Operation “Blue and Brown”

On November 25, 1987, in the evening, a terrorist with a pitchfork landed at the Givor airstrip near Kiryat Shmona. The terrorist left the pitchfork and moved on foot towards the road where he opened fire on a military vehicle and killed an officer, later he arrived at the base of the Nahal Brigade and went inside killing 5 soldiers and wounding 7D. who was shot and killed.

The terrorist belonged to the organization of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – the General Headquarters, under the command of Ahmed Jibril.

The headquarters of the organization is located in the town of Naamat al-Fuka, located about 10 kilometers south of Beirut.

The IDF acted through the Air Force in an attempt to bomb the headquarters and cause the terrorists to be killed and to no avail as they were dug in caves and an underground bunker.

In light of this, it was decided on a ground operation, the main objective of which is to reach the town and hit the organization’s targets scattered in it in order to destroy the IDF and kill terrorists.

Preparations for the operation:

Carrying out the raid was assigned to the Golani Brigade with the assistance of the Navy and the Air Force.

The principle of the raid was to fire back after removing the terrorists from the caves and the bunker by various means (tear gas grenades, tear gas grenades and dogs with tear gas and explosives).

In order to arrive in the most quiet way, it was decided that the invading force would arrive from the sea, land on the beach with the help of the 13th Fleet, move to the destination on foot, carry out the attack and evacuate by helicopters.

Five sub-goals were defined to which the various forces were assigned:

Southwest Cave – 13th Fleet under the command of Eli Glickman

Givat Nam – Battalion 51 under the command of Uri Kotzer

Underground bunker – Golani patrol under the command of Erez Gerstein

Security house – Battalion 13 under the command of Barak Dekel

The central caves – Battalion 12 with Orev and Khan soldiers and annexes under the command of Amir Mittal (Amir’s force)

An observation post was also placed by the patrol (under the command of Bloch) and a battalion commander – Baruch Spiegel – who was located in the center of the sector.

In total, it was determined that 76 fighters would move to the targets, and in addition to them, 13 naval forces were teamed up to capture and secure the beachhead, as well as a commando team stationed on the beach to mark targets for the Air Force planes.

The town is located on a ridge at a height of about 240 meters above sea level.

The traffic route was about 7 kilometers and included crossing two roads, climbing to the ridge, descending to a deep crossing wadi and climbing again to the destination area.

Beyond the overall climb, the route moves through an area difficult to walk where rocks and tangled vegetation are scattered.

The forces were not organic and in fact “selections” were formed which were manned by officers and soldiers from the various units in the brigade as well as from other units in the army.

Gadi Eisenkot, who was from the 13th Battalion, appointed Barak Dekal (Assistant MP) as the commander of the force and directed him to a team of fighters also from other companies in the battalion and not only from the Auxiliary.

The team of the 13th battalion included the commander Barak Dekal (supporting MP), Guy Marom (recon MM), Adi Karmi (route company MM) Nir Gamaliel (route SMP who was before you MM 8 in the supporting) and Shlomi Luke (Patrol Department Sergeant).

The task of the team was to prevent the standby force from leaving the security house and blocking the axis leading from the heart of the targets to the central caves.

A long battle procedure was carried out and the forces trained for about a month before the operation.

The force of the 13th Battalion trained a lot together and created cohesion in force.

(Barak and the fighters in the command room of Ahi Maoz)

The training consisted of full sea exercises that include sailing in the designated boats (moles), performing the hafa, swimming with all the equipment, boarding and disembarking the ship that was carrying the troops.

At the same time, the team trained in the operation of the weapons and armaments, order of movement and in combat, as well as thoroughly studied the target, its surroundings and the targets of neighboring forces.

In addition, exercises were carried out with the Air Force focusing on evacuation by Yassur helicopters (including the flight of 76 fighters in one helicopter!) as well as work with combat helicopters.

The forces performed disaggregated models as well as one comprehensive model.

The training was carried out in the Kerem area of ​​Harel Elikim, which is similar to the area of ​​operation.

The sale:

On the morning of December 7, 1998, the troops boarded the navy ship “Maoz” (a camouflaged civilian cargo ship) and began sailing towards Cyprus, at the end of which the ship was to be located off the coast of Lebanon.

In the evening, the ship anchored off the coast of Lebanon and the troops went down to the moles and began sailing towards the coast.

The voyage proceeded slowly so as not to reveal the forces, the sky was cloudless, the temperature was low and the sea was somewhat rough.

The cover-up was carried out without any problems and the forces started moving before the scheduled time when the 13th Fleet moved first and was responsible for securing the crossing of the two roads for all the forces.

The team of the 13th Battalion closed the traffic order and secured the rear.

After crossing the road, Barak noticed that the flotilla did not engage, so he ran to the head of the force, informed Erez Gerstein, and the force went back while performing a “sleeve” until it engaged the flotilla, and then continued on its way.

The climb was difficult due to both the height gain on a short route and the slope, and to this was added one of the sub-commanders in the Amir force who sprained his leg and was supported by the 13th Battalion staff.

At the peak of the altitude before the descent to the Abu-Dame river it became clear that there was a delay of about 20 minutes and in a conversation with the supervisor it was agreed that the force would continue on its way.

The fighters crossed the Abu Dama River by means of a circular water pipe, which further slowed down the pace of movement since at any given moment up to two fighters crossed the pipe.

After crossing the river and climbing back to the destination stage, the boat force split in the direction of its destination.

After that, the observation force was omitted and the sub-commander who dislocated his leg from Amir’s force remained with him.

After another walk, the forces parted so that Amir forgot and Kahar Barak moved to the edge of the compound towards their destinations and the CPC with the patrol and 51 moved to their destinations.

After about half a kilometer, Barak’s force split from Amir’s force and began to move towards his destination.

The movement took place in an open field.

In the middle of the way to the target, a shot was heard from the area of ​​the patrol’s target and immediately after it, explosive sounds were heard and it was clear that the force had encountered.

Barak ordered the fighters to get on the path and start running and asked a witness to prepare for the fact that he heard a moving vehicle.

When they approached the house, they saw the headlights of the car leaving it, and on Barak’s command, Shlomi and Adi shot in the direction of the car, hitting it and the car stopped in its place.

The force positioned itself in front of the security building behind a low terrace about 40 meters away and waited.

The groans of a wounded man were heard from the vehicle and at some point the gate of the house opened and terrorists came out towards the vehicle to help the wounded man.

The terrorists were shot by Guy and killed, and immediately after that, fire was opened from the house in the direction of the force that, as mentioned, was lying nearby behind a small terrace.

The fire passed over the heads of the fighters and Barak ordered not to return fire as it was clear that at this stage the terrorists did not recognize the location of the force.

At the same time, Barak listened to the communication transmissions and it became clear that Maj. 12 Amir Mittal was not responding to the calls of the brigadier general, while at the same time long bursts of gunfire and explosions were heard from the target area of ​​Amir’s force and it was clear that this was not in accordance with the plan.

After a while, the brigadier ordered Barak to go down with the fighters towards Amir’s force to find out what was going on.

At this point, the terrorists had already directed their fire closer to the force and on Barak’s command a fire strike was given and the fighters broke off contact and ran to a kurkar surface called “the cutter” located above the wadi of the caves where the Amir force operates.

In “Mabatar” Barak will brief the fighters that the mission has been changed and they must go down towards Amir’s force without knowing where the force’s soldiers are and what their condition is, therefore it is necessary to make sure that a report does not develop.

Barak called a number of times until he received an answer from Nebo, an officer of the 13th Fleet who was attached to the Emir and was the commander of the western blockade squad.

Nebo informed Barak that the fighters were concentrated near a terrace called “The Straight” and Barak would inform him that together with the fighters they were going down in their direction and ordered him to inform the force.

At Barak’s command, the force glided in a layout to a wadi that was characterized by steepness, boulders and tangles.

Barak ordered the fighters not to open fire unless they were encountered, at some point a rustling was heard in the bushes, Barak ordered the fighters to stop, two figures advanced towards the force, Guy and Barak physically took control of them and it turned out that they were the two dogs that were attached to Amir’s force when one of them was injured and the other was helping him and in fact both of them were not know their location.

Barak ordered Nir (who was acting as a medic) to stay with the two dogs and take care of the wounded and made it clear to Nir that he was not moving from the scene and would be picked up by Barak at a later stage.

With the exception of Nir, the fighters continued on their way down, reached the main axis, noticed a shot dog and then a figure lying on the ground. Upon examination, it turned out that it was the dead Amir Mittal. The force continued on the path until it joined the rest of the fighters of Amir’s force.

Barak took command of Amir’s force and after a count reported to the brigadier general that he arrived at Amir’s force, Amir was killed, 4 soldiers (Eli’s force) their location is unknown and there are 3 wounded. The medic in Amir’s force was ordered to treat the wounded and focus on the doctor who was seriously injured and lost a lot of blood.

From the picture of the situation it became clear that no shots had been fired at the terrorists for a considerable time and they came out of the caves and started shooting in the direction of the force.

Barak ordered Guy to take the lead with the force towards the Mbattar and Adi Karmi to take care of Amir Mittal’s body and at the same time he organized two fighters from the 12th battalion and Haifa towards the terrorists while using two combat helicopters that joined him.

As soon as the combat helicopters entered into action, heavy anti-aircraft fire was opened in their direction.

Due to a lack of stretchers, Amir was loaded onto Nebo’s back, and after a few minutes, Amir was transferred to Adi and Guy, who took his body to the amputee, while at the same time the doctor carried him up on a stretcher.

Barak cut off Maga climbed up and on the way picked up Nir with the two dogs from whom he heard that the commander of the force he had cut off (Eli) was shouting to him.

Barak made contact with Gerstein who led all the forces of the brigade in the direction of the dismemberment and made it clear to him that they might meet the four fighters who were cut off and asked him to brief the division.

After about 40 minutes of climbing, the force reached Mabatar where it met the rest of the brigade’s forces.

Barak, a member of the brigadier general, gave a report on the situation and immediately afterwards took a megaphone from the interrogator of the POWs who accompanied the force, set up a roadblock and walked around the area where the four soldiers who were cut off were supposed to be lying while announcing through the megaphone that they should come up and alternatively mark themselves so that they could come and help them and without any response.

In accordance with a direct order from the Chief of Staff (Lt. Col. Dan Shumron), a Yassur helicopter arrived that landed near the fighters in the heart of the target, loaded 56 fighters, 3 of whom were wounded and 1 dead, flew to the navy ship where he unloaded the doctor who was seriously wounded and was rushed to the operating room on the ship and from there he flew Rambam Hospital and the technical base of the Air Force for evaluations for rescue.

Later in the day, the fighters who were cut off from the force were located and rescued by Cobra helicopters.

The results of the operation:

Opinions about the operation were divided over the years due to the fact that 4 soldiers who were cut off from the force remained in the area and were rescued by air force helicopters.

Examining the objectives of the operation against the achievements, the force arrived at the target by complete surprise and operated there for several hours, destroyed the AML, killing about 33 terrorists, including the sector general.

Over the years, it became clear that from that operation, Ahmed Jibril’s organization did not carry out any more terrorist attacks!!

The 13th Battalion force fully carried out its mission by preventing reinforcements from leaving the security building and blocking the axis.

Moreover, the force even helped the fighters of the Amir force to get out of the wadi where they were.

The power fighters acted professionally while striving for contact and sticking to the mission and were highly appreciated.