exploded near the U.S. consulate and a U.S. military facility, but the U.S. National Security Council reported no casualties or damage. In Syria, Iran struck al-Sina’a Prison, according to Syrian Democratic Forces spokesperson Farhad Shami, which is the largest prison housing Islamic State detainees in Hasakah City.
Israeli Forces Clash With Suspected Arms Smugglers Near Israel-Egypt Border: On January 16, The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported firefight with about 20 suspected drug smugglers, many armed, at the Israel-Egypt border near the Al-Awja (Nitzana) crossing. The IDF fired upon the group, resulting in an Israeli soldier’s injury. Egyptian forces also clashed with the purported drug smugglers. Six smugglers were arrested, and one died. Egypt reported that it seized approximately 174 kilograms of various narcotics.
‘Intensive’ Ground Operations Will End Soon, Says Top Israeli Defense Official: On January 15, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said the “intensive phase” of Israel’s ground offensive in northern Gaza is concluding. He added that Israel’s military operations in southern Gaza will soon be ending, as well, since Hamas’ Khan Younis Brigade is “gradually disintegrating as a fighting force.” Israeli efforts will concentrate on “the head of the snake, Hamas’s leadership,” according to the top Israeli defense official. This announcement follows Israel’s successful military operations in northern Gaza, where the IDF says Hamas’s command has been destroyed.
U.S. Government Cautions Gulf of Aden Shipping as Houthi Rebels Threaten U.S. Ships: On January 15, the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration published an alert cautioning all U.S.-flagged and U.S.-owned commercial vessels to avoid certain coordinates in the Gulf of Aden. The release warns of anticipated, potential retaliatory strikes by Houthi forces. That same day, Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree claimed an attack on a U.S.-owned ship reportedly suspected of carrying naval missiles and continued to threaten U.S. and UK vessels. On January 15, Houthi militants struck the Marshall Islands-flagged, U.S.-owned and operated M/V Gibraltar Eagle commercial ship with an anti-ship ballistic missile. The vessel continued its journey without “injuries or significant damage,” according to U.S. Central Command.
Latest FDD Analysis:
“Israel Releases Data On Three Months Of Fighting In Gaza,” FDD Adjunct Fellow Seth J. Frantzman
“Houthis Continue Attacks After Western Strikes Target Launch Sites,” FDD’s Long War Journal
“Israel: North Gaza Still Too Dangerous For Civilians To Return,” FDD Flash Brief
“Israel Seizes Oil Tanker Off Coast Of Oman,” FDD Flash Brief
“Houthis Vow To Continue Attacks Despite U.S., UK Airstrikes,” FDD Flash Brief