Crossfire War – Rapid Fire News=Tehran – Gaza – Damascus Watch – West Asia – North – Northeast Africa Theatre: Palestinians Fire Rockets from Iranian Made Multiple Launch System – Turkey Masses Troops on Iraq Border – Heavy Fighting in Kashmir
Night Watch: TEHRAN – Monday, the official news agency of the Iranian government IRNA reported Iran’s new Speaker of Parliament (Majlis) Ali Larijani, held a telephone conversation with Hamas Prime Minister Esmaeil Haniyeh in which Larijani assured him the Palestinians will achieve victory over Israel and that Iran’s eighth Parliament since the 1979 revolution will continue its support of the Palestinian cause. In other, non-diplomatic words, Tehran will remain the primary source of financing, training and arming of Palestinian militant groups. Haniyeh responded by thanking Larijani and Iran then said the Palestinian people will remain committed to the resistance against what they and Tehran-Damascus call Israel’s occupation of Palestine since Israel was re-established in 1948. [IRNA]
Gaza – Tuesday Debka reports for the first time Palestinians fired an Iranian made multiple-launch rocket system from Gaza from a mounted vehicle. The rockets carry an 8 kg (17 lbs) warhead, more powerful than the Qassam and with the same range 9 km (6 miles). This is the same kind of weapon Hezbollah used so effectively from Lebanon in 2006 and this signals another upgrading of the power of Palestinian militant units and why Israel has placed itself at such extreme risk first at not re-occupying the Gaza Strip two years ago when militant groups attacked and secondly as Israel keeps delaying its invasion. Tehran has found Israel’s delay to be very strategic as Iran-Syria continue to not only keep the Gaza Strip well armed but this year began to ship more powerful weapon systems that are not only a threat to more Israeli cities but has increased the effectiveness of Hamas-Islamic Jihad units against Israel Defense Force (IDF) tanks and Israel Air Force (IAF) aircraft. [DEBKA]
If Israel’s invasion had taken place a year ago their losses would have been far fewer than what will happen this year. This delay has enabled Iran to maintain the initiative, in control of events. The Egyptian government of President Hosni Mubarak has also contributed to the security breakdown by not engaging in a serious effort to end the massive smuggling not only from Egypt into Gaza but now from the Sudan into the Sinai and from there to Gaza. The weapons are dropped from freighters into boats in the Suez Canal then to Sinai and from there to one of the hundreds of smuggling tunnels into Gaza near the Rafah Terminal on the Egyptian border. It is now being reported helping the smuggling are bribed Egyptian police working with Tehran and Palestinian militants. This continues to undermine Mubarak’s authority.
Baghdad – In other action Tehran is coordinating in the region AKI reports Iraq Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is to make a state visit to Tehran on Saturday with the purpose of increasing relations. No details were given so I suspect the reason for the visit is to plan military cooperation directed to engulf the remaining UK/US forces into even heavier fighting than they experienced in March-April. Iran will probably have al-Maliki order the Iraq Army to begin another operation against Islamic groups which will provide the Mahdi Army and other units to begin a new wave of attacks against the occupation. This is what happned in March when al-Maliki ordered an operation against Washington’s wishes and the action revealed the weaknesses in Iraq’s army and police. Iran may also have the Prime Minister continue negotiations for a continued U. S. military presence after 2008 something which is opposed by every political party in the country. [AKI]
The Prime Minister’s visit takes place just a few days after Iraq Vice-President Abdel Adel Mahdi went to Tehran where he met President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Speaker of Parliament (Majlis) Ali Larijani and Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.
Amman – As an example of the new unity in Iraq to the opposition the security agreement is creating Xinhua reports the other Iraq Vice-President Tareq Al Hashemi was speaking in the Jordan capital Amman late Sunday and stated, “Iraq will never accept any deal that infringes on its sovereignty and is not in the interest of the Iraqi people.” No Islamic government in the region wanted to see Britain and the U. S. maintain military bases in Iraq. [XINHUA]
Ankara – Xinhua is reporting the Turkish government has positioned large numbers of troops into the province which borders northern Iraq. This is from the Anatolia news agency. No number was given but they are in the Besta region near the Cudi-Gabar mountains in Sirnak province. This could be a follow up to the sixteen PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) targets bombed by the Turkish Air Force last Thursday. [XINHUA]
Kashmir – As a sign of increased attacks by Islamic militant groups of India’s control over Kashmir there were three gunbattles in the state Monday. Fayaz Wani of NewsBlaze reports the firefights were in North Kashmir mostly involving Indian security units in what are described as combing operations in a search for Islamic fighters from Pakistan’s part of Kashmir. Two of the gunbattles involved members of the Iran-Pakistan supported Lashkar-e-Toiba in Chunitpora, Handwara. Another engagement was in Watergam, Rafiabad 42 miles (70 km) from Kashmir’s capital Srinagar and the final encounter was against members of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen in Bandipora. This is a continuation of the fighting that increased in May as every year due to the melting of the snow. But the ominous difference this year are signs of Pakistan’s direct involvement with direct fire coming from Pakistan troops on Indian positions twice last month in a flagrant violation of the ceasefire and before that Pakistan Rangers provided cover fire for an Islamic unit infiltrating into India’s part of the state. [NEWSBLAZE]