Iran WAR prep
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
July 6, 2008, 1:20 PM (GMT+02:00)
Iranian intelligence insignia
Under the intelligence cooperation agreement Iran and Syria signed secretly in Tehran on June 27, thousands of Syrian intelligence and police officers will receive special training in Iran, DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report.
The accord they concluded is a crucial element in the deepening strategic relationship between Tehran and Damascus. It belies the contention by French president Nicolas Sarkozy and prime minister Ehud Olmert, accepted also by Washington, that the Syrian regime is about to desert its close alliance with Tehran and embrace the West.
DEBKAfile Special Report
July 5, 2008, 1:14 PM (GMT+02:00)
Iran's chief of staff Maj. Gen Hasan Firuzabadi
Chief of staff Maj. Gen. Hasan Firuzabadi said Saturday, July, 5, Iran’s strategy is to keep the Strait of Hormuz in “southern Iran” open, but “if the country’s interests are jeopardized in the region, we will not let any ship pass through.”
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that this statement enlarges on earlier threats by adding Iran’s “strategic interests in the region,” namely Syria, Hizballah or Hamas. It is in keeping with Iran’s refusal to give up uranium enrichment in its reply to the six-power proposals for ending the nuclear standoff.
U.S. Troops Dying on Afghan Border With ... IRAN?
By James Gordon Meek
Allied combat deaths in Afghanistan surpassed those in Iraq for a second straight month in June. Meanwhile, New Yorker reporter Sy Hersh writes that U.S. covert operators are infiltrating Iran.
What do these two developments have in common? Maybe nothing. But as we report in Thursday’s New York Daily News, one new factor in the record high casualties of the ever-escalating Afghan war is that American troops are suddenly dying along the country’s border with Iran.
At least 10 Americans have been killed in action since May 25 in Afghanistan’s Farah province, which lies on the Iranian border.
It’s worth noting that Hersh’s story claims U.S. operatives are cultivating Sunni allies opposed to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who live in Iran’s Baluchestan province - which just happens to abut Afghanistan’s Farah province.
According to Pentagon statements, a few of the casualties were killed during operations ostensibly in two eastern Farah districts: Gulistan and Bala Baluk, which are near Helmand province. Helmand has been the site of some of the war’s worst fighting, and U.S. and NATO commanders say they have squeezed some Taliban out of Helmand and into Farah.
Much more: July 3, 2008 05:34 PM Link