Crossfire War – Tehran – Gaza – Damascus Watch – West Asia Theatre: Tehran – Beqaa Valley – Damascus – Riyadh – Amman – Ankara – Gaza/Jerusalem – Beirut – Paris – Rome – Cairo; Hezbollah Leader Tapes War Speech in Tehran – Israel Finalizes Plan to Invade Gaza Before Hamas Becomes More Powerful
Night Watch: BEQAA VALLEY – “I prefer cooler places but this region faces a torrid of summer victories.” According to Debka that was an observation from Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as he boarded his plane to leave Damascus back to Tehran. He was only in Damascus for one day to meet President Bashar al-Assad and to give encouragement to Palestinian and Hezbollah leaders.
This was the meeting both Presidents used to give their official approval of the extensive war planning between their military axis designed to attack not only Lebanon’s military, the units still supporting Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, but also the European units in UNIFIL by using the new al-Qaeda groups in south Lebanon. Hezbollah will also be used in attacks on UNIFIL and may still be under instructions to attack Israel again as they did last year, which expanded the war begun by Hamas in Gaza. [DEBKA]
It was not mentioned if any of the high level Iranian military delegation also returned to Iran but I suspect they have remained and staffed in senior liaison positions directly connected with Syria’s high command. Accompanying the President were 20 senior Iranian officers led by Iran Defense Minister Brigadier General Mustafa Mohammad Najjar. It was he who was quoted last year, during his meetings in Tehran with Syria Defense Minister General Hassan Turkmani, that Syria’s security is Iran’s security. The Iranian military delegation also had meetings with Syria Chief of Staff General Ali Habib and corps commander.
It is reported on the plane back to Tehran was Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and that he taped a war speech on Saturday that is to be aired perhaps on Al Jazeera or Hezbollah’s own station Al Mansar. The airing of the speech is to be timed with Hezbollah’s attacks so I assume Nasrallah will be explaining Hezbollah’s reasons for entering the war this year that began May 20 in northern Lebanon at the Palestinian refugee camp-city Nahr al-Bared outside Tripoli near the Syrian border. Hezbollah has not only re-armed but recent reports have stated their arsenal now includes anti-aircraft missiles and more anti-ship cruise missiles. With the presence of UNIFIL, Israel is by no means the main target. Tehran-Riyadh-Damascus-Hezbollah know Lebanon is about to become as much of a trap for UNIFIL as Iraq has been for the lost-available alliance of London-Washington. [DEBKA]
In the meantime, Reuters is reporting a senior Israeli commander has stated plans have been completed for an invasion of the Gaza Strip to be made immediately before Hamas becomes much stronger. In a statement released to journalists, “Israel has well drawn up plans, the troops have been trained and await the go-ahead. If we opt to launch an operation we’ll know what to do. There will also be a price to pay. The Israel defence forces are prepared to pay that price.”
It is estimated a full scale invasion will result in scores of Israeli soldiers killed and ten times that amount of Palestinians dead. Crossfirewar.com has recently mentioned Hamas is nearly as heavily as armed as Hezbollah, including Katyusha rockets and anti-tank missiles. Hamas now has an army of 13,000.
Serious planning for this invasion increased after Hamas easily defeated its Fatah rival for control of Gaza last month. Since Fatah’s defeat Hamas’ supply of weapons and equipment increases almost daily as does their recruitment. Tehran-Riyadh are eagerly waiting to celebrate their martyrdom as they will openly celebrate the Muslim dead on any front including civilians. [GULFTIMES]
Jerusalem realizes Israel cannot risk responding ineffectively as it did in last year’s war. Crossfirewar.com stated repeatedly, ever since last year’s war ended in August, it just set the stage for more fighting this year. Though Israel is by no means the main target it will be hit more heavily and Iran will commit a few expendable ground forces as a show of support for the Palestinian cause. The enormous amount of missiles Iran’s weapons industry has manufactured are meant for Europe-India ( in support of Pakistan and the Muslims in Kashmir) and U.S. – British bases in Iraq and Persian Gulf. Tehran will of course continue to launch propaganda at Israel. Tehran will call attacks against the West-India as improving relations.