From NYSun column today FRIDAY 28: addend confirm on SA-18s. What this all creates right now is an Iran that can and will continue to resupply Hezbollah on the Lebanon front with arms, ammunition, special forces, sophisticated logistics, an intelligence apparatus, and the long-range Katyushas and missiles that pepper Israel. Supply routes from Iran to Syria are not only air lanes but also overland trucking on tribal routes through Turkey and Kurdistan. Turkey knows this and knows this is tacit support of Hizbollah and Syria. More striking is that the Kurds in northern Iraq, ostensibly America’s strongest ally in the liberation and democratization of Iraq, are openly cooperating with the Iranian military convoys. The Kurds have made a deal with Tehran that looks to the future and the establishment of an independent, oil-rich Kurdistan. The Kurds aim to drive out or massacre the minority Turkmen in their territory, and they know this will be a casus belli for Turkey. The Kurds will need Iran for an ally and also as a transportation artery to get their oil to market. The Russians must certainly know that Iran is using Turkey and Kurdistan in their war effort, and the Russians have presumably made a decision not to interfere in any fashion with their Caspian Sea neighbor and commercial partner Iran. More puzzling is how al-Maliki and the Shia/Kurd-dominated government in Baghdad might not know of the resupply. Did Maliki stand next to President Bush in a joint news conference knowing that not only are the Shia of Iraq cheering Hezbollah in Lebanon but also that Iraq is an ally of Iran and Syria in the fight? The resupply from Iran is profound because Hezbollah could not have sustained the fight past the first days without the certainty of endless weaponry and ammunition. The Lebanon war plan is to escalate one step at a time, and this requires the discipline of a confident, well-led, well-connected force. Iran will not turn off the flow. And the rearming of Lebanon through Syria also includes the very latest, best Russian- and Chinese-origin equipment, including the SA-18 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile, Sagger and Kornet antitank missiles, at least one battery of Silkworm anti-ship missiles, and multiple combinations of Zelzal-2 missiles and Fajr-3 and -5 rockets that can easily reach Tel Aviv – and, with smaller warheads, much farther, to Jerusalem. A decision to strike Jerusalem has not been announced. Nonetheless, high-explosive warheads are poised to strike civilian populations: at least one Scud-type missile has already been found underwater in Haifa harbor.
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