Crossfire War – Iran-Syria Prepare Major Fighting in Lebanon

Crossfire War – Tehran – Damascus – Riyadh Watch – West Asia Theatre: Tehran – Damascus – Riyadh – Nahr al-Bared – Ein al-Hilweh/Tripoli – Sidon – Marjayoun – Beirut – Paris – Rome – Washington; Iran – Syria Complete Preparations for Major Fighting in Lebanon From Mid-July to September – Action to Coincide With Other Regional Theatres – Southeast Europe – South Asia

Night Watch: MARJAYOUN – I suspect Washington and European governments are in a controlled panic and sense events in West Asia (Middle East) are getting out of their control. Instead of discussing and plotting regime change in Damascus, now they are trying to save the European units in UNIFIL, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon that increased its troop presence after the Rome Conference last summer, at the end of the Israel/Hezbollah war. But last year’s war was only preparation for this year, what Tehran calls the Countdown to (f)allout war and not primarily against Israel but against the West, the Islamic world’s main international rival. [DEBKA]

Debka is reporting U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice has been making overtures to European and Asian governments to send units to strenghten UNIFIL. The reason why this is probably being done with a frantic sense of desperation is due to intelligence reports from the West, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon that Iran – Syria are completing preparations for major fighting all over Lebanon in a blatant attempt to defeat the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora since he has been cooperating with the West militarily.

Siniora has been under siege since December when massive street demonstrations began, which not only included Islamic groups but also Christian nationalists led by former general Michel Aoun. The nationalists want Lebanon to be more independent of the West, especially of France which keeps insisting Lebanon owes them a huge amount of debt due to the fifteen year civil war (1975-90) the French helped start.

Then the heavy fighting in Nahr al-Bared erupted in May, near Tripoli and the Syrian border and is now entering its eighth week. Events are obviously overtaking the West, they are completely out of their depth, Tehran has been running rings around them.

That is exactly what Hezbollah has been doing with its re-arming since last year’s war with Israel. It was never any secret yet UNIFIL did nothing to prevent the supplies being sent by Tehran-Damascus and probably because Europe assumed Tehran would still have Hezbollah only attack Israel.

But reported Tehran had al-Qaeda declare UNIFIL to be an enemy of Islam as soon as European units began to arrive. I assume Europe and the U.S. did not hear the announcement, but they definitely heard the recent explosion in south Lebanon near Marjayoun that killed several Spanish soldiers.

The response to Dr. Rice from the European and Asian governments seems to be they wish they could send forces but are short of troops and Dr. Rice knows the lost alliance of London-Washington are still trapped in Baghdad-Basra and couldn’t begin to consider deploying any forces in Lebanon. This is much more fighting than the West had planned.

For at least the past three years Iran’s Defense Ministry would state publicly as long as the UK/US were so engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan it reduced London-Washington’s chances of planning any major offensive against Tehran. That is also true of Europe since NATO has also committed forces protecting the opium trade in Afghanistan, perhaps that’s what NATO’s leadership were smoking when they planned that operation, instead of using the bases there to attack Iran.

So now Lebanon has become a third front for Iran to attack and trap the West, which is why has stated constantly NATO will never be any offensive threat to Iran. It will instead engage in a haphazard, uncoordinated defense and regroup around Rome.

Tehran will commit some expendable units against Israel as a show of support for the Palestinian people knowing that will also encourage more Islamic radicalism, which will be directed at Egypt President Hosni Mubarak, one of the last Islamic heads of state cooperating with the West militarily.

Iran has convinced Damascus this is Syria’s chance to get Lebanon back from the French, who created the country in 1920 and was never officially recognized by Damascus. Iran-Syria will have Hezbollah and Palestinian units keep Israel busy in the Golan and of course Gaza and the West Bank. Tehran may even send some of its expendable units to the Golan. But Israel will be able to do more spectating than UNIFIL, which no longer has time to complain about Israel’s air force flying into Lebanon’s airspace monitoring Hezbollah.

I suspect Tehran has timed the fighting in Lebanon to coincide with heavy fighting to begin in Southeast Europe and South Asia.

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.