Crossfire War – RAPID FIRE NEWS=TEHRAN – CAIRO – DAMASCUS WATCH – West Asia – North – Northeast Africa Theatre: Tehran – Riyadh – Tripoli – Khartoum – Amman – Baghdad – Beirut – Ramallah – Gaza – Cairo/Mubarak – Jerusalem – Paris – Rome – London – Washington; Israel/Iran Compete for Influence in Egypt Decision Making Circles – Tehran Receives Serious Commitments in Cairo – Jerusalem Receives Arguments – Empty Pledges in Golf Resort
Night Watch: CAIRO – On Monday Israel Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, in an address to the Foreign Affairs – Defense Committee, rated the Egyptian government’s performance, concerning its effort to prevent the massive arms smuggling from Egypt to Gaza across the Sinai, as ‘poor.’ She continued, “Their actions are problematic and are risking the possibility of advancing the peace process.” Gulf-Times/AFP reports Egyptian officials responded angrily by “completely rejecting” her accusations, “The Israeli minister would do better to concentrate on negotiation efforts with the Palestinians “instead of speaking without weighing her words about things she should not deal with without having enough information.” Regular readers of crossfirewar.com know it is no secret the government of President Hosni Mubarak has done nothing to prevent the massive weapons traffic that can only take place with massive cooperation from within Egypt’s government and military under Tehran’s direction. It is a flow of arms Cairo officials obviously agree with assuming, quite wrongly, Israel is the only target. Yes, Israel is the target of the arms traffic but she is not the only target of Islamic radicals the regional war is strengthening. The war increases the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood and others who want Mubarak removed. [GULFTIMES]
Sharm El Sheikh – These are the statements-arguing which preceded Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his visit to meet Egyptian officials at the Red Sea golf resort Sharm El-Sheikh. According to the Jerusalem Post, the arguing continued as Barak was confronted by Egyptian officials who frankly told him they were insulted by Livni’s remarks. Egypt Intelligence Minister Omar Suleiman then pledged to do more to end the arms smuggling, but Egyptian officials had already stated before the meeting the real reason for the increase was Israel withdrawal from the Gaza strip in 2005 that turned control of the Philadelphi sector, between Egypt and Gaza over to Egyptian security. The Mena news agency has reported Egyptian security has destroyed two tunnels recently. That leaves at least 148 tunnels still active and controlled by Tehran. [JPOST]
Suleiman stated, “We are doing our best there and you will not hear about it again.” In other words this is the last time Egyptian officials are going to discuss the issue. As if they are saying the weapons, trafficking is Jerusalem’s problem exclusively. Barak then met-confronted Mubarak who complained about new Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the two were then photographed shaking hands. Barak supposedly described the talks as ‘excellent’ and perhaps he means Jerusalem has achieved an understanding with Cairo, whatever Israel decides to do militarily then go ahead. Some Egyptian officials may actually realize the Palestinian militants represent a threat to Egypt also.
Cairo – I suspect Suleiman had more serious and substantial discussions on Tuesday with the Representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader to the Supreme National Security Council (NSC) Ali Larijani. They admitted they discussed regional – international events but they did not admit publicly it was in recognition of Tehran’s influence in directing those events as opposed to the West. Larijani may even have mentioned an Egypt without Mubarak as head of state, replaced by a leader closer to Islamic governments. What Suleiman and Larijani may not realize is Mubarak has no intention of going down quietly. When Tehran commits its ceremonial expendable ground forces against Israel, for the purpose of inspiring more Islamic radicalism, the same element that assassinated Mubarak’s predecessor Anwar al-Sadat in 1981, Mubarak will declare war on Iran using the Egyptian forces still loyal to him. But Mubarak is surrounded by governments that support the Jihad, Triopoli-Khartoum-Riyadh and the West will be powerless to help him since they will be under heavy pressure in south Lebanon and Iraq. Israel will also be quite busy with Hezbollah-Palestinian militants and Syria. [IRNA]
Negev – INN reports Palestinians resumed their attacks on Israel as at least 11 Qassam rockets were fired at Israeli towns in the Negev and at Israel’s oil terminal at Ashkelon on the Mediterranean. As usual, there was no major damage since the Qassam has a small warhead and is notoriously inaccurate. Israel’s air force (IAF) did attack some of the Qassam rocket units. An Israel Defense Force (IDF) patrol also came under mortar attack near Gaza. [INN]
Smolensk – In a parallel development Russia Air Force Commander Nikolai Ferolav stated Iranian experts were trained in the air defence system Tour. M1 at the Air Defence Academy at Smolensk. Tehran purchased 29 of the anti-aircraft missile batteries, which I assume, will be placed around Iran’s nuclear bases. I suspect they will not be any more effective than the Russian anti-air system Israel’s air force penetrated Sept. 6 in Syria, since Russia may have to attack them. Nothing works as well as advertised. [IRNA]