Title may strike you as quite odd since there is no apparent pot boiling on the international stove. But trust me on this one, there are guns being loaded and fingers touching triggers that the average person is not privy to and we could find ourselves plunged into a new military venture. The hot zones you ask? Syria and Iran.

All of this is about Iran. Syria? Seen as a mere proxy for Iran and a fertile battleground for the Sunnis, especially Sunni extremists aligned with Al Qaeda and its ilk, Syria is getting quite a bit of global attention. Al Jazeera catches us up on the latest moves in the UN Security Council to address the challenges in Syria:

The reports of violence comes as Kofi Annan, the Arab-UN envoy, asked the Assad government and the opposition to immediately halt violence and the use of heavy weapons.

“I urge all forces whether governmental, opposition or others to put down their weapons and work with the United Nations monitors to consolidate the fragile cessation of violence in all its forms,” Annan said in a statement.

“The government in particular must desist from the use of heavy weapons and, as it has committed, withdraw such weapons and armed units from population centres and implement fully its commitments under the six-point plan.”

Annan welcomed a UN plan to expand monitoring mission to Syria, saying: “The work of the mission should help create the conditions conducive to launching the much-needed political process, which would address the legitimate concerns and aspirations of the Syrian people.”

The UN Security Council approved a resolution to deploy 300 ceasefire observers, mandated to monitor an April 12 truce mediated by Annan.

This is not a story of aspiring Jeffersonian democrats being crushed in Syria by an evil, Islamist fanatic. To the contrary. Bashir Assad is an Alawite, a version of Shia Islam, and he is not terribly religious. He is backed by Christians. Lining up against him? The Sunnis of the Middle East, led by the Saudis and the Egyptians.

The battles raging in the neighborhoods of Homs and Hama are very similar to those our Marines fought in Fallujah. In fact, Assad is fighting against some of the same kinds of crazies. So what are many in the United States trying to do? Cheerleading us into taking the side of the Sunni extremists. Why would uber Jewish Senators like Joe Liebermann be pushing such an agenda?

One word–Iran. Israel’s fear of Iran has made the Israeli leadership more crazy than usual. They worry that Iran’s hold over Iraq, Syria and Lebanon is dangerous and must be countered. How to do it? Get behind the Saudis and the Egyptians who want to dislodge the loathsome Shias.

It really is this simple and this bizarre. I worry that sometime in May we will see military action by U.S. forces in Syria and/or Iran. It will come as a surprise. If it is going to happen it must happen before June. Why? The onset of summer creates too many operational problems for a sustained offensive campaign.

Keep your eyes peeled.

Previous articleAlarm Waiting
Next articleStopping Our Nightmare
Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.