Crossfire War – RApid Fire News=Tehran – Beirut – Damascus Watch – West Asia – North – Northeast Africa Theatre: Tehran – Riyadh – Tripoli – Khartoum – Baghdad – El Arish – Ramallah – Gaza – Beirut – Damascus/Jerusalem – Cairo – Amman – Paris – Rome – London – Washington; Iran Denies Constructing Monitoring Stations in Syria – Damascus Admits It – Israel DM Barak Cancels Next Week’s Trip to Berlin – Mahdi Army Leader Muqtada al-Sadr Calls for Massive Demonstration in Najaf April 9 Against US Occupation
Night Watch: DAMASCUS – “How can Iran set up these stations? Which company did this?” Sometimes the news is amusing. That was the indignant, hilarious response by the media adviser at Tehran’s Embassy in Damascus to the news Iran has been constructing monitoring stations for the past several months to intercept Israeli and Allied military communications. He was denying the obvious in a phone conversation to Asharq al-Awsat, as if Iran’s Defense Ministry had no interest in helping Syria or in listening to Allied military communications, but to the same publication a Syrian official admitted it and quite proudly. “The existence of these platforms is not a secret and Syria is doing everything that its duty requires to defend its territories and seeks the assistance of the appropriate military expertise.” The embarrassment of Tehran’s media adviser is understandable since the news constantly explodes the myth of Iran’s Foreign Ministry public statements, speeches and press releases as to how peaceful its foreign policy and nuclear – ballistic missile programs are. Crossfirewar.com mentioned for instance in June 2006 the completion of the Iran-Syria Defense Agreement presided over by both countries Defense Ministers at the ceremony in Damascus. That of course implies military-industrial cooperation as a prelude to joint operations against a common enemy, in this case Israel and Western units in the region, the European units in south Lebanon with UNIFIL. [ASHARQALAWSAT]
During that same month Tehran had Hamas attack Israel from Gaza and Hezbollah ambushed an Israeli unit in July which set off the war that year. The Syrian official contacted by Asharq al-Awsat is Muhammad Habash, Chairman of the Syria Parliament Syria-Iran Relations Committee, admitted cooperation and preparation is definitely continuing. “There are no secrets in this matter. It is Syria’s duty to defend itself and we are still in a state of war with Israel and must defend our borders with all possible means, means which are within the framework of international law. Therefore what Syria is doing is totally in accord with its responsibilities. Syria is cooperating with Russia, China and Iran is real and within the framework of protecting Syria’s borders. We in fact do not faith in and do not trust the Israeli side at all. It is our right to exercise our role of defending our country. I am glad that the Israelis have brought this up though I want to tell them they do not know exactly what the Syrians have. What they are expecting is probably much less than what has been prepared in Syria for confronting any stupidity which the Israelis might make. The problem with the Israeli side is that its calculations are not always the result of correct studies. Its entry into Lebanon was the result of recklessness. The war decision was taken within 48 hours. In fact we fear Israeli stupidities and do not have the confidence that the Israelis are drawing up the correct strategies.”
But Israel had no difficulty making a correct study of the nuclear-ballistic missile base Iran and North Korea were constructing in Syria and Israel had no problem calculating a successful air strike against it last September destroying it before it became operational. It would have been stupid of Israel not to. Israel’s Defense Ministry is not about to draw up strategies to lead to Israel being caught off guard again as in 2006 and lead to the country’s defeat.
Jerusalem – Since war can break out any minute Debka is reporting Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak has decided to cancel next week’s trip to Berlin. Israel may be considering an intelligent pre-emptive strike on Syria’s new military-communication installations. [DEBKA]
Najaf – In order to maintain tensions in Iraq and to continue to exercise its new influence across the country the head of the Mahdi Army, Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, has called for a massive demonstration of a million people at the Shi’ite religious center of Najaf 100 miles south of Baghdad on April 9. Debka reports this massive demonstration of political power has been timed for the fifth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad which is why it is a demonstration against the Washington led occupation. The six days of fighting in Iraq’s south, which ended Sunday, killed 102 Iraqi policemen and 54 soldiers. Since then Washington has been forced to admit the new Iraqi army is unable to guarantee security in the country and it seems the Iraq army and police serve only with the cooperation of the Mahdi Army. I suspect during the next round of fighting there will be reports of Iraq army units fighting alongside the Mahdi Army against the British and U. S. [DEBKA]