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Proxy war could soon turn to direct conflict, analysts warn September 15, 2007

Posted by infidelkafirwatch in Uncategorized.
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US strikes on Iran predicted as tension rises over arms smuggling and nuclear fears

The growing US focus on confronting Iran in a proxy war inside Iraq risks triggering a direct conflict in the next few months, regional analysts are warning.

US-Iranian tensions have mounted significantly in the past few days, with heightened rhetoric on both sides and the US decision to establish a military base in Iraq less than five miles from the Iranian border to block the smuggling of Iranian arms to Shia militias.

The involvement of a few hundred British troops in the anti-smuggling operation also raises the risk of their involvement in a cross-border clash.

US officers have alleged that an advanced Iranian-made missile had been fired at an American base from a Shia area, which if confirmed would be a significant escalation in the “proxy war” referred to this week by General David Petraeus, the US commander in Iraq.

“The proxy war that has been going on in Iraq may now cross the border. This is a very dangerous period,” Patrick Cronin, the director of studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said.

Iran’s leaders have so far shown every sign of relishing the confrontation. The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, declared yesterday that American policies had failed in the Middle East and warned: “I am certain that one day Bush and senior American officials will be tried in an international court for the tragedies they have created in Iraq.” [read more]

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