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Israel's Golani Brigade in war maneuver
Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak offered the view this week that the next round of Six-Power talks with Iran taking place on May 23 in Baghdad would lead nowhere, throwing cold water on the current optimism. As for US media reports of a lessening in war tensions over Iran because of the internal debate in Israel over an independent attack, they were soon overtaken by significant military steps embarked on Tuesday, May 1, by the US, Israel and Iran.
Israeli army spokesmen were cagey about the scale and nature of the exercise beyond preparing people living in the north for heavy military traffic on regional highways and the sounds of gunshots and explosions.
Monday, Israel started building a defensive wall 10-meter high, 2 kilometer-long along its border with Lebanon to protect the Israeli population and highways in northern Galilee from sniper fire coming from the Lebanese village of Kfar Kila in the Hizballah-dominated south. According to intelligence received, the Lebanese Shiite Hizballah plans to lash out against Israel in the hope of recovering its waning popular support as a result of its tight bonds with the hated Bashar Assad. Snipers are to pick off Israelis in cross-border fire and so provoke a major firestorm that will take the world’s attention away from the savagery in Syria.
Gen. Hossein Zolfaqari, Commander of the Iranian Border Guards, was more forthcoming about the exercise he is leading than Israel’s army spokesmen. He announced that the naval maneuver codenamed “Fajr” would exercise the latest tactics in border protection with the participation of the border guard units of the provinces of Bushehr (site of Iran’s only nuclear reactor and parts of its uranium enrichment facilities), the Persian Gulf Kish Island (where big Revolutionary Guards bases at situated), Hormozgan (near the Revolutionary Guards main headquarters at Bandar Abbas) as well as Khuzestan and Sistan and Balochestan, Iran’s biggest oil regions.
Very much on the offensive, Tehran Monday claimed to have developed the technological expertise for “redirecting enemy missiles to a target which we will determine,” in the words of Brig. Farzad Ismaili, commander of the Khatam-ol-Anbiya (Last of the Prophets) Air Base. “This is the capability of electronic warfare in which it is we who program the enemy missile,” he boasted.
A week after the F-22 squadron was deployed in the Gulf, Elizabeth
Sherwood-Randall, special assistant to President Obama and senior director for
European affairs at the National Security Council, disclosed Monday that the
completion of the initial phase of the US-backed missile network in Europe would
be announced at the NATO summit meeting in Chicago on May 20.
The chronology is significant: The announcement that the US-led missile shield has gone operational will be made three days before the Six Powers and Iran resume nuclear negotiations in Baghdad.
1Thessalonians 5:16 -18 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. KJV
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