Crossfire War – Sadr City Experiences Heavy Fighting After Assassination

Crossfire War – Rapid Fire News=Tehran – Baghdad – Damascus Watch – West Asia – North – Northeast Africa Theatre: Tehran – Riyadh – Tripoli – Khartoum – El Arish – Ramallah – Gaza – Beirut – Damascus – Baghdad/London – Washington – Jerusalem – Cairo – Amman – Paris – Rome; Assassination of al-Nouri Increases Fighting in Sadr City – China Military Journals Launch Verbal Offensive Against India – States China More Prepared for War Than in 1962

Night Watch: NAJAF – From the news video with the France24/AFP link it does appear it was Riyadh al-Nouri, senior aide to Muqtada al-Sadr, who was assassinated Friday outside his home in Najaf the Shia holy city south of Baghdad. His killing also seems to have had the desired effect Tehran planned since the news is reporting Sadr City experienced its heaviest fighting Friday night in two weeks. Obviously Iran viewed al-Nouri as a necessary sacrifice to set the stage for the Mahdi Army, armed and trained by Iran, and headed by al-Sadr, to increase its attacks on the U. S. and Iraq Army units trying to serve with Washington and London. al-Sadr has already played his part by accusing the U. S. military of being behind the killing so I suspect within a week, due to more attacks against the Mahdi Army and Shia militias, al-Sadr will announce an official end to the ceasefire Tehran had him impose last August. [FRANCE24]

Sadr City – We will then have the heaviest fighting since the occupation began five years ago with Iran poised to enter. Swissinfo reports a Reuter’s reporter who spent the night in Sadr City saw U. S. aircraft and helicopters overhead firing missiles as members of the Mahdi Army fired rocket propelled grenades and placed machine guns in position. Loudspeakers from mosques blared sermons and messages all during the combat, “We will not allow the Americans to enter the city whatever happens, if we lose our lives and our sons.” A U. S. convoy enroute to support an Iraqi Army unit setting up a checkpoint west of Sadr City was hit by at least 10 roadside bombs which caused damage but no injuries. Despite the heavy fighting an Iraq government security spokesman Major-General Qassim Moussawi described the situation as stable. “If more such clashes take place, we will deal with them by raiding the targets in an intelligent way.” [SWISSINFO]

But Major-General Moussawi is depending on an Iraq Army U. S. military intelligence officials admit has been heavily infiltrated by followers of al-Sadr. The Iraq Army will dissolve under heavier combat leaving the lost alliance of London-Washington exposed and alone.

Arunachal Pradesh -Beijing has timed articles in military journals which attack India, to appear during the week long visit to China by Pakistan President-General Pervez Musharraf. DNA-India and the South Asia Daily News Scan of retired Indian Brigadier Rahul Bhonsle have discussed in detail the barrage of accusations China’s official military journals are bombarding India. The reason for the timing with President-General Musharraf is because China, like Pakistan, has territorial disputes with India which is the reason Islamabad-Beijing established strategic relations as far back as 1951 with China being by far the most consistent supporter of Pakistan’s policies and supplier of Pakistan’s military. The foundation of Pakistan’s nuclear-ballistic missile programs are due to China which still claims control over India’s northeast state of Arunachal Pradesh on the Tibet-India border. 1951 was just one year after China invaded Tibet and just three years after the Tibetan uprising in 1959 China attacked India for one month across border with the fighting extending south into Assam state on the Bay of Bengal. [DNAINDIA]

The military journal article mentioned, from the China Institute of International Studies, was written by someone calling himself Zhangguo Zhan Lue, which in Chinese means China Strategy. It is titled, “A Warning to the Indian Government: Don’t Be Evil!” and it accuses Delhi of pursuing the same “confrontational” policy which led to China’s attack in 1962. The article, I suspect written by an officer with the unprofessional air of someone insulted, states China is more prepared for war then even in 1962 since Beijing has deployed high-altitude combat brigades in Tibet and will not pull back as China did that year. The reason China did pull back was because they were about to have some serious border fighting with the Soviet Union which is why Moscow has been the most consistent supporter of India’s military. Russia is of course acutely aware of this intense regional rivalry and knew it would lead to some of the most serious fighting in World War III revolving around old ancient rivalry. So after holding maneuvers with China last September Moscow cut off all military contact with Beijing.

The article actually blames both Russia and the U. S. as supporting India’s “confrontational” policies which led to China’s invasion in 1962 and that Delhi is currently repaying China’s kindness with treachery. Beijing is using the article to accuse India of trying to become not only a regional but a global power and therefore has in the past ten years purchased weapons to be used against China especially its nuclear weaponry and ballistic missiles. It also states Delhi’s view of China as an enemy is “imaginary” as if there is no real basis for Delhi perceiving China as a threat. As if India invented the territorial claims by China’s diplomats.

This territorial dispute was revived in November 2006 when Beijing’s Ambassador to Delhi stated in an interview Arunachal Pradesh is Chinese territory and the following month China-Pakistan held joint maneuvers just west of Kashmir and even indicated they were establishing a joint command. Late last year China President Hu Jintao announced China and Pakistan were about to take their strategic cooperation to new heights which is why India has responded by strengthening its defenses in Arunachal Pradesh with India’s military leadership stating there will be no repeat of 1962. This is why I have often written Pakistan is about to have its best war. Though India has a large and powerful military and has defeated Pakistan easily three times since their independence in 1947 Pakistan has never had this kind of support before and in General Musharraf they have a head of state who knows what he is doing militarily. Tehran is also prepared to commit a large number of units in support of Pakistan and it was Musharraf who designed the Kargil probe in 1999 that caught India off guard in late May.

The article ends by descending into petty observations that Indians are an arrogant people.

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.