Sunday, December 26, 2004
So who got next? Gentlemen, place your wagers!
Iran's air force has been ordered to shoot down any unknown or suspicious flying objects in Iran's airspace, an air force spokesman said yesterday, amid state-media reports of sightings of flying objects near Iran's nuclear installations . . . .2.) Syria?
The timing of the reported increase in sightings, coming as the United States is urging allies to confront Iran over its nuclear program, has strengthened Iranian public perceptions that the objects are surveillance or hostile aircrafts monitoring Iran . . . .
Iran, labeled a member of the "axis of evil" by U.S. President George W. Bush, is accused by the United States of developing a clandestine nuclear weapons program. Israel has hinted it may strike Iran's nuclear facilities if international pressure fails to permanently freeze Iran's nuclear activities. Iran has denied the U.S. charges, saying its nuclear program is geared toward generating electricity, not nuclear weapons. (Link via Zemblan patriot J.M.)
The US is contemplating incursions into Syrian territory in an attempt to kill or capture Iraqi Ba'athists who, it believes, are directing at least part of the attacks against US targets in Iraq, a senior administration official told The Jerusalem Post.3.) Cuba?
The official said that fresh sanctions are likely to be implemented, but added that the US needs to be more "aggressive" after Tuesday's deadly attack on a US base in Mosul. The comment suggested that the US believes the attack on the mess tent, in which 22 people were killed, may have been coordinated from inside Syrian territory . . . .
The senior official said US anger increased substantially after a prolonged incursion into Fallujah last month, which revealed "how much of the insurgency is now being directed through Syria." The US has not publicly detailed the evidence it has regarding the extent to which attacks are being organized from within Syria. But a report in The Times of London on Thursday suggested not only that Syria is becoming a base for Iraqis to operate, but that Syrian officials are themselves involved . . . .
On Sunday, the Post reported that the US had provided Syria with a list of people it would like to see detained but that Syrian authorities have so far been unresponsive. The Post quoted a senior government official predicting a confrontation with Syria "unless the Syrians reverse their policy." US forces already operate along the Syrian border with Iraq, conducting air and mobile patrols. (Link via our esteemed colleague John at Blogenlust.)
Cubans awoke to air raid sirens Sunday and practiced shooting, putting on gas masks and doing duck-and-cover drills as the communist nation wrapped up a week of preparation after Fidel Castro's government has warned against possible attacks from the United States.Before you call your bookie, be sure to read the following:
The activities, called the Strategic Bastion 2004 Exercise, were intended as an evaluation of how prepared Cuba is to face military attack during President Bush's second term . . . .
"The risks of (U.S.) aggression are real," President Fidel Castro said Sunday on Cuban television.
American authorities have repeatedly rejected that idea, saying there are no plans to attack Cuba. Last week, the U.S. State Department said the large-scale exercises in Cuba were held to distract people from the hardships of their lives.
President Fidel Castro said a crude oil deposit has been discovered off Cuba containing up to 100 million barrels, good news for a country that imports about half the petroleum it needs . . . .
Cuba currently produces 75,000 barrels daily, about half of what it needs. It imports most of the rest, much of it on favorable terms from political ally Venezuela. (Link via Zemblan patriot J.M.)