Crossfire War – RAPID FIRE NEWS=BERLIN – PRISTINA – PARIS WATCH – Southeast Europe Theatre: Berlin – Paris – Brussels – Washington – Tirana – Tehran – Pristina/(Vienna – Warsaw)/Kosovska Mitrovica – Belgrade – Banja Luka – Podogrica – Athens – Sofia – Bucharest – Budapest – Tehran – Moscow; Kosovo Albanians to Declare Independence Feb. 6 – Chorus of Official Voices Against Iran President Increases – Hamas – Islamic Jihad Deny Reports of Truce with Israel – Israel PM States War to Continue – Hamas Now in Control of Smuggling Network from Egypt to Gaza
Night Watch: PARIS – It seems Kosovo Albanians are going to follow the suggestion by Berlin-Paris, which is to make their declaration of independence from Serbia after the Serbian elections on February 3. Focus is reporting the Serbian paper Vecernje Novosti has stated Kosovo Albanians will make the declaration on February 6. The article is based on information from what the paper calls “certain circles” in Belgrade and Paris. Berlin-Paris-London-Washington are the leading capitals in support of independence and it is an extension of their support for Albanian nationalists groups for the past ten years that expanded the war against Serbia further south in 1997. One of the main hidden reasons for wars against Serbia, after the Cold War ended in 1990, was to use them to establish a new European military (Britain-France-Germany) replacing NATO. Belgrade’s suppression of the uprising led to NATO’s 78-day bombing campaign in 1999 and the alliance has occupied the province with 17,000 troops ever since. [FOCUS]
Moscow ended its cooperation with NATO as a result and has led the re-arming of Serbia. Yesterday crossfirewar.com reported the Tripartite (Military) Pact signed by Athens-Sofia-Bucharest in support of Belgrade and in January 2006, Tehran signed a security agreement with Belgrade. Iran knows fighting in this theatre can be used to not only defeat NATO but to also end the investigation into Iran’s nuclear weapons program by the UN agency based in Vienna.
Tehran – The list of Iranian officials seriously criticizing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continues to grow. Asharq al-Awsat/AFP report the latest example is the former commander of the Revolutionary Guards Mohsen Rezaie who headed the elite unit from 1981-97. The economic situation in the country is again the excuse and the reason Rezaie is taken so seriously is because he has by no means retired, but is an important adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Rezaie is secretary of Tehran’s leading decision-making body the Expediency Council and in that position; he has the constant attention of the Supreme Leader. But the Expediency Council is not designed to give economic advice, only matters concerning the foreign policy, especially the deception of the enemy primarily the West. [ASHARQALAWSAT]
As stated in yesterday’s article the real reason for this preparing of Iran’s population and the world for Ahmadinejad’s dismissal is that his distraction purpose has been accomplished and it is time to have a cleric become President once again since it is the religious establishment that has been leading the foreign policy and will continue to do so as the Jihad runs its course next year. I suspect Khamenei will soon announce, based on the advice he has received, the dismissal of Ahmadinejad due to the economic crisis, which has created a crisis of confidence in the government, and the appointment of former President Mohammad Khatami as an interim head of state until elections in 2009. Currently Khatami is head of the Association of Combatant Clerics, a position he was given right after the 2005 elections and he will not assume office again to combat the economy, but mainly the West, which still sees him as a moderate. Tehran’s deception began with the promoting of Khatami as a moderate in 1997, first Iranian voters then the West, as Iran continued preparations for (f)allout war, obviously, and those preparations are over.
Khatami began the campaign of criticism two months ago and I assume Ahmadinejad knows the real reason. I suspect Ahmadinejad will be appointed to a position in the Interior Ministry where he can continue his domestic agenda. Other leading figures parts of the campaign are: former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani mentioned yesterday, ex-nuclear negotiator Hassan Rowhani, Mayor of Tehran Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and Deputy Parliament Speaker Mohammad Reza Bahonar.
Gaza – INN is reporting, according to Hamas – Islamic Jihad spokespersons, reports of them offering a ceasefire to Israel are completely untrue and is an attempt by Israel and Fatah media to divide the Palestinian leadership. Sami Abu Zuhri of Hamas responded, “There is continuous Israeli aggression and there is resistance. The ball is still in Israel’s court. It is up to Israel because when they stop all their aggressions we will then discuss the issue.” Another Hamas official, Ismail Radwan stated, “These reports are completely unfounded…The enemy only understands the language of resistance.” Islamic Jihad also denied the reports, which had been given widespread coverage in international media, and accused Israel-Fatah of “spreading lies.” [INN]
Jerusalem – In the meantime Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is also giving no indications the war with Palestinian militants is about to end. INN quoted him today at the Sunday Cabinet meeting, “The State of Israel has no interest in conducting negotiations with elements that do not recognize the Quartet’s conditions. This is true of Hamas and it is true of Islamic Jihad.” The “Quartet” is composed of the U. S.-EU-UN-Russia and they have been leading the negotiations to find a peaceful solution to the issues in the region and they insist Islamic governments, including Hamas and Palestinian organizations first recognize Israel’s right to exist. This is something Hamas and Islamic Jihad refuse to do at Tehran’s instructions. [INN]
Rafah – Tehran has now had Hamas take over the 150 smuggling tunnels across the Sinai, from Egypt to Gaza. INN reports this will generate a considerable amount of revenue since Hamas charges the owners of the tunnels $3,000 a day. The owners quickly agreed to the price when five tunnels were blown up when some of them refused to pay. Hamas will receive $150 million dollars a year and the value of the material smuggled is estimated to be nearly half a billion dollars yearly. The tunnels are categorized according to the material channeled through them; weapons-cash-Hamas military commanders-food-medicine-computer equipment. But some have been dug near IDF (Israel Defense Force) positions so Hamas will not use them and those tunnels are used to smuggle dangerous drugs. [INN]
Jerusalem – The Israeli government has begun to prepare its citizens for what they are calling “non-conventional attacks.” INN reports Israel’s Home Front Command (HFC) has begun mailing pamphlets called “Being Prepared and Ready” to every household with instructions like how to find the safest area of your apartment. There is also an English language version one can request. [INN]