Crossfire War – Iran Directs al-Qaeda in Iraq to Start Suicide Bomb Offensive

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Crossfire War – Rapid Fire News=Tehran – Baghdad – Damascus Watch – West Asia – North – Northeast Africa Theatre

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Tehran – Riyadh – Tripoli – Khartoum – El Arish – Ramallah – Gaza – Beirut – Damascus – Baghdad/London – Washington – Jerusalem – Cairo – Amman – Paris – Rome; Iran Intensifies War in Iraq North with al-Qaeda Bomb Attacks – Inside Look at Iran Revolutionary Guard al-Quds Force and Commander Brigadier Gen. Qassem Suleimani – Georgia Demands Russia Reverse Decisions Threatening Georgia

Night Watch: BU MUHAMMAD- As London-Washington and elements of the Iraq Army concentrate on the increased fighting in Baghdad/Sadr City, Basra and the south against Shia militia units, Tehran is now directing Sunni al-Qaeda to increase its suicide attacks in the north. Al Jazeera/AFP report at least sixty people have been killed by a suicide bomber in the village of Bu Muhammad, near Tuz Khurmatu, Diyala province, 120 miles north of Baghdad. The attack targeted the funeral of two leaders of the Awakening Council, local groups working with Washington against al-Qaeda. It is the desperate hope in Washington these local councils can fill the vacuum of destruction the London-Washington are leaving in their wake. Owen Fay, Al Jazeera’s correspondent observed, “Diyala is top of the list of provinces where al-Qaeda in Iraq has operated in the past, and where it seems that it may be returning right now. And it more or less shows that they maintain that ability to strike whenever and wherever they like.” It is quite possible Tehran may have action resume near Syria’s border which would stretch the new Iraq Army beyond its limit. [ALJAZEERA]

Bandar Abbas – That is no exaggeration as I have often written Tehran is having the lost alliance of London-Washington chase the Jihad all over Iraq. At the same time there is still fighting in Sadr City and it could erupt again at any moment in the south around Basra as Iran has this new wave of fighting gradually erode the new Iraq Army. The linked Haaretz article provides an excellent, rare look into the branch of Iran’s military responsible for training and equipping Islamic units in West Asia (Middle East) and beyond, the Revolutionary Guards al-Quds Brigades and its leader Brigadier General Qassem Suleimani. What is especially revealing, and it shows just how much in the dark governments in the West are, Brigadier General Suleimani is now being portrayed by analysts in the West as a peacemaker, since he temporarily ended the fighting between the Iraq Army and the Mahdi Army, fighting which of course has since resumed. He and Iran are able to do so since they have excellent contacts with both, trapping the UK/US. [HAARETZ]

Suleimani was born in Qom, Iran’s Shia religious center, in March 1957 and has spent his entire professional career as a member of the Revolutionary Guards and has headed its al-Quds Brigades for the past five years. The Guards were established in 1979 by the Ayatollah Khomeini to enforce the principles of the Islamic revolution he headed and to be a buffer between him and Iran’s Army whose loyalty was doubtful until Washington had Iraq invade Iran in 1980 due to the hostage crisis at the U. S. Embassy in Tehran. Khomeini called the invasion a “gift from Allah” because instead of collapsing the invasion re-united Iran and solidified the loyalty of Iran’s armed forces to the new Khomeini government, a new unity of Iranian nationalism coupled with Islamic fundamentalism, which has been repeated in every Islamic country in the region. The al-Quds Bridgades were formed in the early 1980s and during the eight year war with Iraq (1980-88) they specialized in operations behind enemy lines and began to establish their regional network including Hezbollah which Iran formed in 1982 during Lebanon’s civil war from 1975-90.

According to former U. S. Army Intelligence officer David Dionisi the al-Quds have now divided their international operations into eight geographical areas: the West (Balkans), Iraq, Afghanistan-Pakistan-India, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, North Africa, Turkey and the Arabian Peninsula. The size of the al-Quds is not known outside Iran but estimates range from 3,000 officers and soldiers to 20,000. Basically it is their mission to create extensions of Iran’s army by training units in all these regions and theatres with their most recent emphasis of the past five years concentrating on the Mahdi Army-Hezbollah-Hamas/Islamic Jihad. And it is with Hezbollah which has both made some of the al-Quds greatest successes but also one of its greatest, almost comical failures through Imad Mughniyeh. Suleimani took personal responsibility for sending Hezbollah its longest range rockets and missiles which is why for the past few years he visited Lebanon several times and forged close relations with Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and other senior officials.

But none of the Hezbollah leadership was closer to Suleimani than the commander of Hezbollah’s military wing Imad Mughniyeh, so close that when Mughniyeh visited Iran he slept in Sulemani’s house. It was Mugniyeh’s assignment to not only receive the long range rockets – missiles of Hezbollah but to keep the location a secret from Israel. And these were rockets and missiles more powerful, with longer range than the Katyusha and could hit Tel Aviv but they were all destroyed within 34 minutes of the 2006 war with Israel’s Air Force (IAF) acting on precise information. None of them were launched. I am not surprised Jerusalem is so well informed about what goes on in Lebanon because Israel’s relations with the Lebanese reach back to Israel’s ancient history. According to the Haaretz article since 2006 Sulemani never failed to remind Mughniyeh of his failure to keep the location of the rockets and missiles a secret and of course they were constructed and transported at great expense. This proves my saying it was Tehran (Suleimani) who had Mughniyeh removed and from the looks of him in his most recent photos he was more concerned about his next meal. If he is still alive he is very well fed but this embarrassment will have no important role in this year’s war.

When Iran enters the war against Israel this year then Suleimani will probably increase his trips to Turkey and the Balkans to prepare the war against NATO governments eager for war against Serbia. He will be acting under the security agreement Tehran signed with Belgrade in 2006 as did Athens that same year.

Tbilisi – “We are waiting and demand that the Russia Federation revise all decisions made to violate Georgia’s sovereignty. Our efforts will be aimed at mobilizing the international community. We need serious action, not only words from our partners in the next days and weeks.” RIA reports that was the grim statement by Georgia President Mikhail Saakashvili to his Cabinet today after Moscow initiated measures to incorporate the two territories which seceded from Georgia at the end of the Cold War in 1990, South Ossetia-Abkhazia. His statement was followed by the Georgia Foreign Ministry which released its response, “The Georgia Foreign Ministry calls on the UN, EU, OSCE, NATO, UN Security Council “Group of Friends” on Georgia, the CIS on the whole international community to employ all their efforts to stop the process of infringing on Georgia’s state integrity, initiated by the Russians.” [RIA]

But all these organizations are in no position to offer more than words and none are about to put soldiers in the field to defend Georgia’s boundaries which are about to also be incorporated by Russia. The “Friends of Georgia” and their so called support of Tbilisi is nothing short of diplomatic posturing and hypocrisy while behind the scenes they give tacit approval to Moscow. Georgia is supported by Turkey-Iran and industrial groups in Berlin-Paris-Milan cannot afford to have the resources of the Caucasus denied to them. Nor will Ankara-Tehran commit troops alongside Georgia.

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.