Crossfire War – Rapid Fire News=Tehran – Doha – Baghdad Watch – West Asia – North – Northeast Africa Theatre: Iran Test More Missiles Friday – Missiles Aimed at 32 US Bases in Region – Israel 7th Brigade Practices Lebanon War Scenario
Night Watch: AL-UDEID – “If America and Israel shoot any bullets and missiles against our country, Iranian armed forces will target the heart of Israel and 32 U. S. bases in the region before the dust from this attack has settled.” That was the precision quote by Mojtaba Zolnoor an aide to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) tested more missiles Friday. Turkish Press/AFP report Zolnoor is a cleric and the deputy representative of the Revolutionary Guards and his statement was the most precise concerning the exact targets Iran has aimed its missiles. The photo in the linked article is of the U.S. airbase Al-Udeid at Doha, Qatar whose ruler, Emir H. H. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, openly praised Hezbollah right after its 2006 war with Israel and he publicly stated he wished oil had been used as a weapon. Al-Thani supports the Jihad and Iran’s offensive foreign policy just as much as Tehran. Instead of sending troops his contribution is money, someone has to budget and underwrite the war effort. Doha’s view is not much different from the other Emir’s and Sheikh rules in the Persian Gulf, none of them believe the region needs the presence of military bases from the West any more. Reuters even mentioned, several years ago, some of the money that financed the Revolutionary Guards 9/11 attack passed through Dubai. The Pentagon can expect no assistance from His Highness when they come under attack. [TURKISHPRESS]
Haditha – RIA is reporting Iran tested several missiles with the range of 217 miles (350 km) but the names of the missiles and their characteristics were not revealed. Friday was the fourth day of The Great Prophet III maneuvers during which Iran tested a variety of surface-to-sea and surface-to-surface missiles. I suspect Friday’s test was surface-to-surface since 217 miles is almost the precise distance from Iran’s border to the U. S. airbase at Haditha, Iraq, where aircraft of the Israel Air Force (IAF) have been practicing take offs and landings at night for the past three weeks. From Haditha jet fighters are only five minutes from the Iranian coast on the Persian Gulf. And from Iran’s coast to the airbase at Al-Udeid is less than two hundred miles. [RIA]
Golan Heights – In a parallel development the Israel Defense Force (IDF) is conducting its own maneuvers as it practices a series of exercises in the Golan Heights to simulate an invasion of the two countries which Tehran has prepared to launch most of the missiles at Israel, Lebanon-Syria. Haaretz reports two brigades of the IDF the Paratroop and the 7th conducted serious exercises in a desperate attempt to regain the efficiency they had in 2000. The last time the 7th Brigade conducted maneuvers this serious was in 1999 and that is one of the main reasons for their poor performance in Lebanon in 2006 especially the failed siege of Bint Jabil which is just across Israel’s border with Lebanon. All of the senior brigade commanders have been replaced since then and the majority of the troops have been discharged. The Paratroop Brigade practiced a Lebanese War scenario by landing helicopters on mountainous terrain and contended with a simulated artillery barrage. Armored units engaged an “enemy army” that was modeled very much on the Syrian army which indicates the IDF views Lebanon-Syria as the same Northern Front. Both units also practiced engaging steep-trajectory rockets. [HAARETZ]
What has increased the sense of immediacy is the number of Hezbollah’s missiles-rockets now number 40,000, triple the number they had two years ago. Some of the rockets are south of the Litani River just twenty miles from Israel’s border and when the IDF reaches it the Katyushas would no longer be effective since their effective range is at the most twenty miles. But some of Hezbollah’s longer range missiles can reach Israel’s nuclear reactor at Dimona which is why the most likely place for Israel to first use its nuclear weapons is on the Northern Front.