Crossfire War – RAPID FIRE NEWS=TEHRAN – GAZA – BAGHDAD WATCH – West Asia – North – Northeast Africa Theatre
US Sixth Fleet Has Been Practicing Interception of Iran Shahab-3 Missile – South Ossetia Orders Mobilization After Heavy Exchange of Fire with Georgia – Muslim Leaders in Kashmir Plan Massive Pro-Independence Demonstrations – Hindus Continue to Riot in Jammu
Night Watch: EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN – In preparation for the inevitable for the past few years missile ships of the U. S. Sixth Fleet have been practicing the interception of Iran’s Shahab-3 missiles expected to be launched at Israel. The pan-Arab publication Asharq al-Awsat published an outline of Tehran’s Judgment Day response to an attack (cfw=Apr. 26-07) which mentioned 50 Shahab-3’s will be launched at Israel but with Syria’s participation many more Scud ballistic missiles will also be fired. Haaretz reports Sixth Fleet Commander Admiral James Winnefeld believes an Iranian missile attack would call for not only a U. S. response but also a response from NATO. Admiral Winnefeld describes Iran as an “unpredictable adversary” which could be provoked into action “by an isolated and perhaps seemingly unimportant event.” There is a lot of truth to his observation as Tehran likes to use its unpredictability to keep the enemy in a state of confusion. I still maintain Tehran wants to see fighting to increase first on the Hamas/Israel Gaza front before Iran enters the war in the name of supporting Palestinian people, even before Hezbollah-Syria enter the conflict. At the same Tehran will activate the Mahdi Army and Shia Militias in Iraq and support them with cruise missile attacks on UK/US bases and U. S. ships and bases in the Persian Gulf. [HAARETZ]
Israel has decided to destroy the house of the man that conducted the bulldozer attack in Jerusalem and that may prompt Palestinian militants to unleash a rocket barrage from Gaza which could force Israel to begin its offensive.
Tskhinvili – Moscow may have decided not to wait for war to resume in the Balkans to re-start its war against the Georgian government in Tbilisi just 160 miles north of Iran’s border. A three year war was waged from 1990-93 at the end of the Cold War as two regions of Georgia, Abkhazia-South Ossetia seceded with Russia’s support. In 1994 Moscow had to concentrate on the fighting further north when Chechnya erupted that December and then the problem became the massive corruption in Russia’s armed forces and government which lead to Russia’s defeat in 1996 and their financial collapse in 1998. But with the serious reforms made under Russia President Vladimir Putin from 1999 to this year the fighting is largely over in the North Caucasus and for the past few years Moscow has been able to give military support to Abkhazia-South Ossetia knowing it will lead to war with Georgia as Russia re-claims its hold over the entire region and its enormous oil-gas resources. Industrial services in the West, led by Berlin, have long used Russia to guarantee exports from here and privately support Moscow though publicly the West puts on a show of support for Georgia. Former U. S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger was sent to Moscow in April 2007 (cfw=4-26-07) to co-chair the Strategic Working Group with former Russia Premier Yevgeny Primakov as a real indication of the West’s real policy. [SWISSINFO]
Swissinfo/Reuters report the South Ossetian government in Tskhinvili has mobilized its military after heavy exchanges of fire with Georgian forces Thursday night with both sides blaming the other. Though Georgia has been receiving military assistance for the past several years from Turkey-Iran I do not believe it is to Tbilisi’s advantage to start the war against a heavily re-armed Russia. That is why I take the explanation from the commander of Georgian armed forces in the Conflict Zone so seriously. Battalion commander Mazurka Kurashvili stated his troops were forced to respond after South Ossetian forces began bombardment of several local Georgian villages.
Tskhinvili – As expected the Russia Foreign Ministry is accusing Georgia of “open aggression.” RIA is reporting officials in the ministry are actually claiming the bombardment was planned by Georgia. So now, according to the script Moscow has written, the President of South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoity, has issued a virtual ultimatum to the Georgian government demanding they stop their “aggressive actions” and if not then South Ossetia will go on the offensive. “If we are led to this I will give the order and as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief I will head the units that storm the hills.” [RIA]
Srinagar – Pro-Independence Muslim leaders in Kashmir are maintaining the pressure on India and the state government in Kashmir by calling for a massive pro-independence demonstration after Friday prayers. IRNA reports Leaders of the Hurriyat Conference, the leading pro-independence Muslim organization in the state, will begin the march at Jamia Mosque in Srinagar. Syed Ali Shah stated the march will proceed to Hazarathal shrine, one of the most important Islamic sites in the state. This is in observance of Youme Istiqbal (Day of Independence) and the march is to take place even though it has been banned by the Waqf Board which manages Muslim sites in Kashmir. But the Muslim leaders refer to the board as “stooges and agents of India” supporters of India’s control over the Muslim majority state. Another Hurriyat Conference leader, Mirwaz Umer Farooq has warned the Indian government of “serious consequences” if it does not control the Hindu violence south in Jammu and “If India tries to suppress this movement by force, it will have terrible consequences.” [IRNA]
Though Pakistan’s government has said nothing publicly about this new wave of protests one of the Muslim leaders visited Islamabad just two weeks ago before these demonstrations began.
Jammu – KONS is reporting there are no signs violence is easing in Jammu despite the second day of curfew as Hindus continue to have violent confrontations with police. They have formed an umbrella organization called the Shri Amarnath Shrine Sangharsh Samiti which is composed of thirty Hindu social-religious organizations. This new militant coalition has called for demonstrations to continue for at least 72 more hours as an angry mob of BJP-Shiv Sena members forced their way into the home of Hurriyat Conference leader Dev Raj Sharma and assaulted him as they ransacked his house. The BJP and Shiv Sena are the two leading political Hindu parties in India and represent the most anti-Pakistan and anti-Kashmir independence positions in India. [KONS]
Bari Behak – At the same time heavy fighting is continuing in Kashmir as the result of a large infiltration of Islamic militants from Pakistan’s part of Kashmir. NewsBlaze news agent Fayaz Wani reports the action began June 29 with what seems to have been the largest infiltration attempt this year. More than twenty militants came across the Line of Control (LoC), the demarcation that divides Pakistan’s part of Kashmir from India, near Bari Behak and the fighting since then has killed eighteen people five of them Indian soldiers. An Indian police officer stated, “The gun fight is going on. Additional forces have been rushed to the spot to prevent the militants from escaping the area.”