Crossfire War – RAPID FIRE NEWS=TEHRAN – KABUL – ISLAMABAD WATCH – Central Asia Theatre: NATO/Taliban Units Prepare Positions on Opposite Sides of Arghandab River North of Kandahar – Iran Engineers Complete Subterranean Bunker Network for Hezbollah – Dr. Kissinger Meets Russia Pres. Medvedev
Night Watch: ARGHANDAB RIVER – As Tehran is preparing a major battle in Iraq, using the Mahdi Army against the U. S. led occupation forces, Iran is also preparing the Taliban for a major battle in Afghanistan against NATO less than 2o miles north of Kandahar. CBS/AP report what has bolstered the Taliban position was the freeing of 800 prisoners last week, half of them being militants that moved into the district on Saturday.
Local resident Mohammed Khan observed hundreds of Taliban fighters on the western side of the Arghandab river entrenching themselves and placing 20-30 fighters inside every mosque along the river and there are dozens of mosques. Government officials have stated the Taliban were laying mines in villages and blowing up bridges as they prepare for NATO’s offensive along side the Afghan National Army (ANA).
I would not be surprised if the Taliban are planting improvised explosive devices (IED) similar to the ones used by Islamic units in Iraq. It was reported last year the Taliban had begun to use some of the tactics of Islamic groups in Iraq and of course they have been encouraged to do so by Tehran which uses these fronts and the West’s infantile eagerness to commit troops for what it assumed would be an easy showcase operation, to keep the West from attacking Iran. [CBS]
General Aminullah Pakiani, Afghan Army commander for this district has said there is, “No direct threat to Kandahar,” and current reports seem to indicate the Taliban are only preparing defensive positions after first saying yesterday they would advance on Kandahar. General Pakiani added his units would “get them out of the entire area within a couple of days.”
Before its offensive NATO aircraft dropped warning leaflets on villages in the battle area and seven hundred families 4,000 people have fled the district. Two thousand more troops of the ANA have arrived led by Army Chief of Staff General Bismillah Khan. They and NATO forces occupy positions east of the river. Right now it is estimated the Taliban control seventy per cent of Arghandab district. Though I expect the Taliban to be defeated NATO will probably face its most deadly battle in several years.
Kandahar – France24/AFP has provided a video that contains part of the CBS interview with prominent warlord Gulheddin Hekmatyar who supports the Taliban and other groups fighting NATO’s support of the enormously corrupt administration of President Hamid Karzai. Hematyar said resistance to NATO is spreading all over the country. What he did not mention is that one of their main weapons is the rampant corruption throughout the country which has caused more of the population to be disillusioned with Karzai and NATO. [FRANCE24]
Beqaa Valley – Debka is reporting engineers of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have completed the construction of a network of subterranean bunkers all over Lebanon where Hezbollah has stored tens of thousands of rockets-missiles protected from air attack. This report was made to Israel’s cabinet Tuesday by head of AMAN Research Division Brigadier Yossi Baidatz. Three clusters of bunkers were mentioned, the first being in the Beqaa Valley in northeast Lebanon near the Syria border. This one houses the long range rockets which can reach all of Israel.
The tunnel openings are wide enough for a launching pad and they supposedly cannot be hit from the air. In the 2006 war the Israel Air Force (IAF) easily destroyed almost all of Hezbollah’s long range missiles in the first day of fighting. If these reports are true, and they probably are, these could be the first missiles Hezbollah fires and then this could be the first target of Israel’s nuclear bombs. A second subterranean network has been constructed in central Lebanon north of the Beirut-Damascus highway and this is where the medium range rockets are stored. The third one is in the south for short range rockets and other weapon systems like anti-air artillery which are intended to block an Israeli offensive. [DEBKA]
These subterranean bunkers are connected by a series of sub-tunnels that can accommodate trucks and prevent aerial reconnaissance. There are also cement lined channels with a dual use for traffic and anti-tank trenches. A fast highway network has also been completed for the exclusive use of Hezbollah and I assume for Lebanese army units assigned to them. Linking all of this is the military telecommunications system exclusively created for and used by Hezbollah which they defended recently when the government threatened to destroy it.
Concerning the possible ceasefire with Hamas, Baidatz observed any ceasefire would be fragile and short-lived. I suspect Tehran wants to use the ceasefire and Jerusalem’s negotiations with Damascus to lull Israel into a false sense of security.
Kremlin – “I have followed with great interest your being President and the plans you have put forward in some of your speeches. I wish you every success. It is important for Russia and important for the world.” Those were words of support and congratulations from former U. S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger during his first meeting with Russia’s new President Dmitry Medvedev. RIA reports the two met in the Kremlin and I suspect off camera they discussed Moscow’s next military provocations against the Georgian government in the South Caucasus.
Dr. Kissinger all his professional life has been directly connected to industrial services with a constant need of energy sources even when he was a professor at Harvard and a consultant to the Rockefeller family (Chevron-Exxon etc.). They know Georgia is being supported by Turkey-Iran who wishes to deny Russia and the West easy access to this region which is why Kissinger was sent to Moscow in April 2007 to co-chair the Strategic Working Group with former Russia Premier Yevgeny Primakov. I would guess this time next year Moscow would have restored its control and in the process of conducting negotiations with Tehran for combined investments and joint economic development.
At the same time Russia would have committed some air units to assist the West against any Iranian forces still active in the Balkans.