Crossfire War – Rapid Fire News=Tehran – Baghdad – Damascus Watch – West Asia – North – Northeast Africa Theatre: Iran Moves Shahab-3 Missiles Into Launch Position – Part of “judgment Day” Response to Any Attack – US Chairman of Joint Chiefs Tours Israel Fronts With Syria-Lebanon-Gaza
Night Watch: DIMONA – “Our response will hit them right at their temple.” That was a quote from an editorial in an Iranian government newspaper Jomhouri Eslami regarding Tehran’s military response to any attack from Israel-U. S. on Iran’s nuclear installations. The Sunday Times of London is reporting Iran has moved its Shahab-3B ballistic missiles into launch positions in case of any attack by Israel-U. S. The missile has a 1,250 mile range and according to the article in Asharq al-Awsat (cfw=Apr.-27, 2006) Iran will fire 50 of them at Israel as part of Iran’s Judgment Day offensive when attacked. The “temple” the editorial is probably referring to is Israel’s Dimona nuclear facility in the Negev which has produced nuclear warheads since the 1960’s. Though guidance systems in any ballistic missile are always questionable it is possible one of them could hit the base. Not only did the Israel Air Force (IAF) long range maneuvers in early June increase the sense of immediacy in Tehran but also this weekend visit to Israel by the Chairman of the Pentagon Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen, accompanied by Chief of U. S. Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead. An Israel defense source stated, “Although the visit had been planned well in advance we got the feeling he was coming to make sure we’ll obey the strict timetable agreed with the U. S.” Despite the strictness of the timetable I suspect it is quite flexible. There is an old trusim that a wise general throws out his battle plans after the first shot is fired. [SUNDAYTIMES]
Jerusalem – Debka reported Admiral Mullen was taken on a tour of Israel’s fronts with Syria-Lebanon-Gaza Strip the tour being conducted by Israel Defense Force (IDF) Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi. They were accompanied by the OC commanders of the North and South Command Major Generals Eisenkott and Galant. Sources indicate the tour was closely monitored by Syrian-Iranian observation posts along the Syria-Lebanon border and this is not surprising since I expect Israel’s heaviest land engagements to be against Syria since Hezbollah’s successes in 2006 has convinced Syria President Bashar al-Assad re-taking the Golan Heights will be easy. Illusory thinking is an integral part of leadership. After the tour Mullen held a long meeting with General Ashkenazi and Defense Minister Ehud Barak where he was briefed on IDF tactics on all three fronts. The IDF and I assume the Pentagon realize Israel will be engaged on all three fronts simultaneously as part of Tehran’s regional offensive and with Iran committing its brigade size Rapid Deployment Force. [DEBKA]
And it will be mainly the role of Israel’s land forces to engage the enemy on those fronts and although they will have air support the IAF should still be able to conduct a successful air attack on the weak points of Iran’s nuclear bases. The “timetable” probably also includes joint operations with U. S. carrier based aircraft from the carriers the Pentagon has off the Syria-Lebanon coast and in the Persian Gulf-Arabian Sea. The main reason for the carrier USS Harry Truman and the command-communications ship USS Mount Whitney for being on station in the Eastern Mediterranean is due to Syria still having some nuclear bases that were not destroyed by the IAF last September, bases which the recent UN nuclear inspectors were not allowed to examine
I don’t think the Pentagon and the IDF are planning or operating under the illusion they can easily destroy Iran’s nuclear installations, some of which are subterranean and all the missile bases with a few air attacks as some juvenile analysts and commentators fantasize.