Severe episode in the Black Sea: Russian ships have been armed by NATO – Intended to be the “Ritsos” (P71)

 

A serious episode in the Black Sea as Russian warships and airplanes encamped NATO ships with the “Ritsos” (P-71) TKK is also targeting.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defense’s announcement, Russian warships entered the Black Sea to conduct naval exercises while the NATO Maritime Shield 2019 is under way and “practiced in realistic combat conditions thanks to NATO exercises,” as he attributes.

This is stated in a statement from the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

“The Black Sea Fleet warships sailed from their base to join the naval formation of the other Russian naval units located in the same sea area.

The development of Russian warships took place in pre-determined areas, in order to control and supervise the situation on the seabed, the surface and the air.

In the Russian military mobilization, the Russian A-50 fighter radar, Su-27SM and Su-30 fighters, along with strategic bombers. (they also released video with strategic Tu-160 bombers along with Su-27 fighters flying over the Crimea amid heavy rains)

The South Military Region is ready and the Bal-and-Bastion missiles are activated.

About 50 fighters and helicopters participate in the military exercise, while the 5-hour patrol radars reported 20 targets on the Russian Su-27SM and Su-30 aircraft (20 are also NATO ships).

This is due to NATO’s “Sea Shield 2019” exercise that gave us the opportunity to exercise (!) The Black Sea Fleet at a realistic level of combat, “ says the Russian Defense Ministry.

Earlier, the Russian Navy also made missile shots. The “Ivanovets” and “R-60” corvettes performed drills by launching ultrasonic missiles “Moskit” into surface targets, 30 nautical miles away.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko earlier reported that increased NATO activities in the Black Sea contain risks for the region’s security.

“Our position is clear, any NATO effort in the Black Sea is silly from a military point of view.

They will neither strengthen the security of the region nor NATO itself but create additional military risks.

Russia is ready for any challenges to military security in the Black Sea and will take additional defensive measures if necessary, “ Grushko said.

Let us note that the present at the end of the NATO exercise was given by the President of Romania and General Ciuca with their visit to the NATO warships

Let’s note that in the exercise “SeaShield-2019” participated also the Greek TKK RITSOS (P-71).

Exercise supervised by military representatives from Georgia and Ukraine.

This is the largest naval exercise of its kind, with the participation of 2,200 soldiers and 20 warships from Romania, Bulgaria, Canada, Greece, Turkey, USA and the Netherlands.

In the context of the war simulation exercise, “common combat procedures” against the “threats emerging” in the Black Sea were carried out according to the briefing, due to Russia’s “unacceptable behavior” in the region, as stated previously by the Permanent US Representative to NATO Kate Hattschon. (Click to Source)

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Canadian Armed Forces Operations

@CFOperations

Until April 17th, #HMCSToronto is sailing the Black Sea as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) on #OpREASSURANCE.

We’re conducting a variety of maritime situational awareness patrols and interoperability exercises with other navies 🌊#WeAreNATO @NATO_MARCOM

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Под крылом «Белого лебедя»: звено Су-27СМ военно-морской авиации Черноморского флота сопроводило ракетоносец Ту-160 в небе над Черным морем: https://tvzvezda.ru/news/forces/content/20194121144-pZUCz.html 

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Pence Issues Turkey Ultimatum: “Choose Between Remaining NATO Member Or Buying Russian S-400”

wo days after we reported that the US had halted delivery of equipment related to the stealthy F-35 fighter aircraft to Turkey as part of the ongoing rift over Erdogan’s plans to move forward with taking delivery of the advanced Russian S-4000 anti-air defense system, on Wednesday the US escalated the war of words with its NATO ally when Vice President Mike Pence threatened Turkey’s future role in the NATO alliance, warning it against “reckless decisions,” like following through with the purchase of the Russian-made air defense system.

Turkey must choose. Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our @NATO alliance?,” Pence tweeted on Wednesday, after making similar remarks at a NATO summit in Washington.

Vice President Mike Pence

@VP

Replying to @VP

.@POTUS has made it clear that we will not stand idly by while @NATO allies purchase weapons from our adversaries that threaten the cohesion of our alliance.

Vice President Mike Pence

@VP

Turkey must choose. Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our @NATO alliance?

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Despite repeated warnings from the US, Turkey has refused to drop its scheduled purchase the Russian weapons system, which is scheduled to be delivered in July. After the Pentagon halted deliveries of the fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet and related equipment to Turkey and halted training of Turkish pilots, Ankara remained defiant with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu telling the NATO summit that the purchase was “a done deal.”

Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are currently meeting head-to-head at the summit to discuss the F-35 dispute.

As RT reports, the Turkish FM said that operating the two weapons systems at once “will not be a threat” to the F-35 or other NATO systems. US lawmakers and military officials disagree and have repeatedly warned that Turkey’s deployment of the S-400 would give the Russian system opportunity to learn how to track and spot the F-35, with potentially deadly consequences for the jet in future conflicts.

Despite the escalating war of words, the US has thus far failed to lure its NATO ally away from the Russian system and to Raytheon’s more expensive Patriot missile system, despite offering it to Ankara at a knock-down rate earlier this year.

Complicating matters, Turkey is a core partner in the F-35 program, which is US’ most expensive military project to date, and is responsible for the procurement of several components of the ultra modern fighter jet. If both sides cannot reach a deal, the US will need to find new suppliers for parts of the fighter’s fuselage, landing gear, and cockpit displays.

So far both Erdogan and Trump have kept a low profile on the topic, refusing to get dragged in and escalating the F-35 delivery matter into a full-blown political crisis which if left unchecked could result in a political fiasco similar to that which unfolded last summer, when Turkey’s detention of US pastor Brunson led to brief US sanctions being imposed against the Asian nation and which culminated with a recession in Turkey and its currency plunging to all time lows. (Click to Source)

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U.S. halts F-35 equipment to Turkey, protests its plans to buy from Russia

APRIL 1, 2019 / 12:32 PM
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has halted delivery of equipment related to the stealthy F-35 fighter aircraft to Turkey, marking the first concrete U.S. step to block delivery of the jet to the NATO ally in light of Ankara’s planned purchase of a Russian missile defense system.

U.S. officials told their Turkish counterparts they will not receive further shipments of F-35 related equipment needed to prepare for the arrival of the stealthy jet, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters on Monday.

The Pentagon confirmed the Reuters report that the equipment delivery had been stopped.

“Pending an unequivocal Turkish decision to forgo delivery of the S-400, deliveries and activities associated with the stand-up of Turkey’s F-35 operational capability have been suspended,” Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Mike Andrews, a Defense Department spokesman, said in a statement.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has refused to back down from Ankara’s planned purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defense system that the United States has said would compromise the security of F-35 aircraft.

The disagreement over the F-35 is the latest of a series of diplomatic disputes between the United States and Turkey including Turkish demands that the United States extradite Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, differences over Middle East policy and the war in Syria, and sanctions on Iran.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the next shipment of training equipment, and all subsequent shipments of F-35 related material, had been canceled. The aircraft is built by Lockheed Martin Corp.

A Pentagon official had told Reuters in March that the United States had a number of items it could withhold in order to send Turkey a signal that the United States was serious about Ankara dropping its ambition to own the S-400.

Turkish officials in Ankara were not immediately available for comment. Turkey has said it will take delivery of the S-400s in July.

NATO SUMMIT

The U.S. decision on the F-35s was expected to complicate Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s visit to Washington this week for a NATO summit. On Sunday, Erdogan suffered one of his biggest electoral losses in decades in local elections.

“Certain Russian weapon systems are seen as inherently threatening to the United States regardless of who is operating them and for what purpose,” Andrew Hunter, a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said.

“Because Turkey is not just an F-35 purchaser, but an industrial partner, blocking delivery of these systems represents a major escalation by the United States as it threatens to impose serious costs on both sides,” Hunter said.

Reuters reported last week that Washington was exploring whether it could remove Turkey from production of the F-35. Turkey makes parts of the fuselage, landing gear and cockpit displays. Sources familiar with the F-35’s intricate worldwide production process and U.S. thinking on the issue last week said Turkey’s role can be replaced.

The United States and other NATO allies that own F-35s fear the radar on the Russian S-400 missile system will learn how to spot and track the jet, making it less able to evade Russian weapons.

In an attempt to persuade Turkey to drop its plans to buy the S-400, the United States offered the pricier American-made Patriot anti-missile system in a discounted deal that expired at the end of March. Turkey has shown interest in the Patriot system, but not at the expense of abandoning the S-400.

Turkey has engaged with U.S. negotiators in recent days about buying the Patriot system, a person familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity. The system is made by Raytheon Co.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar in March said that despite some issues, Turkish pilots were continuing their training at an air base in Arizona on the F-35, each of which costs $90 million, and that Ankara was expecting the aircraft to arrive in Turkey in November.

By halting jet deliveries, the Pentagon could subsequently delay training of Turkish pilots. Two additional jets are scheduled to arrive in Arizona in April and a significant delay could impact Turkey’s November target date for operations.

U.S. lawmakers also have expressed alarm over Turkey’s planned purchase of the Russian system. Four U.S. senators last week introduced a bipartisan bill that would prohibit the transfer of F-35s to Turkey until the U.S. government certifies that Ankara will not take delivery of the S-400 system.

Following news of the halt, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, one of the bill sponsors, said she was glad to hear the administration was “to delay the transfer of F-35 equipment to Turkey to help ensure U.S. military technology and capabilities cannot fall into the hands of the Kremlin.” (Click to Source)

Reporting by Mike Stone and Humeyra Pamuk in Washington; editing by Will Dunham, Howard Goller and Lisa Shumaker

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Furious Over Trump’s Decision on Golan Heights, Erdogan Confirms Hagia Sophia Will Become a Mosque

03-29-2019 – Will Maule, Faithwire

 

The Russians Just Did A Fly-By Of Area 51

Russia’s specially equipped Tu-154M Open Skies aircraft is doing a grand tour of America’s most sensitive military installations out west.

BY TYLER ROGOWAY – MARCH 29, 2019

The Russians are operating their Tu-154M aircraft configured for surveillance flights sanctioned under the Open Skies Treaty that allows member countries to conduct surveillance flights over each other’s territory relatively unimpeded. The aircraft are equipped with imaging equipment with specific limitations and monitors from the country being surveilled are onboard the flights to make certain the party complies with the parameters of the treaty. This latest series of Russian Open Skies flights are being conducted out of Great Falls, Montana and are covering a slew of strategic points in the western part of the United States, including the highly secure Nellis Test and Training Range (NTTR) in southern Nevada, home of Area 51.

The mid-day flight on March 28th, 2019 appears to have originated out of Travis AFB, located near San Francisco, and continued on something of a highlights tour of American military installations in California and Nevada. It flew south over central California, passing near bases like Naval Air Station Lemoore and headed out over the Channel Islands. It then headed directly over Edwards AFB before meandering around Fort Irwin and on to Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake before hooking a right and heading toward Creech AFB in Nevada. It then headed north, directly into the NTTR—the most secure airspace in the United States along with Washington, D.C.

FLIGHTRADAR24

This is the medium altitude imaging portion of the flight that the Tu-154M flew.

FLIGHTRADAR24

It flew directly over Edwards AFB.

FLIGHTRADAR24

Then to Fort Irwin and the National Training Center.

FLIGHTRADAR24

It then headed up over Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.

FLIGHTRADAR24

It then turned east and flew directly over Creech AFB, the heart of America’s unmanned aircraft operations.

After it flew over Creech AFB, it headed up to Yucca Flat, where one of America’s nuclear weapons assembly plants is located, and a secretive airstrip that specializes in test flights of unmanned aircraft, as well as other sensitive Department Of Energy installations. It then headed over the pockmarked Nevada Test Site. Area 51 sits just to the east of this location. The aircraft’s panoramic cameras can collect fairly wide swathes of imagery along the Open Skies aircraft’s flight path.

The voyage continued north, with Tonopah Test Range to the east, before heading northeast towards Salt Lake. It passed somewhat near Dugway Proving Grounds on its way back to Great Falls, but it’s not clear if the aircraft was collecting imagery at that time. If it was, it was doing so at double the altitude as before. The Tu-154 flew at an altitude of around 14,000 to 15,000 feet for the part of its trip over Nevada and California, before climbing out to above 30,000 feet after exiting the NTTR and heading back to its temporary base of operations in Great Falls.

FLIGHTRADAR24

FLIGHTRADAR24

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A flight before this one saw the Tu-154 check out Salt Lake and Hill AFB, Las Vegas and Nellis AFB, pretty much all of San Diego, and up the Southern California coast, which has plenty of military bases and weapons storage areas. It then flew directly to Plant 42 in Palmdale before climbing up and heading to Travis AFB to land and refuel.

These are Russia’s first Open Skies missions over the U.S. for the year. The U.S. has already flown a number of Open Skies sorties over Russia in February.

PAPAS DOS/WIKICOMMONS

Russia Tu-154M configured and certified for Open Skies flights.

Open Skies almost became a thing of the past when the U.S. accused the Russians of abusing the agreement and not offering equal treatment as defined by its terms. The U.S. also claimed that the equipment on Russian’s newest Tu-214ON Open Skies plane didn’t meet the limiting requirements of the treaty. Many think that the Russians get far more out of Open Skies than the U.S. as their satellite imaging and general reconnaissance capabilities are more limited than those of the U.S. military. You can more about this situation here.

Just as it looked like Open Skies was crumbling, there was a sudden about-face and the flights resumed, with an especially high profile U.S. sortie over Ukraine occurring in January.

OSCE.ORG

OSCE.ORG

The Russians definitely have a ton of new intelligence data to pore over after yesterday’s missions. We’ll keep an eye on the Tu-154M’s movements out of Great Falls to see if it flies any more missions over some of America’s most sensitive military installations in the days to come.  (Click to Source)

Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com

Author’s note: The Tu-154M used for Open Skies missions is only equipped with optical sensors. The mention about radar was removed/corrected for accuracy purposes.

 

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The United States converts S.Arabia into a nuclear force under the “Agenda of the Century” and the Turkey-Iran Prevention

 

The US offers Saudi Arabia the secrets of nuclear technology just like Russia does with Turkey, creating an awe-inspiring rival in the Middle East that becomes dangerously “radioactive” in view of the developments of the Age Agreement for which first has informed pronews.gr

An agreement aimed at “lasting peace” between the Sunni Arab states and Israel and the simultaneous isolation of Shi’ite Iran and Turkey’s imperial aspirations.

US Energy Minister Rick Perry has secretly approved six licenses to companies to deploy nuclear-related technology, related services and technical assistance to Saudi Arabia, reveals a document that was brought to the attention of the Reuters news agency yesterday .

The Donald Trump government implicitly seeks to conclude a much broader agreement to make US nuclear technology available to the United States.

Saudi Arabia is known to seek at least two nuclear power stations. Companies from different countries – the USA, South Korea, Russia – are competing for the project. Which or who the sponsor or sponsors is expected to be revealed by Riyadh this year.

Permissions signed by Perry (“810 Authorizations”) allow US companies to start preparatory work with a view to an agreement, but not to dispose of equipment to be installed in a plant, he explained a source informed of the licenses that were approved, subject to not to be named.

The fact that the permits were signed, the Daily Beast news site first revealed.

According to the Ministry of Energy, the companies were those that the Trabble Government has asked to keep the authorization approvals secret.

US parliamentarians are deeply worried that if the US shares nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia, it could potentially trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

Saudi Prince Prince Mohammed bin Salman had told CBS last year that the kingdom would develop nuclear weapons if Iran did so, which Riyadh considers his main rival in the region.

In addition, the kingdom reacts to the American claim that any sale accompanied by two clauses would prevent it from acquiring material suitable for the construction of nuclear weapons secretly: a ban on uranium enrichment and the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel.

Congressional concerns over the sale of nuclear technology and the availability of know-how in Saudi Arabia intensified in early October 2018, after Jamal Kassogi, a self-exiled journalist in the United States, was murdered in the consulate of the kingdom in Constantinople.

Authorizations were approved after November 2017, but it is unclear in the document the Reuters saw if some of them were signed after the killing of Casagi.

Democratic MP Brad Sherman has asked US Secretary of State Mike Pombeo to publish the names of the companies that received these licenses by mid-April. Pompeo replied that he would examine it.Sherman also complained that the Government of Trab is trying to avoid Congress in the availability of nuclear technology in Saudi Arabia. Pompeo argued that the government is working to ensure that any agreement on the transfer of nuclear technology does not increase the risk of proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Last month, Democratic MPs complained that White House executives are defying warnings that they may violate the law by working with former officials and the group

IP3 International to promote a multi-billion dollar deal to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia.

It is ignored if IP3 International is among the licensed companies.

It is noted that Moscow first revealed for the first time that Mr Trump promotes the “Agreement of the Century”, an agreement between the US, Israel and the Arab states, provides for a plan to resolve the Palestinian and Syrian “Israeli mold” and an attack on Iran, something that has been sounding for a long time, but no one confirms it.

It is an agreement that, if achieved, will change the face of the Middle East. For this reason, “diplomatic fever” prevails in all European capitals, Moscow, Washington and throughout the Middle East.

This US government decision is part of the “Solution of the Century” of the pro-Israeli US plan in the Palestinian, ie the implementation of Israeli plans for full annexation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (Jerusalem-West Bank) by Israel, but also full recognition of the Palestinian state. (Click to Source)

New Turkey-Iran-Qatar axis is rising in Middle East, and it has Saudi Arabia furious

Published time: 22 Mar, 2019 16:34

A new alliance being formed by Qatar, Turkey, and Iran, with the potential to receive the backing of Russia and China, is a major concern to the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

The aftermath of over eight years of war in Syria has changed the regional dynamics in a way almost certainly never envisioned by the United States and its allies. Through leaked documents, we have known for some time now that Washington’s interim goal was to, at the very least, destabilise the Assad government in the hopes of scaling back Iranian influence. (Its ultimate goal was quite clearly regime change, which was very close to fruition during at least one stage of the war).

This anti-Assad strategy has, of course, backfired to the point where Iranian-backed forces have essentially amassed along the Syria-Israel border, threatening Washington’s most beloved ally in the region. The other notable – and realistically, most important – development is that Russia, not the United States, emerged out of the rubble of Syria as the major power-broker and military tactician.

However, it seems as though the aftermath of Syria is just the beginning of a tectonic move in a massive direction away from the status quo. Eight years on since the war in Syria broke out, and we are now beginning to see some other major concrete shifts within the regional alliances which has Washington’s traditional allies, particularly Saudi Arabia, starting to tremble.

As of now, Qatar, Iran, and Turkey are forming a regional alliance, which is irking Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States – and they only have themselves to blame. After Saudi Arabia led a coalition of nations that attempted to bully Qatar into submission and accept a long list of inconceivable demands in June 2017, Qatar soon found it could rely on some key partners to weather the Saudi-led storm. These partners are now openly forming a new alliance, which will upend the entire balance of power in the Middle East.

The strengthening of ties between this axis of nations is quite remarkable, when one considers that they each held completely paradoxical positions regarding the Syrian conflict. The horror of this shift from a Western perspective can be seen brilliantly in an Asia Times article entitled ‘America’s Syrian humiliation is worse than it looks’.

When Saudi Arabia blocked Qatar’s only land border and the UAE in turn blocked shipments from its ports to Doha, Qatar quickly found friends in Oman, Turkey, and Iran to bypass this nonsensical blockade. Qatari flights were rerouted over Iranian airspace and Turkey upped the ante on its military presence in the country as a sign of strength and commitment. Eventually, daily life in Qatar could continue quite reasonably. This is not to say that Qatar didn’t experience difficulties, particularly regarding oil prices, real estate prices, tourism, and the slowdown in economic growth. Then again, Qatar was able to draw from its reserves to counter the effects, minimising the damage done by its neighbours.

By the end of 2017, Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan had all increased bilateral trade with Qatar, benefitting all four countries. In the less than six months since the ‘Qatar crisis’ had begun, trade between Iran and Qatar reportedly increased by 117 percent. At the time, experts studying the crisis predicted that commercial relations between the two countries would remain intact, even following the closure of the Saudi-led Qatar crisis.

Iran, Qatar, and Turkey also signed a land transportation pact in August of that year which would help reduce the cost and transit period for the exchange of goods. Seeing as Saudi Arabia effectively blockaded the flow of goods into Qatar, it should not be hard to see that even this agreement alone bore major significance.

Qatar for its part has invested heavily in Turkey, well over $20 billion in total. As explained previously by Al-Jazeera, this is the second-highest in terms of value by any country, demonstrating the importance these two nations have given to each other.

By most accounts, the Gulf States need Turkey on their side in order to contain Iran. A recent report published by Middle East Eye revealed how Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt hatched a plan with Israel to scale back the regional influence of Turkey and Iran, with Turkey deemed to be the biggest military threat to these Gulf states’ interests.

As it transpires, the Qatar-Turkey-Iran axis could potentially provide a major buffer to the so-called Arab NATO, which will be headed by Saudi Arabia. While Saudi Arabia appears to have managed to bring Pakistan on side, it still remains that Pakistan shares a border with Iran and relies heavily on China, another key ally of Iran. Islamabad’s anti-Iran stance can therefore only stretch so far.

The fact is that this alliance on the face of it will likely bear the support of Russia and its military will also be of a major concern to the anti-Iran alliance. As it stands, Russia, Iran, and Qatar provide over half of the world’s known gas reserves. Not to mention that Iran and Qatar share the world’s largest gas field, another major concern for the Saudi-led bloc.

Saudi-owned media has already voiced its opposition to this newfound alliance, which can be seen most openly in an article in Al Arabiya entitled ‘How Iran, Turkey use Qatar to undermine regional security and US interest’. According to Al Arabiya, there is a “risk” of Qatar “breaking away from the Arab orbit and posing a serious threat to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.” The Qatar-Iran entente, “previously concealed, is out in the open,” the article also notes.

To put it simply: Qatar has irrevocably joined with Ankara and Tehran against its former Arab allies,” the article’s sources surmise. “It has conclusively positioned itself in a regional alliance that pursues geopolitical dominance by driving instability.”

Qatar is “playing with fire” the article states. At around the same time, Qatar had called for a new alliance to replace the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), further demonstrating this shift in perspective.

According to Russian think tank Katehon, the new Qatar-Iran-Turkey axis is already well underway and has the power to control Asia, west India and Pakistan and challenge the “demonic trio” of the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

Do not underestimate the role of small Qatar in this triple alliance with latent empires,” the think tank is cited as saying. “The fact is that the huge financial resources, as well as the successful geographical location of the emirate, allow it to resist even the all-powerful Saudi Arabia, which also claims regional domination.

Thus, international pressure and economic restrictions prompted three completely different states, despite geopolitical differences, to begin rapprochement in the economic sphere. How this will turn out in the future depends primarily on the actions of the United States, which, undoubtedly, will try to break up the emerging triple alliance.” (Click to Source)

 

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Turkey: Uniting An “Army of Islam” To Defeat Israel

BY UZAY BULUT/GATESTONE INSTITUTE FEBRUARY 22, 2019

Istanbul recently hosted the second “International Islamic Union Congress,” sponsored mainly by the Strategic Research Center for Defenders of Justice (ASSAM), which is headed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chief military advisor, Adnan Tanriverdi, a retired lieutenant general and an Islamist .
At the conference, Tanriverdi delivered a speech detailing the inner workings of the “Islamic Confederal State” that ASSAM aims to establish with 61 Muslim countries. In his address, Tanriverdi said that a “rapid deployment force” should be created.
Judging by an article Tanriverdi penned in 2009, the purpose of this joint Islamic force is to defeat Israel, which “should be made to get engaged [in war] and the length of the war should be extended.”
“If Israel has to call all of its reserve soldiers to duty,” he explained, “there will be no one left at home or in their businesses. It cannot continue like that for a long time.”
Tanriverdi also suggested how this could be accomplished:
“The Defense Ministers of Islamic Countries should be invited to an urgent meeting, at which possibilities for ‘defense cooperation’ should be examined; Turkey, Iran, Syria, the Iraqi Resistance Organization and Palestine should be the core of this cooperation.”
Within this context, he said, a “‘rapid Deployment Force of Islam,’ which will consist of an amphibious brigade, an armored brigade and an aero-landing brigade, should be encouraged.”
He went on:
“A peace force of Islamic countries should be deployed in Gaza… International efforts should continue, and the use of military force in Islamic countries should be encouraged. A joint military operation by our ground, naval and air forces should be carried out in the international waters of the Eastern Mediterranean. Aid convoys from Turkey, accompanied by Turkish warplanes, should land at the Gaza port. The resistance movements in Gaza should be supported with anti-tank and low-altitude anti-aircraft weapons.
“An aid fund should be formed by Islamic countries; the monthly budget of the legitimate Palestinian government should be paid from this fund and every adult individual in [the Palestinian territories] should be paid a monthly salary… Egypt should be pressured to open the Rafah border crossing. Syria should be encouraged to enhance its military presence on the Israeli border.”
Tanriverdi also claimed that:

“Turkish states, throughout history, prevented 21 crusades through which the West targeted Islam. Turkey did not get involved in the invasions following World War II, the establishment of the State of Israel and the US invasion of Iraq, which we could call the 22nd, 23rd and 24th crusades. It is Turkey’s duty to rectify this. Avoiding this responsibility would be contrary to our historic mission, our commitment to the civilization to which we belong and to Turkey’s survival.”

Tanriverdi’s views are the impetus for the founding in 2012 of his company, “SADAT International Defense Consultancy.” On its official website, Tanriverdi writes:

“The Turkish Armed Forces give services of training, consultancy and equipment to 22 friendly Turkish and Muslim countries. But it is impossible for them to respond to all the needs of 60 Islamic countries in the defense sector.
“In order to give services in needed fields, to prevent dependence on crusader-minded colonialist countries, to help form an environment of defense industry and defense cooperation among Islamic countries, and to serve the Islamic alliance, SADAT was formed by 23 founding shareholders and with the support of 64 army officers and non-commissioned officers who have successfully served the Turkish armed forces and who are respectful of the religious sensitivities of Islamic countries.”
Four years after SADAT’s establishment, Necati Yılmaz, an MP from the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), submitted a written parliamentary motion to then-Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, questioning SADAT’s activities and international connections. The motion read, in part:
SADAT states on its official website that that it tries to ‘help establish a military force in the Islamic world that will be self-sufficient.’ With what countries does SADAT have connections? Is there any other country to which SADAT gives military and intelligence training? Does it have camps in other countries?
“Is it true that Sadat has connections with al-Nusra, al-Qaeda and ISIS? Is it true that Sadat has trained ISIS militants?”
Yıldırım did not answer the motion during his tenure, but allegations about SADAT’s providing military training to jihadist organizations abroad and to some pro-Erdogan groups in “secret military camps” in Turkey have not subsided. Tanriverdi and other SADAT officials have repeatedly denied the accusations, going as far as to sue some newspapers that published pieces repeating them.
In an interview last January with the pro-government newspaper, Habertürk, Tanriverdi called claims about SADAT “slanderous” and “imaginary.” Replaying SADAT’s “founding objective,” he insisted that it “engages with the state organs of friendly nations and provides them with services of corporate consultancy, training and equipment in line with their laws in their own countries.”
He continued:
“With very pure and decent feelings, we just want to transfer the experiences of our armed forces to Islamic countries. That is all. We also want the Islamic countries to get united.”
He failed, however, to remind readers that SADAT’s objective is to unite against the West and Israel. He also omitted comments from his 2009 article entitled “Palestine too should have an army”, such as:
“The states whose peoples are Muslim should either protect Palestine with their own armed forces or form a modern armed force for Palestine to deal with Israel.”
Although Tanriverdi’s dream of an “army of Islam” to fight Israel has yet to be realized, his company, SADAT, seems to be aiding Palestinian-Arab jihadist organizations targeting Israel. In February 2018, for instance, Israel’s internal security service, the Shin Bet, said that Hamas was funneling terror funds to the West Bank and Gaza through Turkey.
The Shin Bet statement also accused Turkey of aiding Hamas’ military build-up via SADAT. Kamil Tekeli, a Turkish law professor who was arrested in Israel in mid-January, told his interrogators that SADAT sends money and arms to Hamas. Tekeli, after being interrogated, was deported back to Turkey, according to the Israeli media. The Turkish Foreign Ministry, however, rejected the Shin Bet’s accusations.
Tanriverdi’s statements and his company nevertheless appear to reflect Erdogan’s worldview.
“We as Turkey and myself — as long as I am in charge — can never have a positive view of Israel,” Erdogan said in 2014. “The obvious reality is that Israel is the country that threatens peace in the world and in the Middle East.”
More recently, on December 15, Erdogan repeated one of many hostile claims he has made over the years — comparing Israel to the Nazis.
Erdogan and his chief military advisor are obviously engaging in projection. It is Turkey that has ethnically cleansed itself of Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians, that refuses to recognize the religious rights of the Alevi minority and that is now targeting Syrian Kurds.
It is the Turkish government’s continued aggression against various peoples in Israel, Syria, Iraq, Cyprus and other countries that is a threat to world peace, not Israel. It is Turkey, not Israel, whose destabilizing foreign policy needs to change.
Originally published at reposted with permission. (Click to Source)

 

 

The Prophetic Impact Of A U.S. Withdrawal From Syria

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BY BRITT GILLETTE/END TIMES BIBLE PROPHECY FEBRUARY 19, 2019

Back in December, President Trump said the United States will soon withdraw military forces from Syria. In a video tweet, he announced American military personnel are “all coming back, and they’re coming back now.”
He never provided a timeline for withdrawal. However, Department of Defense officials claimed the withdrawal would take 30 days. A week later, President Trump changed the timeline from 30 days to 4 months.
And since then, John Bolton, President Trump’s national security advisor said certain conditions could leave American troops in Syria for months or years to come. Nevertheless, the U.S. withdrew some equipment in mid-January.
So which one is it? Will they stay or will they go? As of now, it’s unclear when or if American forces will completely withdraw. But if they do, the implications will be significant. A U.S. withdrawal will create clear winners and losers.
The Winners
U.S. troops and their allies in Syria currently control about one-third of the country. Their presence provides a check on the actions of others in the region. If the U.S. pulls out, it’s uncertain their current allies can maintain control of that territory. In all likelihood, it will be divided among other competing interests. Here are the leading candidates:
Russia – If the U.S. pulls out of Syria, one of the biggest winners will be Russia. Russia is a longtime ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia’s relationship with the Assad family goes back to the Cold War era and the days of the Soviet Union. With vital naval and air bases in Syria, Russia can’t afford to see Assad toppled. This is why Russia entered Syria in 2015 with thousands of ground troops and air support. Russia’s entry turned the tide of the Syrian civil war.
Because of this, Assad owes his survival to Russia. This means, without U.S. influence in Syria, Russia alone will decide its future. The U.S. won’t have any leverage when it comes to shaping post-war Syria. This will make Russia a big winner in the Syrian conflict. It secured its only naval and air bases in the Mediterranean. It also expanded its role in Syria as well as its Middle Eastern sphere of influence.
Iran – Iran is another big winner. If the U.S. leaves, Iran and Russia will be the most powerful forces left. As Assad’s two closest allies, they’ll have a free hand to do whatever they want. Iran has long sought to dominate the region, if not directly, then through the use of proxy armies such as Hezbollah. A U.S. withdrawal gives Iran a clear path to the Mediterranean. Iran will have a corridor to transport troops and weapons to regional allies (such as Hezbollah) in both Lebanon and Syria.
This also gives them the ability to position their own military forces and intelligence assets on Israel’s border. Since first entering Syria in 2015, the U.S. has worked to disrupt Iranian activities from areas it controls (either directly or through allies). If the U.S. leaves Syria, these activities will stop. This will only enhance Iran’s power and influence.
Turkey – Turkey also wins big from a U.S. withdrawal. Turkey already controls territory in northern Syria. In Syria, the U.S. allied itself with Turkey’s longtime enemy, the Kurds. Kurdish forces control large areas of Syrian territory, including areas along the Turkish border. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would love to remove them, but the U.S. presence in Syria has held him back.
The risks associated with an attack on the Kurds are too great. Any incident between Syrian and U.S. troops will trigger a crisis. But if the U.S. leaves, all that changes. The risk of an accidental military conflict with the U.S. disappears. Turkey will be free to attack Kurdish forces.
The Losers
Russia, Turkey, and Iran are the clear winners. But a U.S. withdrawal will also create losers. Two in particular stand out:
The Kurds – The Kurds are a Middle Eastern ethnic group living in an area covering parts of northern Iran, northern Iraq, northern Syria, and southeastern Turkey. Each nation has long seen the Kurds as a threat to break off and form their own nation. Due to a long history of conflict, Turkey views the Kurds as a terrorist group and a threat to Turkish national security.
Despite protests from Turkey, the United States allied itself with the Kurds to fight Islamic State terrorists. To date, the alliance has been successful. It severely diminished the Islamic State presence in Syria. The alliance has also protected the Kurds from a Turkish attack. All that will change if the U.S. withdraws from Syria. Abandoned, the Kurds will almost certainly face a Turkish invasion.
Israel – While the Kurds face a potential conflict with Turkey, by far the biggest loser when it comes to a U.S. withdrawal from Syria is Israel. Removing U.S. forces from Syria will have huge implications for Israeli security.
A U.S. pullout means a permanent presence of Iranian forces on Israel’s border. This means Iran can directly supply Hezbollah and other terrorist groups with advanced weapons and rockets that can reach deep into Israeli territory. The presence of Iran and its proxy groups in Syria poses a mortal threat to Israel.
While Iran could directly attack Israel now, it would almost certainly be destroyed by an Israeli counterattack. But if Iran attacks Israel through proxy groups such as Hezbollah, it can claim it had no hand in the attack. This only increases the likelihood of war.
Russia is no friend of Israel either. Russia has a history of anti-Semitism and aligning itself with Israel’s enemies. As the region’s sole nuclear power, Israel is Russia’s key obstacle to spreading control and influence throughout the oil rich Middle East.
Meanwhile, Israel’s longtime ally Turkey is breaking ties with its secular past. Erdogan is pushing Turkey toward a more antagonistic stance when it comes to the U.S. and Israel. In short, post-war Syria is more of a threat to Israel than the pre-war Assad regime.
It’s not a stretch to imagine all three of these nations – Russia, Iran, and Turkey – uniting in opposition to Israel. And right now all three are consolidating power on Israel’s northern border. In doing so, they’re setting the stage for the fulfillment of a 2,600 year old prophecy.
Where We’re Headed
Long ago, the prophet Ezekiel described an invading force that will form in the last days. In Ezekiel 38-39, he describes this force in detail. Ezekiel said invaders will come from the north of Israel, and a man named Gog will lead them (Ezekiel 38:2-6). Here are the nations who will join Gog, followed by their modern day names:
Rosh = Russia
Magog = Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan
Persia = Iran
Cush = Sudan
Put = Libya
Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Beth-togarmah = Turkey
Notice anything? That’s right. The three most powerful nations on the list – Russia, Iran, and Turkey – now reside in Syria. If U.S. troops pull out of Syria, their absence will pave the way for further influence in Syria from these three nations. They’ll consolidate their power until every square inch of the nation becomes a de facto province of one of the three. On February 14, the leaders of Russia, Iran, and Turkey met in Sochi, Russia to devise a joint plan to wipe out terrorists in Syria.
Their military forces are now cooperating in Syria. This puts their joint military forces right on Israel’s border. And not just any border – Israel’s northern border. Ezekiel said this invasion force will come from the north (Ezekiel 38:15; Ezekiel 39:2). So now we have the three most powerful nations in Gog’s invading force cooperating with each other and stationed on Israel’s northern border. Is this mere coincidence? I don’t think so.
Never before have the military forces of these three nations been on Israel’s northern border at the same time. And never in the history of the world, have the three cooperated militarily. Until now… The Bible said this would happen, and here we are.
The stage is now set for the fulfillment of the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecies. Eventually, Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the other nations in the Gog of Magog alliance will send an overwhelming invasion force against Israel (Ezekiel 38:8-9). The world will not come to Israel’s defense (Ezekiel 38:15-16). But God will. He’ll put His full power on display and supernaturally destroy Israel’s invaders (Ezekiel 38:18-23).
So what does this mean? It means you should expect more and more events in Syria to align with Ezekiel’s account. Expect this alliance to get closer. Expect Israel to become more isolated. And expect the other nations Ezekiel cited to join Russia, Iran, and Turkey.
Most of all, recognize we’re in the last days (Ezekiel 38:8; Ezekiel 39:25-29), and live your life in expectation of the soon return of Jesus Christ. (Click to Source)
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Hezbollah leader warns Israel over attacks in Syria

SARAH EL DEEB
Associated Press – 
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FILE – In this Aug. 2, 2013, file photo, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah speaks during a rally to mark Jerusalem day or Al-Quds day, in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. On Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, the head of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group is warning Israel of widening its attacks in Syria because a miscalculation can drag the region into a war. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

BEIRUT (AP) — The head of the militant Hezbollah group in Lebanon warned Israel late Saturday over its continued attacks in Syria, saying a miscalculation could drag the region into a war.

Hassan Nasrallah made the comment during a wide-ranging interview that lasted more than three hours with the Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen TV station.

Nasrallah said Iran, Syria and Hezbollah could “at any moment” decide to deal differently with Israel’s actions in Syria and hinted that Tel Aviv might be a target.

Addressing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he said: “Be cautious. Don’t continue what you are doing in Syria. Don’t miscalculate and don’t drag the region into a war or a major confrontation.”

Nasrallah said circumstances in the region have changed as Iran and its allies, including his group, expand their influence in the region. This means any war can be on more than one front, Nasrallah warned.

Israel has recently increased its attacks on suspected Iranian military targets in Syria, confirming such targeting in a shift from its longstanding policy of playing down or not commenting on its military activities in the war-torn country.

Israel considers Iran to be its greatest enemy, and it has repeatedly warned that it will not allow Iranian troops — who have been fighting alongside Syrian government forces — to maintain a permanent presence in postwar Syria.

In the latest violence, the Israeli military claimed responsibility for a series of airstrikes on Iranian targets in Syria last Monday, saying it was responding to an Iranian missile attack a day earlier. The Iranian launch followed a rare Israeli daylight air raid near the Damascus International Airport.

Nasrallah said Israel has failed to realize what he said are its goals in Syria: undermining the Syrian government, forcing Iran from Syria and preventing Hezbollah from acquiring precision missiles. He also said Netanyahu is the person “most disappointed” by U.S. plans to withdraw from Syria and cited the pullout as another “failure.”

Nasrallah’s appearance followed news reports in Israel and elsewhere that his health was failing. He dismissed the reports as “lies.”

“I don’t suffer from any health problems,” said Nasrallah, who seemed relaxed and at times joked with his interviewer and sipped on tea and water. “I have been active, and I also lost weight,” he said with a giggle.

The Hezbollah leader regularly addressed his supporters and made TV appearances about pressing issues in the region and Lebanon. But the 59-year-old Nasrallah, who has led his group through different wars with Israel for nearly three decades, had not appeared since November despite Israeli escalation in Syria and along Lebanon’s borders.

Nasrallah described his silence as intentional, saying Hezbollah chose not to address Israel’s attacks so as not to feed what he called an Israeli “publicity stunt.”

In December, the Israeli military launched “Operation Northern Shield” to detect and destroy what it has described as a vast network of Hezbollah tunnels built for militants to sneak across the border into Israel, capture territory and stage attacks. Israel discovered at least six tunnels, which it said were Hezbollah’s prime strategic investment for its next potential war.

In the first comments about the tunnel operation, Nasrallah played down the discoveries, saying Hezbollah would need more than a few tunnels if it ever decided to invade Israel.

He also said at least one of the tunnels was built more than a decade ago.

“This is a 13-year-old (Israeli) intelligence failure,” Nasrallah said. (Click to Source)

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