Crossfire War – Reports of Syria Military Build Up on Israel Border

Crossfire War – TEHRAN – DAMASCUS – RIYADH WATCH – West Asia Theatre: Tehran – Riyadh – Beirut – Damascus/Jerusalem – Cairo – Paris – Rome; Reports of Syrian Military – Missile Build Up Along Israel Border – 1967 Revisited – Strike Zion

Night Watch: DAMASCUS – It is now obvious why former Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Washington-New York recently. He has probably received approval by Washington for Jerusalem to respond as Israel sees fit to the constant reports of Syria’s military build-up along Israel’s border. AKI reports there is even news about Damascus deploying missiles. There has long been a Scud missile factory in Syria jointly owned by Damascus-Tehran. Of every variety of missiles in Hezbollah’s possession, Syria has even more. In the meantime, for at least the past month, a Palestinian militant unit Islamic Jihad, and they are strictly military, have been stating they will not cease their Qassam rocket fire into Israel-Sederot from Gaza. Last year’s war started in Gaza. Sederot has now been almost completely abandoned. [AKI]

It is no coincidence that these reports are now being made public right after Iran Defense Minister Brigadier Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar has just concluded three days of planning, in Damascus, with Syria Defense Minister Lieut-General Hassan Turkmani. They know it is now time to fully activate Iran-Syria’s defense and security agreement made official last year just before the summer war primarily between Hezbollah/Israel. Last year was a rehearsal. Tehran had some Iran Revolutionary Guard officers actively working with Hezbollah and Tehran monitored the region’s and international response to the 34-day war. However, neither side used all they had in their arsenal. Now Tehran is more seriously threatened by military threats to Iran’s immediate north, Russia in the South Caucasus through Tbilisi, Georgia. This will be the year that all of Iran’s plans-offensives take the field, mostly against the West, through the Balkans and against India through Pakistan.

However, for reasons of popularity and spiritual significance, Iran wants to be seen doing something against Israel. Tehran’s clerical establishment has probably even designated Israel to be the holiest front, but the least important economically. There is no market for salt in the Dead Sea but there is for the oil and gas in the Caspian. Economic influence is what Tehran’s religious – nationalist establishment are after. That is probably the reason Iran Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, is now in Geneva making Tehran’s last deceptive attempt to fool the frightened international community into believing Iran’s nuclear weapons program can be ended peacefully. Nevertheless, Israel cannot afford to engage in such illusory hopes, so in preparation for the worse Jerusalem will probably use the same strategy Israel used so successfully in 1967 when they realized they were going to be attacked: Israel attacked first and won the war in six days. As in 1967, the most important front for Israel is Syria, even more so now since Iran has entered the war and will commit some units.

Defeating the West and ending its influence in the affairs of West Asia (Middle East) is Tehran’s and the Islamic world’s main objective, the war against Israel will be used as it was last year, a military distraction used to activate Islamic radicals. Right now Tehran-Damascus are not only merging their military strategy but also their media presentation to the Islamic and world community. Media executives of Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) and Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) have been meeting to make certain the same explanation is presented by both services in a unified way, which will increase the chances of directing the Muslim population to their advantage. [IRNA]

Since Islamic governments knows any war with Israel receives enormous popular support, they also support and justify it, especially since it will encourage the destabilizing influence of Islamic radicals to leave their countries and go to Israel as Islamic governments prepare to celebrate their martyrdom. The only exception to that convenience is Egypt President Hosni Mubarak due to his hatred of Islamic radicalism ever since they assassinated his predecessor Anwar al-Sadat in 1981, just two years after the Khomeini revolution in Iran. Tehran named a street after the assassin, so in no way will Mubarak support any position that gives even just the suggestion of cooperating with Tehran in any way. However, as has stated repeatedly, war against Israel and the West is popular in Egypt and that popularity will seriously undermine Mubarak’s authority, which was indeed shaken during last year’s summer war.

Because of that war, the Muslim Brotherhood saw a dramatic increase in their popular support during last year’s elections and it forced Mubarak’s administration to prevent many people from voting. However, with the fighting more intense this year, and with the European units under UNIFIL in Lebanon caught up in the fighting, the results of this wave of war will have more of an impact than ever. I suspect, however, that most of Egypt’s military will remain loyal to Mubarak. If that is the case, he could have them attack the Iranian forces in the immediate area. When that happens, Iran and the Jihad will concentrate on Mubarak instead of on Jerusalem.

Cairo is surrounded by governments that actively support the Jihad, Tripoli- Khartoum-Riyadh and with the West more concerned about UNIFIL, plus other possible action in the Mediterranean, as well as fighting in the Balkans having resumed, the West will be in no position to help Mubarak. Perhaps Mubarak can get to Rome, as did King Farouk who was overthrown in 1952 by an Islamic-nationalist-military coalition.

Willard Payne

Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.