Crossfire War – Tehran – Damascus – Riyadh Watch – West Asia Theatre: Tehran – Damascus – Riyadh – Beirut/Paris – Rome; French Military Medics Forced out of S. Lebanon Village by Hezbollah – Youths Stone Spanish Troops
Night Watch: MARUN al-RAS – Tehran has begun its armed campaign against the European units in UNIFIL, the United Nations forces in south Lebanon organized by the Rome Conference last July. Soon after they arrived, Tehran had al-Qaeda declare them to be an enemy of Islam, realizing it was an instrument of Europe to restore its influence in the region that had been badly shaken by assassinations of Lebanese political leaders that had been working with the West. The assassinations had been carried out by Tehran and with the full knowledge of Damascus. Rome and the West also knew the only Islamic head of state completely opposed to Tehran’s growing influence was President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. [AKI]
As London-Washington attempt to limit the enormity of their defeat in Iraq the issue is who will control the future of the “New Middle East”, Tehran or Rome. AKI reports Hezbollah, working through municipal authorities have forced French military medics to leave the south Lebanon town of Marun al-Ras. It was an open secret Damascus-Tehran began rearming Hezbollah as soon as the ceasefire in August ended last summer’s war between Israel/Hezbollah. Though UNIFIL’s highly publicized mission was to enforce the ceasefire they did nothing to prevent Hezbollah’s new arms shipments and the French especially complained about Israel’s reconnaissance flights to monitor Hezbollah’s movements. There was even a brief confrontation between Israeli and French units, that caused Jerusalem to threaten to bombard UNIFIL.
But now, as Hezbollah threatens to begin a campaign of civil disobedience to increase pressure on Western ally Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, Tehran is now having Hezbollah and its supporters target UNIFIL, right after Syria President Bashar al-Assad just visited Tehran last week. On Sunday, youths who support Hezbollah threw stones at Spanish troops. UNIFIL is trying to explain these incidents away as “misunderstandings” and “youthful exhuberance.” [AKI]
With Hezbollah resupplied, Damascus-Tehran are now in position to attack Israel-UNIFIL-US/UK and maintain the siege against Siniora simultaneously and with the full blessing of the House of Saud.