Crossfire War – Albanians in Kosovska Mitrovica Open Fire on Serbs

Crossfire War – Rapid Fire News=Athens – Belgrade – Tehran WATCH – Southeast Europe Theatre: Athens – Tehran – Moscow – Sofia – Bucharest – Ankara – Skopje – Banja Luka – Belgrade – Kosovska Mitrovica/Pristina – Tirana – Brussels – Vienna – Warsaw; Albanians Shoot at Serbs in Kosovska Mitrovica – KFOR Intervenes – Greek Historian States War Coming Between Albania/Bulgaria Over Macedonia – More Details on Strategic Relations Between Iran – Sudan

Night Watch: KOSOVSKA MITROVICA – Monday night a group of Albanians in the divided city of Kosovska Mitrovica, in northern Kosovo, opened fire on a group of Serbs and a patrol of the Kosovo Police Service (KPS). B92 reports the KPS returned fire and this is the day after Albanian youths threw stones at Serbs in the same area Sunday. Police spokesman Besim Hoti stated units of NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR) have moved into the area, the yellow demarcation line, to prevent further escalation which could mean Serbian retaliation. There has been no official response yet from the Serbian government in Belgrade but a major principle in their Action Plan is the protection of the Serbian communities in northern Kosovo which is still populated by a Serbian majority. I suspect Belgrade will wait and see if further incidents-attacks, against Serbs take place and of course they will. Serbia will first demand the Kosovo Albanian government in Pristina protect Serbian communities and when that is not satisfactory Belgrade then announces the dispatching of Serbian police units to Kosovska Mitrovica due to lack of protection by the government in Pristina. Of course the Kosovo Albanian government will attempt to prevent Serbian police from entering and the next war begins with KFOR caught in the crossfire. It is quite possible Belgrade offers to intervene in support of KFOR which could also be under attack by Albanian groups and that would really anger Pristina. [B92]

Skopje – Unless the next war in the Balkans erupts over Macedonia between Albania and Bulgaria according to Greek historian Muhamed Shemsadin Megalomatis. Focus reports Megalomatis believes disturbances in Macedonia’s west, within the Albanian community concentrated in Tetovo, will not only involve the Albanian government in Tirana but also entangle the Bulgaria government in Sofia perhaps due to their concerns over Albanian nationalists. Sofia will not be alone in its concerns. Athens-Belgrade and even Bucharest are prepared to respond immediately to any regional crisis that gives any indication of expanding. Washington will continue its policy of alienating regional governments by increasing its support of Albanian nationalism which the Bush Administration views as a growing weapons market. The reason why Megalomatis’ warnings should be taken seriously is because it was here, in Tetovo western Macedonia, that the last serious conflict took place in 2001 due to armed opposition by the Albanian community to the Macedonia government in Skopje. [FOCUS]

Merowe Dam – Sources with Debka are revealing more details as to the growing strategic relations between Tehran-Khartoum. Both governments have not only agreed to come to each other’s assistance if attacked but Sudan is now only exclusively purchasing Iranian made equipment at a 50 per cent reduction in cost due to the extreme importance Tehran has always placed on Sudan with its oil reserves and strategic economic location on the Red Sea. A joint military commission has been established and Iran is constructing in Sudan factories which will be able to manufacture Iranian equipment. An immediate concern is being addressed with Tehran constructing security systems around Sudan’s strategic locations, principally the Merowe Dam on the White Nile which Cairo claims is diverting water from Egypt. Khartoum believes Egypt could attack the project just 240 miles from Egypt’s southern border. [DEBKA]

This is an added issue of agreement between Tehran-Khartoum in regards to not only their regional policy but specifically in regards to their opposition to Egypt President Hosni Mubarak still being so close to the West. Mubarak is still the only Islamic head of state in the region willing to cooperate with the West militarily and until he is removed Iran will not have the hold in the area it wants. That is why Tehran celebrated the assassination of Mubarak’s predecessor Anwar al-Sadat in 1981 by Islamic fundamentalists who citied the Ayatollah Khomeini, and his 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, as their inspiration. Khartoum established close relations with Khomeini before the 1980s were half over and Iran has seen the economic-military potential of working with Sudan ever since. This is why I have often stated Tehran is more of a threat to Mubarak than Iran is to Israel and with Tehran’s close relations with Libya-Sudan-Saudi Arabia Mubarak is completely isolated. There is too much mutual suspicion between Egypt and Israel for them to work seriously together against Islamic radicalism though both of them are constantly threatened by it.

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.