Crossfire War – Rapid Fire News=Tehran – Baghdad – Riyadh 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; Saudi Arabia Preparing for Nuclear War – Russian Intelligence Reports Increased US Military Activity Near Iran Borders – Persian Gulf – Muqtada Al-Sadr Orders Mahdi Army Off The Streets – Mahdi – Iraq Army Merging
Night Watch: RIYADH – It seems Washington used the recent visit to West Asia (Middle East) by Vice-President Dick Cheney to alert the House of Saud the U. S. has completed preparations for a missile-air attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities in April. PressTV reports the Saudi paper Okaz mentioned a meeting of the Saudi Shura Council after the Vice-President’s visit in which the council approved preparations to counter “radioactive fallout” due to a U. S. attack on Iran. There has also been a recent deployment of a U. S. nuclear submarine in the Persian Gulf. That is why I suspect the real reason for the current three day visit by U. S. Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice to Israel is not to discuss the removal of road blocks in the West Bank but to alert Jerusalem. [PRESSTV]
CentCom (Florida) – The forced resignation of Admiral William Fallon, earlier this month, was also part of the Pentagon’s preparation since Admiral Fallon was opposed to an attack on Iran. The BBC reports today his deputy commander Lieutenant-General Martin Dempsey has just been installed as commanding officer of U. S. Central Command (CentCom) during a ceremony at its Florida air base. [BBC]
Persian Gulf – The news ticker on Debka’s title page today is saying Russian intelligence has detected in increased amount of U. S. military activity on Iran’s border. [DEBKA]
Sadr City – Al Jazeera is reporting the Iraqi government is welcoming the order of Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of the Mahid Army, for his fighters to withdraw from the streets in several provinces. “We want the Iraqi people to stop this bloodshed and maintain Iraq’s independence and stability. For that we have decided to withdraw from the streets of Basra and all other provinces.” A spokesman for the Baghdad government, Ali al-Dabbagh stated, “Those who do not obey the instructions of the government and of Sadr, the government will be forced to implement the law against them.” The key phrase is the “government and of Sadr” implying the two are now working together to guarantee Iraq’s stability and independence after the withdrawal of the foreign occupation forces, which are about to come under missile attack from Iran in response to the U. S. offensive. This is the completion of the separation between Baghdad and London-Washington especially in terms of joint operations. Though the UK/US provided air support to the Iraq Army there was no real serious commitment between them. The most telling image of the fighting was not only the surrender of some Iraqi soldiers to the al-Sadr office but the soldiers were handed their weapons back and told to defend Iraq. [ALJAZEERA]
Iraq’s army is now working with the Mahdi Army and that has been the pattern for the past few years as the Mahdi Army would fight Iraq police and soldiers then negotiate with them and merge. That is why the U. S. military intelligence officials stated, during the six days of combat, the Mahdi Army had heavily infiltrated the Iraq Army and police. Operations against criminal gangs in the Basra area will continue and with this new relationship the Iraq Army and police will probably work with the Mahdi Army against them. As a sign of more combat coming against the foreign military occupation there has been no let up in the bombardment of the International Green Zone in Baghdad. It is quite possible the real reason Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is now based in Basra is he probably realizes he is safer there than in Baghdad. The attacks in the Green Zone will of course intensify when the U. S. attacks Iran. One of the things to watch will be to see if there are reports of Tehran reducing its embassy staff.