Crossfire War – Tehran – Beirut – Riyadh – Ankara – Damascus Watch – Eastern Mediterranean Theatre: Tehran – Damascus – Riyadh – Ankara – Beirut/Jerusalem – Cairo – Paris – London – Washington – Rome; Exchange of Fire on Lebanon/israel Border – First Incident Since Aug. 14 Ceasefire
Night Watch: MAROUN el-RASS – AP reports as Israel troops were searching for four explosive devices planted Monday by Hezbollah along the Israel/Lebanon border they were fired upon by Lebanese units using machine guns late Wednesday. Israeli units responded with tanks and light machine guns. This is the first exchange of fire in nearly six months after the August 14 ceasefire last year that ended the 34 day war between Hezbollah and Israel, right after the fighting began in Gaza in late June after an Israeli soldier was captured by a Palestinian unit. This engagement took place near the village of Maroun el-Rass, just across the United Nations Blue Line boundary, which is just inside Israel. Officials from both sides confirmed the incident. [ASHARQALAWSAT]
The reason for Tehran’s timing is quite obvious. As the demonstrations in Beirut began December 1, led by Hezbollah, articles then mentioned Hezbollah had finished resupplying from its war last summer. Tehran never established Hezbollah for the purpose of peace and stability but for quite the opposite, for war and control, as an extension of Tehran’s regional policy of removing governments in West Asia (Middle East) that are far too cooperative with Europe and the U. S.
The current demonstrations in Beirut are just part of the process of gradually removing Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and his representation of business-banking interests in Paris, but Tehran knew when the timing was right they would have Hezbollah begin the next war in the region revolving around Jerusalem, but Israel would by no means be the only target. The European forces in UNIFIL have been added to the list of “enemies of Islam” as Tehran had al-Qaeda designate European units as they arrived.
During the war last summer Tehran noticed the West entering the conflict as a result of the Rome Conference last August right after the ceasefire. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was formed as a result, the 12,000 mostly European troops in southern Lebanon that were supposed to be working with the Lebanese Army in maintaining the ceasefire.
But it is nothing more than a token presence, a military symbol of Europe being now back in the region and a force to be reckoned with. They represent a presence Iran hates more than Israel. Damascus-Tehran have been openly resupplying Hezbollah ever since the ceasefire and the only serious monitoring of Hezbollah has been from Israel using reconnaissance flights over Lebanon, despite UNIFIL complaining about them and even threatened to fire on them until massive demonstrations began in Beirut.
The reason UNIFIL has done nothing to prevent Hezbollah’s rearming is because most governments in Europe were still hoping (f)allout war with Iran could be avoided or that Iran’s priority is destroying the Jewish state, instead of defeating the West’s historical ability to control and manipulate the region.
Tehran let them entertain those myths in order to make more preparations. But recently Tehran has increased its meetings with Damascus and also had a recent meeting with the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad. As far as I know they are strictly military and have been, for more than a year, launching Qassam rockets at Israel’s oil terminal at Ashkelon. If Islamic Jihad has Katyusha rockets they have yet to use them and if they do they soon will.
Tehran definitely wants Jerusalem to be fully engaged in the biggest war they have yet experienced in Israel’s modern history, especially against Syria. President Bashar al-Assad has been beside himself since last summer’s war and he has convinced himself that not only did Hezbollah achieve a great victory, but that it will be easy to retake the Golan Heights lost to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.
Though Tehran is not given to hysteria they will commit a few units in support of Syria then coldly monitor and calculate the impact the next and larger war will have on the region and of course on the world beyond the region. The largest impact will be on Islamic governments that are desperately trying to maintain close ties with the West since those governments no longer represent the majority of their populations, which want to see the West defeated and no longer a major presence in international affairs.
Western governments that are attempting to maintain their military position in the region will also be heavily affected by the fighting and will be forced to shift their strategic concentration from the North Atlantic to the Mediterranean. Siniora is being targeted now but as the next war begins, its greatest regional impact will be on Egypt President Hosni Mubarak since he has always hated Islamic radicalism when they assassinated his predecessor Anwar al-Sadat in 1981. The assassins quoted the Ayatollah Khomeini as one of their inspiring examples due to his overthrowing an ally of the West in 1979, the Shah of Iran. Tehran named a street after the assassin.