US UAV Crashes over Iranian Passageway for al Qaeda Kurds
Iranian government spokesman Abdllah Ramezanzadeh handled with extreme care the Tehran press reports of a US unmanned plane crashing late last month near the city of Korba in Iran’s northwestern province of Kurdistan. He confirmed the crash, but said the wreckage had been scattered too widely in the mountainous region to establish the drone’s ownership. It was clear that he was clearly making a supreme effort to avoid saying the aircraft belonged to the United States.
debkafile‘s military sources say publication of the report in the Iranian press was a symptom of the growing anxiety in Tehran over possible US and Israeli military action against Iran’s military industrial facilities manufacturing weapons of mass destruction and its soon-to-be-completed nuclear reactor at Bushehr on the Gulf.
The northwestern area where the US drone was shot down is home to a vast number of these military installations, such as the Mu’allem Kalaych, where gas centrifuge equipment used to enrich uranium is reportedly stored and weapons-grade nuclear materiel manufactured. Another site in the area, called Qazvin, is a principal facility for chemical weapons.
The Iranians are well aware that the United States cannot afford to demolish Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction without simultaneously striking theirs. Washington understands that action against Iraq alone would leave Iran the strongest power in the Gulf, an unacceptable consequence in view of Tehran’s attempts to sabotage Washington’s military and political designs in Afghanistan and its continuing provision of an escape route to al Qaeda fighters crossing in from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
debkafile‘s military sources say Tehran has mostly itself to blame for the undue attention its northwest regions are winning from the United States. For reasons known only to themselves, Iranian leaders agreed to open a passageway through this sensitive area for Kurdish veterans of al Qaeda action in Afghanistan or Kashmir to transit on their way to the Kurdish provinces of northern Iraq. Iraqi authorities give those returning fighters a warm welcome and promptly recruit them to Baghdad’s “Kurdish national battalion”, currently deployed in an Iraqi army camp near the oil city of Mosul. The Iraqis hope to send their Kurdish fighters into battle against the anti-Iraqi Kurdish forces mustered by the US, which are currently being trained in northern Iraq by CIA and US Special Forces instructors.
A separate group of Kurdish Afghan is on the move for the last four years from Iraq through Iran and heading west, via Syria, intoLebanon, to join the Hizballah guerrillas intermittently attacking Israel.
Avid interest in Iranian Kurdistan was therefore to be expected, together with surveillance pilot-less craft and space satellites, on the part not only of America, but also Israel and whomsoever owns an interest in the goings-on in this remote and pivotal corner, such as Turkey.