Crossfire War – Iran Helps Syria Upgrade its Ballistic Missile Guidance System


West Asia – North – Northeast Africa Theatre: Tehran – Riyadh – Tripoli – Khartoum – Amman – Baghdad – Beirut – El Arish – Damascus – Nablus – Gaza/Jerusalem – Cairo – Paris – Rome – London – Washington; Iran Upgrades Syria’s Surface to Surface Zelzal Missile – IDF Discover Rocket Silos in Underground Concrete Bunkers in Gaza – China Disputes India Claim of Arunachal Pradesh – Perpetual State of War – Russia Pres. Vladimir Putin States New Arms Race Unleashed in the World

Night Watch: DAMASCUS – With technological assistance from Iran Syria has been able to upgrade the accuracy of its Zelzal surface-to-surface missile making it the most accurate ballistic missile in Syria’s arsenal. The Zelzal has a range of 150 miles (250 km) with an extremely large warhead that can now be targeted at Israel’s military installations more precisely. Haaretz quoted a source who remarked, “The problem is that their missiles are being transferred from less effective weapons into precision weapons that will enable their use against military bases, airports and military depots, which is a worrying development.” This is part of Damascus’ extensive preparations for (f) allout war with Israel, it is being conducted in lock step with Tehran, and it should be obvious one of the Zelzal’s first targets will be Israel’s nuclear facility at Dimona. Most of the missiles fired at Israel will come from Syria, which Israeli intelligence officials believe to possess tens of thousands of 220 mm rockets that can be fired in volleys, the same ones used by Hezbollah two years ago in addition to small caliber rockets. Syria also possesses the Scud-C and Scud-D ballistic missile with respective ranges of 300 miles (500 km) and 480 miles (800 km). [HAARETZ]

Damascus has also upgraded its anti-aircraft defenses by purchasing from Russia the Pantsyr air defense missile system knowing one of Israel’s first responses will be with its air force. The system is self-propelled and can fire 8-12 missiles at enemy aircraft. One other procurement that could help Syria against any armored attack from Israel is more modern anti-tank missiles that have the potential of damaging Israel’s main battle tank the Merkava Mark IV.

Gaza City – Despite Israel’s daily responses to Palestinian militants, including an Israel Air Force (IAF) attack on a building in Gaza City used by Hamas, more than twenty Qassams have been fired so far today, Friday, and there have also been mortar barrages. Haaretz reports five Qassams landed just south of Ashkelon on the coast and four hit Sderot near the Gaza Strip. A senior Hamas official, Ismail Radman stated ominously, “We warn them a large volcano that will erupt if their aggressions increase.” That is exactly what the Islamic Axis of Tehran-Damascus have prepared, giving Jerusalem no other choice but to invade Gaza setting the stage for Iran-Syria to enter. This is by far the greatest threat to Israel in its sixty-year modern history and Jerusalem will have no other choice but to use its nuclear arsenal most likely in Lebanon and Syria. I suspect Iran’s own ballistic missiles are meant for Tehran’s two main targets, the West-India, the targets that are most important economically. [HAARETZ]

Gaza – There is more evidence Tehran is having Palestinian militants adopt some of the tactics and methods of Hezbollah. INN/AP report an Israel Defense Force (IDF) unit discovered rocket launchers in silos in underground concrete bunkers. The rockets can be fired by remote control from a distance enabling the fire team to escape any immediate retaliation from Israel. [INN]

El Arish – Since the forced opening of the Rafah Terminal by explosions set by Hamas late last month, statements from the Egyptian government are sounding more and more like Israel every day. INN quoted the Egyptian Governor of the North Sinai District, General Abed el-Hamid as accusing Hamas of trying to “export the Gaza crisis into Egypt.” General el-Hamid even stated he suspected elements of the Muslim Brotherhood took an active part in the opening of the border crossing. The Muslim Brotherhood is the leading opposition political force in Egypt, outlawed since 1954 and opposed to the government of President Hosni Mubarak, they are the organization that created Hamas. Tehran has been preparing to use the Brotherhood in Egypt as Iran uses Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Palestinian state Gaza-West Bank. The governor told the paper Al Itihad Egyptian security believes there are as many as 9,000 Gazans still in the Sinai-Egypt and “Among the Palestinians are Hamas terrorists.” [INN]

In a related development, as relations continue to deteriorate between Cairo/Hamas, Egypt has not only reinforced its troops and police on the Rafah crossing but has also placed snipers on rooftops in the part of the city inside Egypt and has ordered its border troops not to move around in armed groups of less than three.

Arunachal Pradesh – Beijing has taken exception to the declaration by India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that India’s northeast state of Arunachal Pradesh rightfully belongs in India. During a recent trip to the disputed area, the Prime Minister referred to it as “Our land of rising sun.” The two rivals have constant argumentative negotiations over the border region, the same area where China launched an invasion for one month in October 1962. The fighting extended south into Assam state on the Bay of Bengal causing Delhi to fire its Defense Minister afterward. Beijing still claims the territory, is often accused of making incursions, and is in a position to take advantage of the next Pakistan/India war by invading it again when the next war breaks out this year. In December 2006, reported China-Pakistan conducted ten days of joint maneuvers just west of Kashmir. This is the reason Beijing has been the most consistent supplier of Iran-Pakistan’s most advanced weapons systems including nuclear-ballistic missile technology. [IRNA]

Moscow – “It is clear that a new arms race has been unleashed in the world. The developed countries…spend huge amounts of funds, many times as much as we spend, on developing weapons systems. We must not be drawn into this. God did not begrudge us natural riches. Many conflicts, political decisions and diplomatic stunts have the smell of oil and natural gas about them.” This is an extremely serious and lucid warning from Russia President Vladimir Putin about the world we are now in, have actually been in since 1994, as militaristic schemes designed in the West at the end of the Cold War erupted into New War Order instead of New World Order. [RIA]

RIA reports President Putin made the remarks Friday at the State Council, one of Russia’s highest decision making bodies and I suspect Putin realizes his remarks will not be taken as seriously as they should, because the officials at the Council are aware Russia is approaching a zenith in its late modern history, a serious government in control of vast amounts of resources in a position to project itself internationally as never before in its storied history. A projection into areas Russian leaders have longed for centuries to control-West Asia from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf and that after Moscow’s war against Tehran runs its course this year Russia will have the invitation of most of those countries including Iran. Russia will also have financing-investment from the West especially Berlin. They are therefore going to dismiss Putin’s warning, one of the last world leaders not given to delusions, that Russia should show some restraint and not waste its resources on misguided military spending even though they can easily afford to do so.

We are now in a state of Perpetual War because the world is going to learn all the wrong lessons from World War III and that is to be even more heavily armed for the next one. Because of the war, the world will enter an era of global militarism universally popular and one in which Russia will have a leading role. The West would have also withdrawn into the world of militarism and all its pagan rituals, regrouped around Rome, which would have replaced Brussels. Speaking quite frankly there will be no peace at all after the war and in fact, though the war against Iran would have ended World War III will be continuing, with a nightmarish never-ending quality, in other areas principally between Mongolia/China.

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.