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'To annihilate Israel we need 24 hours, an excuse'

By JOANNA PARASZCZUK

10/02/2012 18:45

Ali Shirazi, representative of Ayatollah Khamenei to Iran's Qods Force, claims Israel could not win "war of attrition" against Islamic Republic, says Israel is desperate, "close to annihilation."

Ali Shirazi speaks under picture of Ayatollah.Photo: REUTERS/Fars News

Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Shirazi, the representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to the Islamic Republic’s Qods Force, said this week that Iran needed just “24 hours and an excuse” to destroy Israel.

In his first public interview in a year, reported in the Persian-language Jahan News, which is close to the regime, Shirazi said if Israel attacked Iran, the Islamic Republic would be able to turn the conflict into a war of attrition that would lead to Israel’s destruction.

“If such a war does happen, it would not be a long war, and it would benefit the entire Islamic umma . We have expertise in fighting wars of attrition and Israel cannot fight a war of attrition,” Shirazi said, referring to Iran’s eight-year war of attrition against Iraq.

Khamenei appointed Shirazi a year ago as his representative to the Qods Force, the highly secretive extraterritorial wing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which reports directly to Khamenei.

The Qods Force, whose exact size is unknown, is responsible for IRGC operations outside Iran, including in Syria.

In August, the US Department of the Treasury identified the Qods Force as “a conduit for Iran’s material support to the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate,” and in 2011 designated Qods Force commander Maj.-Gen. Ghassem Suleimani as a terrorist for his personal support of the Syrian regime.

In his interview, Shirazi said that Israel was “close to annihilation” and wanted to attack Iran as an act of desperation.

“Are our enemies intelligent, wise or foolish? They are foolish. It’s also possible that they will do this foolish thing . Why do we sometimes say this is the strongest probability? Because today the Israelis are telling us that ‘we are not the Israel of yesterday, we are getting weaker day by day and the Islamic Republic is getting stronger day by day,’” he added.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat

“Well, when Israel finds itself in danger of extinction, it flails around, and so it’s easy for it to do foolish things and will start a war just to sting Iran.”

Shirazi’s remarks echo those of other senior Iranian military leaders, who have repeatedly threatened to respond to any attack by the US and its allies on its nuclear facilities by engaging in a war of attrition.

Iran has also repeatedly paraded what it claims are advances in military technologies, including in ballistic missile technologies, which could be used in such a war.

Significantly, in his interview, Shirazi also denied reports that Suleimani had been killed in the July 18 bombing in Damascus, which killed several of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s top aides.

“There was too much talk in the media, which even said that Suleimani was involved in the conflict and in the bombing in Syria, and some even said that he was killed,” Shirazi said. “But Suleimani wasn’t in Syria; on that day, he was in Iran.”

Although Suleimani has not appeared in public since the bombing, the Iranian state media later published what it claimed to be a photograph of the Qods Force leader attending a July 24 address by Khamenei.

And while a spokesman for the IRGC also dismissed reports of Suleimani’s death, around 10 day ago the Iranian Students’ News Agency published what it alleged was a 1989 interview with the Qods Force commander that included extremely detailed biographical information – an unusual move, especially given that little is known about Suleimani.

Ali Alfoneh, an expert on the IRGC from the American Enterprise Institute, questioned why the Islamic Republic would allow its media to release such private information now.

“Is Suleimani really dead and is this article an attempt to beatify a martyr? It may take some time before we will know the answer, but one thing is for sure: If Suleimani indeed was killed in Damascus, the regime would not admit it.

“The regime is therefore likely to stage Suleimani’s assassination by an obscure terrorist organization inside of Iran.

Helping the Assad regime to kill women and children in Syria is hardly a legacy the state propaganda machine wishes for its martyr,” Alfoneh wrote.


Kenyan army’s outstanding victory over Al Qaeda’s Somali Shabaab. Israeli advisers helped

DEBKAfileExclusive Report October 1, 2012, 8:40 AM (GMT+02:00)

The epic battle for Kismayo

The epic battle for Kismayo

The Kenyan army has captured Somalia’s Indian Ocean port of Kismayo, driving Al Qaeda’s Somali franchise Al Shabaab out of its last strategic stronghold, the key to controlling southern Somalia. The small Kenyan army, navy and air force fought to victory Saturday, Sept. 29, after a year-long ground, sea and air offensive.
Fearing the Shabaab was feigning defeat and lurking in the town’s alleys to strike back, Kenyan warships backed by the French Navy shelled suspected terrorist hideouts in Kismayo Sunday.
Kismayo was Nairobi’s prime goal when exactly a year ago, the Kenyan army launched its drive into Somalia following the failure of UN-backed intervention for ridding Somalia of the Islamist terrorists long plaguing the country.
With a population of 200,000, Kismayo, which lies 328 miles southwest of Mogadishu near the mouth of the Jubba River, is the commercial capital of the autonomous Jubalanand region of Somalia which abuts on Kenya.
Very few Western military experts rated the Kenyan army of only 60,000 soldiers capable of routing the hard-bitten 25,000 Shabaab militants and capturing a sizeable region of Somalia – a feat which famously defeated US elite forces in 1993 in Mogadishu and forced the Ethiopian army to retreat with heavy losses in 2006.
But, although Washington and Paris denied any role in the East African conflict, US did contribute to the Kenyan effort with drones gathering intelligence for the Kenyan army and guiding the aim of its artillery, while French battle and supply ships operating out of Kenya’s Indian Ocean port of Mombasa dropped supplies, ammo and fresh Kenyan reinforcements on the Somali coast.
Even more tight-lipped were Jerusalem and Nairobi about Israel’s substantial contribution to the Kenyan war effort to push al Qaeda’s affiliate far from its borders.

According to debkafile’s exclusive counterterrorism sources, Israeli military assistance to Kenya came in three forms:  

1. Israeli military officers advised in the planning of Kenyan field operations. They recommended systematic special ops raids behind Shabaab lines to generate disarray in enemy ranks instead of rapid advances to seize large tracts of territory.

2.  Israel supplied Nairobi with the weapons appropriate for these tactics, including drones and field intelligence equipment.
3. Israeli intelligence, police and special ops specialists in counter-terrorism counseled Kenyan internal security authorities on security in the big towns.
From Day 1 of Kenya’s operation in Somalia, the Al Qaeda Somali militia threatened to stage mega attacks on Nairobi and Mombasa, the Kenyan army’s chief port for delivering war supplies. This threat was staved off with the help of Israeli counter terror experts who assisted the authorities in the two towns. The jihadists were reduced to comparatively small-scale attacks with minimal casualties, such as lobbing grenades and shooting up road traffic.
In the latest such attack, one Kenyan child was killed and three seriously hurt by a grenade lobbed into the St Polycarp church’s Sunday school in Nairobi Sunday, Sept. 30.  
Israeli-Kenyan friendship goes back a long way, but this was the first time Israel’s military, intelligence, counterterrorism and police officers were to fill a direct role in any concerted offensive against al Qaeda outside its borders.
Kenya’s military feat has put the al Qaeda franchise on the run, forcing its terrorists to choose between putting distance between themselves and southern Somalia or being picked off by Kenyan forces hunting them down.

East Africa can start looking forward to a better future. Nairobi has pledged substantial investment in the development of Kismayo and its port facilities, while also forging ahead with plans to build a big modern port at its own Indian Ocean town of Lamu.
With the removal of the al Qaeda menace from its borders, Kenya sees the rise of three important East African sea outlets at Mombasa, Lamu and Kismayo. All three will also provide the US, France and Israel with strategic military, naval and air bases, in position to block Iran’s scramble for expansion into the Indian Ocean and along the shores of East Africa.


Hizbullah Threatens to 'Conquer the Galilee'

A new Hizbullah video highlights the terrorist organization's latest campaign - “liberating the Galilee.”

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By David Lev

First Publish: 10/1/2012, 10:35 PM

 

Hizbullah supporters

Hizbullah supporters

IDF Spokesperson

A new Hizbullah video highlights the terrorist organization's latest campaign - “liberating the Galilee.” On the agenda is Hizbullah's conquering of key sites and cities like tourist centers, refineries, and the Haifa port.

The video was posted on a Hizbullah site Monday, the same day that Israeli Arab politicians led a protest commemorating the deaths of 12 Arabs in 2000, as they rioted and attempted to spread the intifada to northern Israel. The video shows the chief “Zionist settlements” - meaning Jewish towns and cities - in northern Israel, such as Afikim, Ma'alot, and Nahariya. The video also mentions “the principal Palestinian cities in northern Palestine,” including Tzefat, Akko, Tiberias, Haifa, and Nazareth.

Last year, Hizbullah head Hassan Nasrallah threatened that his organization would try to conquer the Galilee. Nasrallah emerged from hiding for several hours to attend a ceremony in Beirut, where he warned “[Defense Minister Ehud[ Barak, Ashkenazi, and Benny Gantz, that now you must get used to the idea. If you impose a war on Lebanon, our fighters will conquer the Galilee.”