Crossfire War – RAPID FIRE NEWS=BEIJING – ISLAMABAD – TEHRAN WATCH – South Asia Theatre: Satellite Images Reveal China Nuclear Missile Base Targeting North India – Damascus Completely Satisfied With Negotiations Led by Qatar on Lebanon – Georgia Warns Russia Against Positioning More Units in South Ossetia
Night Watch: DELINGHA – There are more indications Beijing is making serious preparations to enter the next war between India/Pakistan to enforce China’s claim over Arunachal Pradesh in northeast India. Satellite images studied by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) have revealed launch sites for medium range ballistic missiles in and west of Delingha in north central China. DNA-India report the missiles based there are the DF-21 a medium range ballistic missile of 1,330 miles (2,150 km) China’s first solid fuel rocket and carries a single warhead of 200-300 kilo tons. Hans Kristensen, a researcher with the FAS stated, “From these launch pads for DF-21 missiles, southern Russia and northern India will be within range but not Japan, Taiwan or Guam.” It is not Japan, Taiwan, Guam or Russia Beijing has territorial disputes with but India for control over India’s northeast state of Arunachal Pradesh which China invaded for one month in October 1962. In November 2006 crossfirewar.com reported Beijing’s Ambassador to Delhi, Sun Yuxi, stating northeast India is Chinese territory and the following month China conducted joint maneuvers with Pakistan just west of Kashmir. [DNAINDIA]
The DF-21’s range brings all of Arunachal Pradesh and Indian defenses there within striking distance. Missile launch sites were detected along a 170 mile (275 km) stretch of highway leading from Delingha west through Da Qaidam to Mahai in northern Qinghai province. The 36 launch pads were in a formation of three strings extending north of the highway west of Delingha. Twenty-two more launch sites run west of Da Qaidam to Muhai. There is no certainty all these missiles will hit their designated targets due to the enormous fragility of guidance systems with ballistic missiles. Nothing works as well as advertised no matter the age of the missile or who made it. Some will miss, others will be duds. At most only a third of the missiles have a remote chance of being reliable.
Damascus – Asharq al-Awsat/Reuters report The Syrian government is extremely satisfied, if not ecstatic, over the negotiations on Lebanon led by Qatar. Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem commented, “We are absolutely with the initiative and we see it as a real opportunity. This step could be a real chance to save Lebanon from the dangers that threaten it.” The “dangers” being anything that threaten Syria’s hold over the country through Hezbollah and what the Qatari led negotiations have done is recognize Hezbollah’s growing power and their sense of mission for increasing the regional war around Israel. A sense of mission created by Syria-Iran and now supported by the Arab League and militias in Lebanon even those in support of the administration of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora. Hezbollah, like the Jihad, will run its offensive course this year and not against Lebanon but against the West-Israel. This is a blow to Washington which may have imagined pro-government militias in Lebanon could have weakened Hezbollah. [ASHARQALAWSAT]
Tskhinvili – “If a decision is made to introduce an additional peacekeeping contingent into the zone of the Georgia-Ossetia conflict, it will be regarded as gross encroachment on Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” That was the warning to Moscow given by Yekaterina Tkeshelashvili, spokeswoman for Georgia’s Foreign Ministry as RIA Novosti reports relations continue to deteriorate between Tbilisi/Moscow over control of the South Caucasus. South Ossetia was the other territory that seceded from Georgia, along with Abkhazia on the Black Sea, at the end of the Cold War in 1990. This region has enormous resources of oil and gas which has been up for grabs as Russia’s hold over the region collapsed with the Soviet Union and enormous corruption took hold over post-Soviet leadership until the administration of President Vladimir Putin emerged in 1999. Industrial services in the West, led by Berlin, have long used Russia to guarantee exports of the raw materials from here and have encouraged the military reforms under Putin to restore Russia’s control. [RIA]
Fighting in the north Caucasus against Islamic units, that began in 1994, was the first obstacle and with that largely over the last remaining threat is not only Georgia but the substantial military support they have been receiving from Ankara-Tehran. And that is why Georgia First Deputy Defense Minister, Batu Kutelia, has said Moscow’s recent assessment of Georgia’s military is completely inaccurate. “That information is obsolete. The Georgian Armed Forces have since acquired modern weapons and our foreign partners have been helping us.” That is why former U. S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger was sent to Moscow in April 2007 to co-chair the Strategic Working Group with former Russia Premier Yevgeny Primakov. Russia’s strategic bombers began flying again in August 2007 and still conduct maneuvers with aircraft from Western air forces. That is also the reason both Russia and the U. S. have been developing and testing conventional bombs more powerful than nuclear. In Russia’s case a vacuum bomb and in the U. S. a fourteen ton super penetrator.