Gulf News (Bahrain), in English, passed along a report from its sister Arabic paper, describing a US/Israeli military build-up in preparation for a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Israel is massing warplanes in the Caucasus for an attack on Iran, it was revealed yesterday.
Preparations are underway to launch the military attack from Azerbaijan and Georgia, reports our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej, quoting military sources.
Israel was, in fact, training pilots in Turkey to launch the strike and was smuggling planes into Georgia using Turkish airspace, they said.
However, Turkey was unaware of Israel’s intention of transferring the planes to Georgia, the sources said.
The unexpected crisis between Israel and Turkey following an Israeli commando raid on an aid flotilla bound for Gaza Strip hit Israeli calculations.
Azerbaijan-based intelligence units, working under the cover of technicians, trainers and consultants, have helped with the preparations, the sources said.
Military equipment, mostly supplied by the US, was transported to a Georgian port via the Black Sea.
Georgian coastguard and Israeli controllers are co-operating to hide the operations from Russian vessels, said the sources.
They point out that according to Israel, it will not be in a position to launch a strike on Iran without using bases in Georgia and Azerbaijan due to the limited capabilities of its nuclear submarines stationed near the Iranian coast.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Press TV reported that a very large contingent of US ground forces had massed in Azerbaijan, near the Iranian border. The independent Azerbaijani news website Trend confirmed the report.
Those reports came just days after the Pentagon confirmed that an unusually large fleet of US warships had indeed passed through Egypt’s Suez Canal en route to the Gulf. At least one Israeli warship reportedly joined the American armada.
DEBKAfile has similar reports going back to a week before today:
Iran has declared a state of war on its northwestern border, DEBKAfile’s military and Iranian sources report. Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps men and equipment units are being massed in the Caspian Sea region against what Tehran claims are US and Israeli forces concentrated on army and air bases in Azerbaijan ready to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities. …
Other Iranian sources report that in the last few days, Israel has secretly transferred a large number of bomber jets to bases in Azerbaijan, via Georgia, and that American special forces are also concentrated in Azerbaijan in preparation for a strike.
DEBKAfile also notes that the US has stationed a third carrier group in the vicinity of Iran.
Debkafile’s military sources report that Washington has posted a third carrier opposite Iran’s shores. It is supported by amphibious assault ships and up to 4,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel, bringing the total US strength in these waters to three carriers and 10,000 combat personnel.
And also notes in its paid-subscription version that Hillary Clinton will soon be making whirlwind visits to Azerbaijan, Georgia an Armenia.
It is very difficult to picture the Obama Administration reaching an internal consensus allowing it to initiate a preemptive military strike on another country. If Barack Hussein astonishingly ate his Wheaties one morning and suddenly experienced an attack of testosterone, any attempted serious US action would almost certainly be preceded by tearful resignations, leaks to the Washington Post and New York Times, and aggrieved editorials on FireDogLake. But… life is strange, human nature is unpredictable, one never really knows.
More likely, all this represents a calculated bluff intended to force Iran to resume negotiations.
Ha’aretz quotes Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as telling reporters on Saturday that “the members of the G-8 are worried and believe absolutely that Israel will probably react preemptively.”