Crossfire War – Funeral in Beirut-Iran Assassinates Hezbollah Leader

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Crossfire War – RAPID FIRE NEWS=TEHRAN – BEIRUT – DAMASCUS WATCH – West Asia – North – Northeast Africa Theatre: Tehran – Riyadh – Tripoli – Khartoum – Baghdad – El Arish – Nablus – Gaza – Damascus – Beirut/Jerusalem – Cairo – Amman – Paris – Rome – London – Washington; Funeral in Beirut Thursday – Iran Assassinates Hezbollah Leader – Iran-Syria-Hamas-Hezbollah Accuse Israel to Provide Hezbollah Reason for Retaliation – War – Israel Northern Border on High Alert

Night Watch: KAFAR SOUSSA – In order to set the stage for Hezbollah-Syria-Iran to join Hamas in its current war with Israel Tehran assassinated a middle aged-overweight Hezbollah official, Imad Fayez Mughniyeh with a bomb planted in his car in Damascus’ Kafar Soussa district. Mughniyeh, a Palestinian from Lebanon, first became active in 1976, when he was 14, as a sniper targeting Christians during Lebanon’s fifteen year civil war which began the previous year. He then worked his way up through the operational ranks by taking an active then leading role in the attacks against the U.S. Marine barracks and U. S. Embassy in Beirut in 1983, the TWA airline hijacking in 1985 and kidnappings of Westerners in Beirut. But he has not been active in the field since 1990 and may have been only kept employed as a liaison between Hezbollah-Tehran and it was during then he must have put on at least a hundred pounds as you can see from his photo on the Jerusalem Post’s front page. His death is not a major blow to the enemy-Iran in the war against terrorism as intelligence agencies in the West are stupidly hailing. [JPOST]

Damascus – The apparent killing took place in a wealthy district of Damascus that contains an Iranian school, a police station and a Syrian intelligence office. SwissInfo/Reuters reports witnesses saw a body hauled away by security officials and that is why I say apparent killing because we don’t really know whose body it was and the official who was supposedly eliminated had a low profile anyway. The scene was covered immediately by Syrian police and intelligence officers who of course were practically next door. [SWISSINFO]

South Beirut – Asharq al-Awsat/AP report Hezbollah interrupted its al-Manar television to make the “martyrdom” announcement followed by trancelike quotations from the Quran. Hezbollah then released this statement, written before the explosion, that they will “carry on our shoulders a leader we were proud with his leadership and a martyr we’ve honored by his martyrdom that will make victory no matter how the sacrifices are.” The funeral is Thursday timed by Tehran to coincide to compete with Thursday’s massive rally in Beirut’s Martyrs Square to commemorate the third anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri, a Lebanese leader close to the West. Hamas responded on cue with this statement, “We condemn this crime and we emphasize the Muslim nation must rise up to confront the Zionist devil which is backed by the Americans.” [ASHARQALAWSAT]

Israel/Lebanon-Syria Border – Debka reports Israeli forces in northern Israel, on the Lebanon-Syria border have been placed on high alert as broadcasts from Tehran blame not only Israel but Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak as personally responsible. Security has therefore been increased around both leaders and also for airlines, Israel’s embassies and institutions worldwide. Hezbollah is right now holding an emergency meeting in Beirut and has stated it has the right to respond anywhere in the world. [DEBKA]

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Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.