Crossfire War -Indian/Pakistan Troops Exchange Fire Across LoC

Crossfire War – Rapid Fire News=Tehran – Kabul – Islamabad Watch – South Asia Theatre: Pakistan/indian Troops Exchange Fire Across Line of Control – Iran Continues to Test Fire Missiles Overnight – US Navy Conducted Missile Interception Tests in Eastern Mediterranean – Persian Gulf in Late June – US Units in Iraq Attacked By New Rocket Propelled Bomb

Night Watch: BATTAL – There may be more indications today we are witnessing the opening moves of Pakistan President-General Pervez Musharraf’s offensive Action Plan with reports from Xinhua/Dawn TV of an exchange of fire between Pakistani and Indian troops across the Line of Control (LoC). The demarcation divides Kashmir between Pakistan/India with a small corner still controlled by China in the state’s northeast. The serpentine boundary twists its way from the south near Jammu, India and winds its way north-northeast for 350 miles through Pakistan’s part of the state to China’s border. Reports say this latest action took place at Battal near Rawalakot in Pakistan’s part of Kashmir. Dawn News, which is Pakistani, quoted the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations of Pakistan Major-General Atthar Abbas who stated the incident occurred at 2:00 pm local time (0800 GMT), “Pakistani troops fired back in retaliation, we have conveyed our strong protest at high level.” He said the Indian troops used mortars and small arms. The Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of the Pakistan Army has requested a flag meeting with his Indian counterpart but has received no response. [XINHUA]

Krishna Ghati – But according to WebIndia123 Indian troops were actually responding to an infiltration attempt by Islamic militants which Pakistani soldiers were supporting. An India defense spokesman stated, “Army troops intercepted and foiled an attempt by unidentified people to breach the LoC at KG. However later a few kilometers away from the spot Pakistani troops resorted to heavy firing at a border post in the same section between 1420 and 1430 hrs (2:20-2:30 pm).” There have been no reports of any casualties. Flag meetings on the LoC have been held involving commanding officers of both countries but that was little more than military diplomacy as both sides knew infiltration was going to increase and with the direct support of Pakistan and therefore lead to the fourth war between Islamabad/Delhi since 1947. These infiltrations, coupled with repeated direct support from Pakistan units, will force India to implement its Hot Pursuit policy and attack the militant launching pads (bases) inside Pakistan’s part of Kashmir. Islamabad has stated if that ever happens they will be forced to respond. [WEBINDIA123]

But an added dimension to this is Tehran which reviewed the Action Plan during Musharraf’s state visit in February 2007. India is one of two main targets of Iran’s offensive foreign policy, as Iran-Pakistan want to see if Islamic rulers can control the sub-continent and its vast resources once again, the other main target being the West. That has been the basis of years of military-industrial preparations in Iran which are now complete as their military leaders state their armed forces are ready. As a show of support for Pakistan, Iran’s most powerful decision making body, the Council of Guardians, visited Pakistan for several days in May while at the same time there were reports of Pakistani Rangers providing cover fire for a unit of Islamic fighters infiltrating into Kashmir. In the same month there were two incidents of Pakistani troop firing on Indian positions which prompted a visit to Indian troops in Kashmir by India Defense Minister A. K. Antony. And that is why I am not surprised this time Indian troops returned fire in what are now the most serious armed incidents between India/Pakistan since 2002 or maybe even 1971 the year of the last full scale war between the two.

Jalalabad – In a parallel development attacks against Indian interests in Afghanistan continue as the Daily Times of Pakistan reports two Indians were killed and several people wounded in an attack on the India Consulate in Jalalabad just seventy-five miles east of Kabul near the Pakistan border.

Persian Gulf – Haaretz reports Iran continued to test missiles overnight as Iranian Radio aired this message, “Deep in the Persian Gulf waters the launch of different types of ground-to-sea, surface-to-surface, sea-to-air and the powerful launch of the Hout missile successfully took place.” The Hout is actually an extremely fast torpedo. The head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – Air Force, General Hossein Salami stated, “Our finger is always on the trigger, and our missiles are always ready to launch.” Intelligence analysts estimate Iran has manufactured several hundred Shahab-3 missiles and possesses several thousand medium range missiles with a range of 24o miles (400 km) which will be used against the UK/US bases in Iraq. With the immediacy of the situation a series of Israeli officials are due in Washington. Already this week the head of Israel’s intelligence service Mossad, Meir Dagan, has already visited. Next week Defense Minister Ehud Barak is to meet U. S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and after that the Israel Defense Force (IDF) Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi is scheduled to follow. [HAARETZ]

Eastern Mediterranean/Persian Gulf – It is finally being reported by the Jerusalem Post/Navy Times the U. S. Navy conducted missile interception exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean/Persian Gulf on June 28. The tests were conducted during the visit to Israel by Pentagon Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen and just days after a visit to Israel by U. S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead and his meeting with the commander of Israel’s Navy Vice-Admiral Eliezer Marom. The ships used were Aegis class destroyers which can intercept an enemy ballistic missile with an SM-3 missile launched from the ship. Some suspect it was an Ageis class destroyer that intercepted a ballistic missile test by North Korea two years ago. The destroyers used June 28 were the USN Benfold in the Persian Gulf and the USN Russell in the Eastern Mediterranean. [JPOST]

Joint Security Station Ur – The Mahdi Army and Shia militias in Iraq have a new extremely powerful rocket propelled bomb they have begun to use in the past few months. Xinhua reports they are called Improvised Rocket Assisted Munitions (IRAM), propane tanks packed with hundreds of pounds of explosives propelled by 107 mm rockets. Sometimes they are fired in volleys, always at close range from the back of trucks and have the potential of killing scores of soldiers. The most recent attack was Tuesday against Joint Security Station Ur in northeast Baghdad that is used by U. S. /Iraqi units. No doubt this new weapon is the result of Tehran’s constant support of Islamic militias. [XINHUA]

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