Crossfire War – No Ceasefire in Chad- Rafah Breach Increased Weapons Traffic

Crossfire War – RAPID FIRE NEWS=TEHRAN – N’DJAMENA – KHARTOUM WATCH – North – Northeast Africa Theatre: Tehran – Riyadh – Tripoli – Khartoum – N’Djamena/Paris – Berlin – Washington; Heavy Fighting Continues in N’Djamena Around Presidential Palace Despite Reports of Ceasefire – Breach of Rafah Terminal Increased Smuggling of Advanced Weapons into Gaza – Mosul Prepares for Assault on al-Qaeda (Iran) and Islamic Fighters

Night Watch: N’DJAMENA – Despite reports of a ceasefire in the Chad capital N’Djamena, arranged by Libyan leader Mummar Gaddafi, heavy fighting continued as the rebel coalition advanced toward the Presidential palace. Henchi Ordjo, opposition spokesperson stated, “No ceasefire has been agreed.” Ordjo told Reuters the only reason the opposition suspended attacks for a while was to give President Idriss Deby the opportunity to leave, but AFP reports Deby turned down a French offer to help him escape. Haru Mutasa of Al Jazeera observed, “It doesn’t look like a cease fire is in place, the fighting is getting closer to where we are.” N’Djamena’s main market has been destroyed by fire and looting and the state radio station has also been destroyed, I suspect by government troops to deny the opposition a chance to use it. [ALJAZEERA]

There are no official death toll just reports of bodies in the streets either burned or hacked to death. A hospital reported treating 48 wounded only one being a combatant. Earlier Sunday government helicopters took off from the airbase at the airport and fired on opposition forces in south N’Djamena.

Rafah – Suspicions are being confirmed the Islamic axis of Iran-Syria have used the breach of the Rafah Terminal on the Egypt-Gaza border to increase the smuggling of advanced weapons into Gaza for use against Israel, either offensively or for defense against Israel’s expected invasion. Haaretz reports Yuval Diskin; the head of Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) has stated, “Weapons that were smuggled in tunnels will now be transferred in an easier manner above ground.” Diskin mentioned in the last several days large amounts of advanced weapons, long range rockets, anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles have entered the Gaza Strip from Egypt, as well as material used in rocket production which he said is difficult to acquire. Along with this increased weapons traffic Islamic militant groups based in Iran-Syria-Egypt have sent dozens of agents into Gaza, all of them having been trained in Iran. [HAARETZ]

Diskin also noted there are 30 points on the Sinai 125 mile border with Israel’s Negev region that can be used to penetrate into Israel and that Islamic militant units are already active in 20 of them. Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have responded by establishing a buffer patrol zone of 1 to 3 miles (2-5 km) on the Sinai/Negev frontier.

Mosul – Al Jazeera reports residents of Mosul, Iraq’s third largest city near Turkey’s border, are stocking up on essentials after warnings of a large battle about to begin in the city between the U. S. and Iraq’s new army against al-Qaeda (Iran) and other Islamic fighters, 150 of them sponsored by one of the sons of the Libyan leader Mummar Gaddafi. The warnings circulated Saturday after Iraq Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki had a meeting with his war council and commander of U. S. forces in Iraq General David Petraeus. There are already differences between Baghdad/Washington as to the kind of campaign expected and its duration. Prime Minister al-Maliki has said the battle will be swift and begin in the next few days but a spokesperson for the U. S. said it will be a grinding campaign and not at all swift. [ALJAZEERA]

Reports of this decisive battle being planned began back in early January and if I remember correctly, the Pentagon was meant to have only a supporting role until intelligence mentioned the arrival of 150 Islamic fighters the Seifaddin Regiment. The Prime Minister would of course prefer a brief engagement since that would be easier for his new Iraq army, which may have divided loyalties and could collapse if the fighting is heavy. However, as recently as last week reported (Jan. 29) Iraq’s Defense Minister Abdel Qadar Jassim admitted, “The situation in Mosul is worse than imagined by far.” Jassim stated the Iraqi units were scattered and there was not a unified command.

Srinagar – For nearly a week now there has been heavy fighting in Kashmir between Islamic militants and Indian army and police units. Fayaz Wani of NewsBlaze reports nine militants have been killed in the past five days in three different encounters. January 30 four members of Hizub-ul-Mujahideen were killed near Kulgam in South Kashmir in what may have been an infiltration attempt in the only area where that is possible during the winter months. February 1 one of the heads of the group was killed in another encounter and on the first four Pakistani nationals, members of Lashkar-e-Toiba were killed when para-military forces attacked a house they were staying in Drusoo Jagir Rafiabad. [NEWSBLAZE]

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.