Crossfire War – RAPID FIRE NEWS=TEHRAN – ISLAMABAD – BEIJING WATCH – South Asia Theatre: Tehran – Beijing – Riyadh – Tashkent – Kabul – Katmandu – Dhaka – Islamabad/Srinagar – Arunachal Pradesh – Delhi; Al Madina Regiment Claims Responsibility for Explosion in Srinagar – Unit Supported by Pakistan – Iran – Joint Headquarters Exercise Completed by US – Israel – Juniper Falcon – PLO Accuses Israel of Trying to Weaken Palestinian National Authority
Night Watch: JAHANGIR CHOWK – More detail is surfacing concerning the massive explosion yesterday in Srinagar, Kashmir, in its central district Jahangir Chowk. The Current News Service was called by someone representing the Islamic unit Al Madina Regiment and claimed responsibility for the explosion. Indian police have said the group is a front for one of the main militant organizations Lashkar-e-Toiba based in Pakistan. I suspect this could be the beginning of a series of explosions targeting Srinagar, Kashmir’s provincial capital, as part of Pakistan President-General Pervez Musharraf’s offensive “Action Plan” he presented to Tehran a year ago. If so then it is designed to force Delhi to implement its “hot pursuit” policy and attack the militant bases in Pakistan’s part of Kashmir especially if next month experiences a sudden increase in infiltration by the 2,500-3,000 militants at bases (launching pads) in Pakistan just across the Line of Control. [GULFTIMES]
The Gulf-Times quoted police officer Pervez Ahmed, “The explosive device was apparently planted inside an abandoned police picket (post) on the fly over.” The officer added most of the injuries were caused by falling bricks and pieces of concrete. Deputy Inspector-General of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) M. K. Nathiyal stated, “We have surrounded the blast site. We are trying to ascertain whether it was a car bomb or an IED (improvised explosive device).” Both of those explosives have been used with devastating effectiveness against the occupation in Iraq and both of them have been supplied by Tehran. Iran began to export the same explosive technology to Taliban and other Islamic units in Afghanistan last year and that is why I suspect yesterday’s explosion is a major indication Tehran has begun to enter the Indo-Pakistan war.
The last explosion of this magnitude in Srinagar was in July last year.
Tel Aviv – Haaretz reports a four day exercise between the U. S. Air Force European Command (EUCOM) and the Israel Defense Force (IDF) was completed Wednesday night. The joint maneuvers were conducted at Israel’s military headquarters near Tel Aviv under the code name Juniper Falcon that not only involved IDF General Command but also the Israel Air Force (IAF) and the Israel Navy. The scenarios practiced were events expected in the near future and designed to test the militaries of both countries working together. No names of enemy governments were mentioned publicly of course but three are obvious: Damascus-Beirut-Tehran. Lebanon has to be included not only because of Hezbollah bases in the country’s south but also because Lebanon’s army has publicly declared itself an enemy of Israel and privately an enemy of France and the West. [HAARETZ]
The IDF team was headed by Brigadier-General Yossi Heiman head of Division for Strategic Planning and Foreign Affairs and the U. S. team was led by Marine Brigadier General Mark Brilakis Deputy Director for Operation Directorate EUCOM Plans and Operation Center. There is a Marine unit based on one of the U. S. ships off the Syrian and Lebanese coasts.
Ramallah – Xinhua reports a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, Yasser Abed Rabbo, is accusing Israel of trying to weaken the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). Rabbo pointed to “what has happened on the ground of blockade and siege in the West Bank and Gaza in addition to settlement activities, arrests and raids on homes and villages. Israel apparently doesn’t need a Palestinian partner to achieve a just peace. Israel wants to see the Palestinians divided in order to impose temporary solutions to win more time.” He may as well accuse Israel of causing last year’s civil war between Hamas and Fatah. Jerusalem imposes temporary, flexible solutions because they have no other choice in dealing with a fragmented community with a fragmented leadership with a fragmented mentality. Hamas is pledged to martyrdom and destruction of Israel, even admitting they are not trying to achieve a Palestinian state and Fatah-PLO are pledged to corruption. [XINHUA]