Crossfire War – Rapid Fire News=Tehran – Baghdad – Islamabad Watch – West Asia Theatre: Iraq Army Prepares for Major Action Around Baqubah Near Iran Border August 1 – Reason for Tehran’s Planned Intervention – Pakistan-Iran Meet to Control Movement of Islamic Fighters from Their Countries into Iraq
Night Watch: BAQUBAH – Ever since the UK/US occupation of Iraq began in 2003 Tehran has consistently complained, with a large degree of truth, of it being the main cause of regional instability. Iran has also blamed the British/US presence for causing bomb attacks in Iranian provinces bordering Iraq. That I suspect was Tehran’s way of preparing the international community for the eventual news of Tehran sending Iranian units to openly enter Iraq in the name of regional stability and in support of Shia militias like the Mahdi Army headed by Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr who has always taken his marching orders from Tehran. Nor is it any secret the al-Qaeda units, whether Sunni or Shia are supported, armed and trained in Iran by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). [ASHARQALAWSAT]
And that is why the timing of today’s announcement in Asharq al-Awsat/AFP is so significant because it comes right after the news has mentioned the US/UK/France are practicing blockading Iran and those naval maneuvers should end July 31. It has now just been announced the Iraq Army is to begin a major operation in and around Baqubah, Diyala province August 1. The province borders Iran which is why Diyala is by far the most dangerous province in the country, due of course to the massive weapons assistance Tehran has provided for Islamic units attacking the occupation. And with the recent security agreement signed between Iraq Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and Iran, he has now been ordered to send 30,000 troops to the most dangerous area. al-Maliki was probably informed he and the Iraq Army will be used to provide reasons for Iran to openly intervene setting off full scale war between Iran and the UK/US and eventually the West.
It is quite possible this action could take place even before the blockade is in place. When U.S. President George W. Bush first began five years ago talking about attacking Iran as an option on the table an Iranian defense official indicated they will not let Washington attack first. Tehran would run the risk of losing the initiative if that ever happened. A U.S. military officer explained, “It will be an operation led by the Iraqi army. The U.S. Army will probably only watch…If they need help, we’ll help them. If not, we will not do anything.” Tehran definitely wants the Iraq Army to call on help which will make it easier for units armed by Iran to not only receive a more consistent supply of weapons but it may force the Pentagon to actually order attacks on bases inside Iran supplying the Shia/al-Qaeda units. That would enable Iran to say they are responding to U.S. aggression.
Iraq Army Colonel Ali al-Karkhi stated, “Yes, Diyala remains the most dangerous province in Iraq. We captured five people (Iraqis) who forty-five days ago were in Iran for training. They receive instructions from the Iranian services and their business is to kill people.” Colonel al-Karkhi said the militants receive three million dinars (2,400 dollars) a month. “It’s good money. The problem is that when we apply pressure they flee to Iran.” U.S. military officials assume these Shia militias are “rogue” elements of the Mahdi Army but I believe they are actually more active branches of it and designed to keep the occupation under attack to prepare for heavier fighting. They will attack the Iraq Army just enough to force them to call for help and Iraq Army units may even mention reports of more fighters streaming across the Iranian border.
Islamabad – To coordinate the movement of more Islamic fighters into Iraq there have been meetings in Islamabad between Iran-Pakistan officials for just that purpose, meetings held under the guise of controlling the narcotics and cross-border militant traffic. The Gulf-Times/AFP quoted Rehman Malik, a Pakistan senior adviser to Prime Minister Seyed Yousuf Raza Gilani on interior affairs, “From Iran, they go to Iraq and then come back. We are preparing a joint strategy to control it.” This actually means Islamabad-Tehran will increase the movement of more Islamic fighters into Iraq. [GULFTIMES]
Islamabad – IRNA (official website of the Iran government) hinted the same joint effort as it publicized the purpose of the Islamabad meeting in the Prime Minister’s office. In attendance, besides Rehman Malik, were Mohtaj-Iran Deputy Minister for Interior and Iran Ambassador to Pakistan Mashallah Shakri. The Prime Minister did make the statement these high level meetings were designed to strengthen relations. [IRNA]