Crossfire War – Rapid Fire News=Tehran – Beirut – Damascus WATCH – West Asia Theatre: Israel DM Barak Outlines Reasons for Offensive “Preventive War” Against Hezbollah-Syria in Washington Meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Gates – Hezbollah-Iranian-Syrian Officers Establish More Anti-Aircraft Positions in Lebanon Central Mountains; Iraq Army – U.S. Begin Operation in Diyala Province on Iran Border
Night Watch: WASHINGTON – U.S. officials may now be regretting President George W. Bush bragging about attacking Iran as an “option on the table.” Bush first began to blurt that out five years ago after the easy removal of Saddam Hussein and before the deadly attacks increased in Iraq against occupation forces, attacks of course armed and directed by Iran. Leaders in the U.S. are always encouraged to blurt out bold statements without thinking, for the sake of their mythical media image, never realizing they may have to actually carry it out, especially since Washington never planned for a serious war. Tehran never took the blurt statements seriously as defense officials in Iran stated as long as Washington was so busy in Iraq-Afghanistan the U.S. couldn’t do anything against Iran yet Bush couldn’t stop blurting out the option on the table and of course every U. S. official and analysts all over established media began to repeat the same thing hoping against all reality it would never really happen.
But Israel is in no position to fool herself since it is surrounded by enemies all heavily armed by Tehran and the constant movement of weapons and missiles continues especially through Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon. And that is why INN is reporting Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak is using his current visit to Washington to remind U.S. Secretary of Defense, Robert M. Gates, of the military reality confronting Israel that is getting worse every day and the time has now come to go beyond media sound bytes. And if Washington is not willing then the Israel Defense Force (IDF) will have to act independently, something Jerusalem is quite willing to do as it did last September when it destroyed a nuclear base Syria had been constructing with North Korean assistance and financed by Iran. [INN]
Barak explained, “Iran’s plan to enhance its strength endangers the stability of the region and of the entire world. We insist that the pace of economic and financial sanctions on the Iranians continue to be increased. No single option should be taken off the table.” This is the third meeting this year between Barak-Gates. In his meeting with Vice-President Dick Cheney, Barak stated, “To our disappointment we have seen that over the past two years the number of missiles in the hands of Hezbollah has doubled if not tripled and that the range of the missiles have been extended. And that has been accomplished with the close association of the Syrians.”
No area of Israel is safe anymore from missile-rocket attacks whether they are fired from Gaza-Lebanon-Syria and though Iran is massively involved in these preparations the movement of these munitions into Lebanon have to pass through Syria. Which is why Jerusalem informed Damascus, quite some time ago, when Israel attacks Hezbollah they will attack Syria at the same time. Barak is basically outlining Israel’s reason for activating one of the principles in its security doctrine that of “preventive war”, attack-invade an enemy first to prevent the enemy from doing the same. This does more than the pre-emptive strike as in last September, which disrupts an enemy’s preparations. Preventive war is designed to defeat the enemy. Israel used this extremely successfully in 1967, the war lasting only six days. Even if this one lasts six weeks or six months it would prevent Hezbollah-Syria-Iran from staging any serious offensive and air strikes would immediately reduce the number of missiles launched.
Today, Tuesday, Barak is scheduled to meet Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and Senators, Joe Biden, Patrick Leahy and Daniel Inouye. I assume they are all aware of the naval blockade currently being practiced off the U.S. Atlantic coast by ships from the U.S.-Britain-France, codenamed “Operation Brimstone”. The exercises are due to end in two days and are intended to enforce new sanctions against Iran as the two week ultimatum given by the U.S-EU expires August 2. The IDF may time its offensive for then.
Mount Barakh – In the meantime Debka reports Tehran-Damascus are having Hezbollah seize control over the western ridge of Jebal Barukh, outlined on the map in the linked article. It is east of Jezzine just forty miles from Israel’s border. This is right after Hezbollah took control over Mt. Sannine, the tallest peak in Lebanon, to enable Iran to establish anti-aircraft batteries in a desperate attempt to reduce the Israel Air Force (IAF) air superiority, the main factor in the 2006 war. Within the first hour of combat the IAF virtually destroyed every long range missile of Hezbollah, missiles which could have reached Tel Aviv. [DEBKA]
But to defend against the expected invasion into Lebanon by the IDF, Hezbollah has established two lines of fortified defenses in the south. One line is northwest of the Zahrani River to prevent the IDF from breaking through to Jebal Barukh and to Mt. Sannine. This line is also adjacent to the Syrian 10th and 14th armored divisions on the Lebanon-Syria border. These are opposite IDF positions in Mt. Hermon and Mt. Dov. Northwest of the first line is a long chain of reinforced positions and bases across south Lebanon from Mt. Hermon in the east to Sidon. Hezbollah has also constructed fortified positions around the towns of Marjayoun, Nabitiya and Hasbaya. Civilians are no longer permitted in these areas that have obviously become a World War III version of no man’s land. It is quite possible as soon as any long range missile hits one of Israel’s major cities the IDF will then decides to use some of its nuclear arsenal, especially since some of Hezbollah and Syria’s missiles have chemical warheads.
Gaza – The Jerusalem Post is reporting the IDF is now using a laser weapons system, developed by Raytheon, to detonate explosives planted on the Gaza/Israel border by Palestinian groups. The laser is even effective in destroying 60 mm mortar shells at a range greater than 550 yards. [JPOST]
Baqubah – Al Jazeera/AFP report the Iraq Army has begun its anticipated offensive in Baqubah, Diyala province, long the most dangerous province in the country. Dangerous because it is on Iran’s border and just northeast of Baghdad. Despite several operations in the past few years attacks continue. The Iraq Army has committed 30,000 troops with the U.S. only meant to play a secondary role. Leader of the Iraq units, General Ali Ghaidan stated the purpose, “to clear Diyala from al-Qaeda.” U.S. Army spokesman Major John Hall was even more specific, “The goal of the operation is to seek out and destroy criminal elements and terrorist threats in Diyala and eliminate smuggling corridors in the surrounding area.” [ALJAZRREA]
And that is why I suspect Tehran wants heavy fighting to break out which would force the Iraq Army to call on U.S. forces to intervene as a way of luring the U.S. into heavy combat and right on Iran’s border. This may be part of the security agreement signed between Baghdad-Tehran recently. Have the Iraq Army start an operation and when heavy resistance is met send in the U.S. and just as more confrontations with the West are on the horizon with the planned blockade of Iran.
Surat – As an indication as to the economic nature of Tehran’s offensive foreign policy, IRNA reports the Indian police have uncovered at least ten live bombs in the India city of Surat, in Gujarat state which borders Pakistan on the Arabian Sea. Gujarat is midway between Ahmedabad, which was hit by more than a dozen bombs a couple of days ago, and India’s financial capital Mumbai. The economic importance of Surat is it handles ninety-two percent of the worlds cut diamonds. One bomb found in Matavadi area was hanging on a tree and another, in Labeshwar, was in an abandoned bag. [IRNA]