Crossfire War – Tehran – Damascus – Beirut Watch – West Asia – North – Northeast Africa Theatre: Tehran – Beirut – Riyadh – Ankara – Tripoli – Khartoum – Baghdad – Amman – Damascus/Jerusalem – Cairo – Paris – Rome – London – Washington; Iran-Syria Foreign Ministers Discuss New Crisis With Israel by Telephone – International Concern – Oil Rises $1.40 per barrel – Heavy Fighting in Gaza
Night Watch: DEIR EZ ZOR – Serious international concern is now being expressed in capitals around the world to the new crisis between Syria/Israel over Damascus accusing Israel of violating its air space with warplanes. Reuters reports the response from the Russia Foreign Ministry, “The reports have caused extreme concern in Moscow. Particularly troubling is that this is the Middle East, a region already heavy with serious conflicts and tension.”
I doubt Moscow is surprised since the Kremlin maintains a close watch on events in this theatre and they knew Damascus had been increasing its military preparations ever since last summer’s war against Israel when Hezbollah emerged in a strong position in south Lebanon and was obviously rearming with massive support from Damascus-Tehran. Already the crisis has caused the price of oil to increase by $1.40 per barrel.[SWISSINFO]
There were more responses-accusations from Damascus, “This shows that Israel cannot give up aggression and treachery,” Syria Information Minister Moshen Bilal. It has just been reported Iran Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and Syria Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moallem have discussed the new crisis over the phone with Tehran, as expected, pledging its support for Damascus.
Mottaki stated the crisis was a desperate attempt by Jerusalem to inspire Israel’s military confronted by what he called the “heroic resistance of the Lebanese nation.” Mottaki actually spoke to soon. Beirut is not yet involved but Damascus-Tehran know Lebanon soon will be. Mottaki also stated Tehran is ready to provide every kind of assistance to Damascus. [IRNA]
In other action in this theatre Debka reports a heavy mortar barrage by the Palestinian militant groups Hamas – Jihad Islami of Israeli positions near Sderot, the town that has been the heaviest hit by Qassam rocket fire, 300 in August. The barrage wounded one Israeli soldier and took place Thursday night. The night before Israel counter-terrorism forces exchanged fire with gunmen from the same two groups between Kissufim and Khan Younes in northern Gaza killing five. Two vehicles of Jihad Islami, one a truck were destroyed by an Israeli air attack and a Givati infantry unit from Israel dismantled 11 missile launchers. [DEBKA]