In the days before, during, and after Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen revealed the Pentagon has a military strike plan for Iran, part of that plan may have already been launched. WMR's Lebanese sources report that a number of recent provocations in the region are being viewed by regional intelligence agencies in Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, and Egypt as being launched by the United States Joint Special Operations Command in alliance with the Israelis.
The presence in Beirut last week of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict (SO/LIC) Michael Vickers has local intelligence sources believing the visit, timed just before a UN Report is expected to blame Lebanese Hezbollah for the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, is part of a wider U.S. and Israeli program to destabilize the Middle East prior to a military attack by one or both nations on Iran.
Intelligence sources point to a series of unexplained incidents in the region that have ratcheted up tensions. On July 28, the Japanese supertanker, M. Star, reported that it was damaged by an explosion in the Strait of Hormuz between Iran and Oman. Local Omani Coast Guard officials reported the ship was damaged by a "freak wave" generated by an earthquake in Iran. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, the owners of the ship, reported that the vessel, which docked in Fujairah, UAE, for repairs, was struck by an explosion from "external sources."
There were local reports that a submarine was responsible for the explosion. However, the U.S. Fifth Fleet in Bahrain stated that no U.S. Navy ships were in the area. Israel, on the other hand, is known to have permanently stationed submarines in the Gulf.
On August 2, a series of Grad rockets were fired at the coastal tourist towns of Aqaba, Jordan and Eilat, Israel. A rocket fired into Aqaba landed outside the Intercontinental Hotel killed a Jordanian taxi driver and injured five others. A rocket fired into Eilat, on the other hand, landed harmlessly into a field. Two rockets splashed into the Red Sea and another landed in Jordan. Israel immediately blamed the attack on Hamas and said the rockets were fired from Sinai in Egypt. However, Hamas denied responsibility and Egypt said the rockets were not fired from its territory and that its heavy security presence in the peninsula detected no suspicious activity. Regional intelligence sources believe the rockets may have been a false flag provocation carried out by Israel and the United States with the cooperation of Jordanian intelligence. Suspiciously, Israel claimed the rockets were Iranian-made and were fired by "Global Jihadists."
Today, there was an outbreak of fighting between Israeli and Lebanese troops on the border. The shooting began after an Israeli patrol crossed into Lebanese territory and fired at Lebanese troops and civilians after the Lebanese attempted to repel the attack. Israel also reportedly disregarded warnings from UN peacekeepers to halt their movement into Lebanese territory. Three Lebanese troops and a journalist were killed in the Israeli attack.
The motivations for the Israeli border aggression may have been to seek a response from Hezbollah. Israeli bombing raids into Gaza this week are also seen as a move to seek a response from Hamas. The bombing raids were followed by the deadly rocket attack on Aqaba, an attack Israel blamed on Hamas.
The unexplained attacks on the supertanker in the Strait of Hormuz and the rocket attacks on Aqaba at the northernmost end of the Gulf of Aqaba, has increased worries about access to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Aqaba through the Straits of Tiran. The U.S. Navy will undoubtedly use the fear to expand its presence in regional waters.
Yesterday also saw the bombing of a train in eastern Turkey's Erzincan province by Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) guerrillas. No one was injured in the attack but eight freight cars derailed. The Turkish Intelligence Organization (MIT) has determined that since the break-down of relations between Turkey and Israel, Israeli commandos have been assisting PKK guerrillas in launching terrorist attacks in Turkey. The PKK attacks come from Iraq's Qandil Mountains, a stronghold of joint PKK-Kurdistan Regional Government-Israeli attacks on Turkey. Overall security for the mountainous region and the anti-Turkish operations conducted in it are overseen by U.S. special operations forces.