When Its Soldiers Were Killed In Syria, Turkey’s Air Force Went to War

Is more war in Syria imminent?

by Sebastien Roblin – March 2, 2020 

 

Key point: 

Just after midnight on December 3, a Turkish military convoy was rolling into a military outpost west of Saraqeb in Idlib province when at 1:13 AM deadly artillery fire came raining down from the sky.

The barrage, which originated from Syrian Arab Army forces, killed eight Turkish soldiers and supporting civilian personnel and wounded seven more.

Since an agreement in 2018, the Turkish Army has maintained several hundred personnel in twelve outposts in Idlib province to observe a ceasefire agreement brokered with Moscow and Damascus supposedly designating the province as a safe haven. These Turkish outposts are in addition to Turkish forces occupying a sizable chunk of Syrian territory in order to deny access to Kurdish YPG separatists.

But in reality, no one expected Assad to honor the agreement in the long term, as Idlib remains the last major stronghold of anti-Assad rebels in Syria following the fall of Aleppo and the eradication of resistance in the suburbs of eastern Damascus. By 2019 the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) was back on the offensive.

Despite Turkey’s warming relations with Moscow, Ankara had compelling reasons to be dismayed by the attacks on Idlib. Turkey had already taken in 3.6 million refugees due to the Syrian civil war. Since December 2019, indiscriminate shelling and bombing by Syrian forces and Russian aviation has caused a half-million more Syrians to flee their war-ravaged country.

Finally on January 29, 2020, Assadist forces captured the rebel city of Maarat-al-Numan. Its capture exposed a new line of rebel-held cities along the east-west M4 Highway to attack, including the city of Saraqeb. Syrian forces soon advanced northward up the perpendicular M5 Highway and were engaging rebels on the western outskirts of Saraqeb when they fired upon the Turkish convoy.

Ankara Strikes Back

Despite the fighting ongoing in the region, Ankara maintains that it had notified Russia at 4:13 and 10:27 PM that the convoy was inbound to one of its outposts in order to avoid precisely such an incident. Russia claimed it had not received the report.

In retaliation for the “martyrdom” of Turkish troops, hulking 56-ton Turkish T-155 Firtina self-propelled howitzers in Turkey and on Syrian soil began lobbing 155-millimeter shells at Syrian positions in the provinces of Hama, Idlib, and Latakia as well as Nubl in Aleppo province. The Firtina (“Storm”) is a Turkish derivative of the South Korean K9 Thunder artillery vehicle, and is capable of rapid-fire volleys on targets up to twenty-five miles away.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan stated in a speech that by 6:15 AM Turkey had struck forty-six Syrian targets with 122 artillery and 100 mortar shells, inflicting thirty to thirty-five casualties. The inclusion of mortars, which have a shorter range three to five miles, would imply strikes launched considerably closer to Syrian forces.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, however, was only able to confirm thirteen casualties to Turkish shelling: eight in Idlib, three in Latakia province, and two in Hama province. As SOHR also reported the bombardment wounded twenty, some seriously, those numbers may actually be consistent with the Turkish casualty claims.

The geographic dispersion reflects that the Turkish response was a wider-scale attack on targets across Syria, not just on the positions that opened fire in Idlib province.

Ankara also claimed its F-16 Fighting Falcon jet fighters struck SAA targets. Later, the Turkish defense minister claimed Turkey had launched a total of fifty-four strikes, supposedly inflicting seventy-six casualties.

However, Moscow claimed that no Turkish F-16s entered Syrian airspace. This denial appears to have been undercut by a Syrian-government SANA announcement that Turkish jets had attacked Syria but inflicted no casualties.

As Russian military air defense systems protect Syria, Moscow would have an incentive to deny that it allowed Turkish jets to attack Syrian targets without firing upon them—or worse, failed to detect them.

The clashes between Turkish and Syrian forces threaten to unravel a tense entente with Russia, which recently sold S-400 air defense missiles to Turkey. Ankara’s purchase of the missiles widened a growing rift with the United States and Western Europe, and resulted in Turkey being ejected from the F-35 stealth fighter program.

Turkey has further retaliated by openly considering purchases of Russian Su-35 fighters and (still somewhat buggy) Su-57 stealth fighters instead. Such sales would not only profit Russia financially, but also help further compromise Turkey’s status as a member of NATO.

But when Turkish forces bombard the forces of Moscow’s ally Assad, it places Russia in an awkward position with allies old and new. Nonetheless, this conflict was long foreseeable: Turkey had made clear its objection to an offensive on Idlib province, while it was obvious that Assad would eventually move to crush rebels in Idlib province, and receive Rusian military support while doing so.

If Ankara is sufficiently incensed, it could attempt to impede further attacks on Idlib—particularly Saraqeb—perhaps hoping to avert further swelling of the large population of Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Alternatively, Ankara may calculate that it has adequately punished the attack on its forces in Idlib, and that it doesn’t want to risk being drawn into a larger-scale clash with Assad’s forces that might also threaten its overture with Moscow. (Click to Source)

Sébastien Roblin writes on the technical, historical and political aspects of international security and conflict for publications including The National Interest, NBC News, Forbes.com and War is Boring. He holds a Master’s degree from Georgetown University and served with the Peace Corps in China. You can follow his articles on Twitter. This first appeared earlier this month.

Image: Reuters.

 

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United Nations refugee camps put Christians last for food, shelter, baby items

Posted by  on December 20, 2019

Christians often languish in the United Nations refugee camps in Iraqi Kurdistan.

I discovered this when I was in Iraq last month documenting the good work the Nazarene Fund has been doing with our Save the Christians fundraising money.

The shortcomings in relief efforts are because the United Nations is completely inept but also because the bigotry against Christians doesn’t stop at the fence that wraps around the enormous camps.

Christians refugees inside the UN camps can be the last to get food, shelter, diapers for their babies, and clean clothing and bedding. And their refugee paperwork can mysteriously get “lost”, leaving them no way out.

The Nazarene Fund, and their in-country partners at White Mountain Research, fill in the gaps in resources given to Christian refugees in the region by going into the UN camps to deliver food aid to Christian families.

All the money and power in the world and the United Nations is failing the Christians of Iraq and Syria. (Click to Source)


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Please visit SaveTheChristians.com for more information, more videos, and to donate to help!

24/7, 365 access to a board certified medical doctor, by phone or video. One low monthly cost of $12.95 for an individual plan or $19.95 for a family plan. No extras! No added consult fees! All inclusive! Visits are anytime, day or night and holidays. Cancel anytime. No one should ever be without this plan and everyone can afford it. This special pricing is for my readers here.

Netanyahu Compares Trump to Cyrus for Recognizing Golan

To paraphrase Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, once again President Trump showed that the American people stand behind Israel by becoming the first world leader to officially recognize Israeli sovereignty on the Golan. And the timing of his act, coming while Hamas fired rockets at Israeli houses, could not possibly be more poignant.

Netanyahu was in Washington for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee but decided to cut short his visit when a Hamas rocket destroyed a house in central Israel, injuring the occupants. While the IDF responded to the attack with airstrikes and Hamas continued to fire rockets at Israeli communities, Netanyahu and Trump held a joint press conference in the White House Monday afternoon which was reported in detail by Israel National News.

“At this moment the American embassy stands proudly in Jerusalem, the capital the Jewish have established,’ Trump said to the media. “They wanted the embassy for many, many years, for many decades, and frankly, through many presidents. And we got it done.”

“We will confront the poison of anti-Semitism through our words, and maybe even more importantly, our actions. In the last century, humanity witnessed the horrific consequences of anti-Semitism and a world without a Jewish homeland. In the wake of those unthinkable horrors, the Jewish people built a mighty nation in the holy land, something very powerful, something very special and important,” Trump continued. “There can be no better example of greatness, than what Israel has done starting from such a small speck of sand. Israel is an inspiration, a trusted ally, and a cherished friend. The United States will always stand by its side.”

Netanyahu was equally as complimentary, describing the growing relationship between the U.S. and Israel.

“You have shown consistently, incredible support for Israel, for our right to self-defense. When we exercise that self-defense you have never flinched. You have always been there, including today, and I thank you,” Netanyahu said.

“Over the years, Israel has been blessed to have many friends who sat in the oval office. But Israel has never had a better friend than you. You showed this time and again. You showed this when you withdrew from the disastrous nuclear deal with Iran … You said it you did it.”

“You showed it again when you restored sanctions against a genocidal regime that seeks to destroy the one and only Jewish State … You said it, and you did it.”

“You showed that when you recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the American embassy there … You said it. You did it.”

“And you have shown it once again today, Mr. President, with your official proclamation recognizing Israel’s sovereignty on the Golan Heights.”

In a powerful detour from political platitudes, the Israeli prime minister waxed Biblical, comparing the American president to Persian King Cyrus.

“In the long sweep of Jewish history, there have been a handful of proclamations by non-Jewish leaders on behalf of our people in our land: Cyrus the Great, the great Persian King, Lord Balfour, President Harry S. Truman, and President Donald J. Trump.”

“And you, Mr. President, you’ve done it not once, but twice with your bold proclamation on Jerusalem, and your bold proclamation on the Golan.,” he said.

“On behalf of the people of Israel, thank you, President Trump. Thank you for your leadership, thank you for your friendship, and thank you for all you have done to make the alliance between America and Israel stronger and greater than ever. Thank you, Mr. President.”

The Israeli Golan Heights comprise approximately 440 square miles. In addition to its strategic military importance, the Golan Heights is an important water resource, supplying 15 percent of Israel’s water. There are approximately 20,000 Israelis living in the Golan. An additional 20,000 residents, mostly Druze, live in the region.

Israel suffered from artillery attacks targeting civilian settlements in the Galilee region for years along with Syrian-aided attacks by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). The decision to conquer the Golan came after Syria began instituting a plan to divert most of the water flowing into the Sea of Galilee, denying Israel a major water source in contravention of international agreements. Israel conquered the Golan in the 1967 Six-Day War. During the Yom Kippur War in 1973, Syrian forces overran much of the southern Golan, before being pushed back by an Israeli counterattack. Israel and Syria signed a ceasefire agreement in 1974 that left almost all the Heights in Israeli hands. In 1981, Israel passed the Golan Heights Law, effectively annexing the Golan Heights.  An article in JPost pointed out ironically that Israel has ruled over the Golan for more than twice as long as the Syrian government. (Click to Source)

Source: Breaking Israel News

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Thousands of Muslim Women Raped, Tortured, Killed in Syrian Prisons

Where are the Media, UN, ‘Human Rights’ Groups?

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)

 

Recovery Room 7 is a community of people with similar backgrounds, where people from all walks of drug & alcohol recovery can meet together, share, socialize, interact, join in fun activities, share meals, pray and learn. It’s a place of joy and awakening to their true purpose in life. Jesus Christ is always present and ready to receive everyone in Recovery Room 7. We will be located in beautiful Northwest Montana. If you would like to donate to get Recovery Room 7 up and running, please go to our PayPal Donation Link here.

Syria vows to ‘liberate’ the Golan

Syrian government responds to Trump, says Golan Heights will remain “Syrian and Arab”.

Elad Benari, Canada, 23/03/19 00:09

The Syrian government on Friday vowed to recover the Golan Heights after US President Donald Trump said it was time to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the region, Reutersreports.

Damascus said on Friday the Golan would remain “Syrian, Arab” and added that Trump had shown contempt for international law.

“The Syrian nation is more determined to liberate this precious piece of Syrian national land through all available means,” the Syrian government said, according to Reuters.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcomed Trump’s announcement on Thursday and described it as a “Purim miracle.”

The Arab world, unsurprisingly, condemned the move. Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said in criticizing the move that “The territorial integrity of states is the most fundamental principle of international law.”

“Attempts by the US to legitimize Israel’s actions against international law will only lead to more violence and pain in the region. Turkey supports Syria’s territorial integrity,” he added.

The Arab League also rejected Trump’s announcement, saying it fully supports Syrian sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat, meanwhile, claimed the move would result in regional “destabilization and bloodshed”. (Click to Source)

 
Recovery Room 7 is a community of people with similar backgrounds, where people from all walks of drug & alcohol recovery can meet together, share, socialize, interact, join in fun activities, share meals, pray and learn. It’s a place of joy and awakening to their true purpose in life. Jesus Christ is always present and ready to receive everyone in Recovery Room 7. We will be located in beautiful Northwest Montana. If you would like to donate to get Recovery Room 7 up and running, please go to our PayPal Donation Link here.

Get online and get completely recovered! We are a Biblical Online Recovery Program that is life changing and empowering. We are Teen Challenge Certified Teachers and have integrated the world famous Teen Challenge PSNC curriculum for the most healing fusion of elements for your recovery. VRM is breaking the chains of addiction for a lifetime! Check us out!

SYRIA ISSUES ULTIMATUM TO ISRAEL: LEAVE THE GOLAN HEIGHTS OR BE ATTACKED

WORLD NEWS DESK – 

Syria has notified Israel through United Nations diplomatic channels that it is prepared to go to war if Israel does not leave the Golan Heights.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad reportedly sent the message through the head of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), Christine Lund, which said tersely:  “Syria will attack Israel if it does not leave the Golan Heights.”

Mikdad further warned Lund that Syria will respond with force should Israel continue its attacks on Syria, which have occurred more than a dozen times over the past year, but which seem to have recently paused following Russia’s announced delivery of the advanced S-300 anti-air missile defense system to Damascus late last year.

“We will not hesitate to confront Israel,” Syria’s Mekdad said. “We are also not scared away by its [Israel’s] supporters who are helping to perpetuate the occupation of the Golan,” he added.

Damascus’ firm warning appears a response to a controversial bill recently under renewed consideration by US Congress, co-sponsored by Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton, and Democratic Rep. Mike Gallagher, which aims to give formal US recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights region.

Meanwhile, multiple Israeli political leaders have responded to Syria’s historic claim to the Israeli-occupied Golan and willingness to go to war over it. While speaking on a visit to the Golan Heights, Blue and White party politicians Gabi Ashkenazi, Yair Lapid, Benny Gantz and Moshe Ya’alon vowed, “It is ours and it will stay ours” — certainly a dominant sentiment that cuts across Israeli party lines. (Click to Source)

 

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Damascus To Become A “Ruinous Heap”?: Syria Threatens To Attack The Golan Heights And Israel Prepares For War

The winds of war are blowing once again, and it isn’t going to take much to spark a major conflict in the Middle East.  This week is the eighth anniversary of the beginning of the civil war in Syria, and after the nightmare that the people of Syria have been through, you would think that the Assad regime would be eager for peace.  But instead, Assad appears to be ready to go for broke.  If Syria can spark a Middle East war that results in the complete destruction of Israel, Assad would be remembered as a hero in the Islamic world forever.  Instead of a legacy of civil war and crushing poverty, Assad’s legacy would be one of wartime leader that brought total victory over Syria’s most hated enemy.  But of course such a conflict would be a huge risk, because if it went badly the city of Damascus would be completely flattened and the nation of Syria as we know it today would be entirely destroyed.  And considering how overwhelmingly powerful the Israeli military is, it would seem to be a very foolish risk to take.  Unfortunately, Assad does not appear to be thinking rationally.  On Thursday, Syria officially threatened “to attack Israel unless it withdraws from the Golan Heights”.  The following comes from the Jerusalem Post…

Syria vowed to attack Israel unless it withdraws from the Golan Heights, World Israel News reported on Thursday.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad submitted an official warning to the head of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) Kristin Lund, in what seemed to be an attempt to prevent official US recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan.

Of course Israel is never going to leave the Golan Heights.  We all know how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu feels, and on Monday his main opposition in the upcoming election expressed similar sentiments…

Blue and White party politicians Gabi Ashkenazi, Yair Lapid, Benny Gantz and Moshe Ya’alon visited the Golan Heights on Monday and vowed never to give it up.

“We will increase the numbers of residents in the Golan, sending a resounding message to all – we will never relinquish the Golan Heights,” Gantz said.

Let us hope that Syria is bluffing, because if Syria attacks the Golan Heights it will start a war.

And it is a war that Syria could not possibly hope to win on their own.  But Assad doesn’t plan to take on Israel by himself.

Over the last several months, Israel has repeatedly attacked Iranian forces inside Syria.  The Iranians have been fighting on Assad’s side in the Syrian civil war, and the Israelis are afraid that when everything is all said and done that the nation of Syria will end up being totally dominated by Iran.  The following comes from Haaretz…

For Iran, its domination of Syria is key to achieving its long-standing dream of a “Shiite crescent,” extending through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, to the Mediterranean and of establishing a permanent ground, air and naval presence on Israel’s border. Iran’s ability to do so has been impeded to date only by the small and dwindling U.S. force in eastern Syria and hundreds of Israeli airstrikes that have, so far, successfully thwarted Iran’s efforts.

Although Israel has become a powerful and essentially secure state, capable of demonstrating restraint in the face of the many challenges it faces, this would constitute a dire and unacceptable change in the balance of power, one that Israel cannot tolerate and must prevent – even at the expense of war.

The Iranians have stated that they are no longer going to tolerate Israeli airstrikes, and their military leadership is fully ready to go to war.  If war does erupt between Israel and Syria, it seems very unlikely that Iran would stay out of it.

And without a doubt, Iranian targets would be among the first to get hit in a war between Israel and Syria, and the Netanyahu administration has been very clear that Israel is preparing for a war with Iran…

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu startled Iranians and even the White House on Wednesday with a strident call for Israeli-Arab action against the government in Tehran that was translated by his office as urging “war with Iran.”

Although Israeli officials tried to soften the reference by altering the English translation, the provocative comment was likely to further the perception that Israel, its Gulf Arab neighbors and the United States are interested in using military action to topple the government of Iran. It comes at a particularly delicate moment, as the Trump administration uses a U.S.-organized summit in Warsaw and this week’s 40th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution to try to rally the world against the government in Tehran.

Such a war would be incredibly bloody, and the moment that missiles began to fall on Tel Aviv the Israelis would not hesitate to use nukes on Damascus and Tehran.

Let us hope that cooler heads prevail.

Meanwhile, the situation in Venezuela continues to unravel as well.  Sunday was the fourth day for the nationwide blackout, and Nicolas Maduro is blaming the failure of the power grid on a U.S. cyberattack…

Socialist President Nicolas Maduro – who is facing a challenge to his rule by the leader of the opposition-led congress, Juan Guaido – has blamed the blackout on an act of “sabotage” by the United States at the Guri hydroelectric dam, but experts say it is the outcome of years of underinvestment.

“The national electrical system has been subject to multiple cyberattacks,” Maduro wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “However, we are making huge efforts to restore stable and definitive supply in the coming hours.”

Hopefully the U.S. was not behind the cyberattack, because a cyberattack is an act of war.

And since nobody has asked the U.S. Congress for permission to go to war, such an attack would be in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution.

In addition, relations with North Korea are rapidly deteriorating as well.  In fact, Kim Jong-Un appears to be preparing to provoke the U.S. by launching a missile…

Following President Donald Trump’s stalemate talks with Kim Jong-Un, it appears North Korea may be preparing to launch a missile or rocket some time soon.

Earlier this week North Korea sparked outrage after satellite images revealed the nation was ‘rapidly rebuilding’ its Sohae Launch Facility, a long-range missile launch site.

New images reveal activity may have also resumed at a second site near Pyongyang, known as Sanumdong, where intercontinental ballistic missiles and satellite-launching rockets are assembled.

We truly do live at a time of “wars and rumors of wars”, and this could very easily be a year of war for the United States.

Unfortunately, our military is not in very good shape right now.  In fact, in RAND’s recent “simulated World War III scenarios” the U.S. just kept on losing…

In simulated World War III scenarios, the U.S. continues to lose against Russia and China, two top war planners warned last week. “In our games, when we fight Russia and China, blue gets its ass handed to it” RAND analyst David Ochmanek said Thursday.

RAND’s wargames show how US Armed Forces – colored blue on wargame maps – experience the most substantial losses in one scenario after another and still can’t thwart Russia or China – which predictably is red – from accomplishing their objectives: annihilating Western forces.

“We lose a lot of people. We lose a lot of equipment. We usually fail to achieve our objective of preventing aggression by the adversary,” he warned.

Over the past decade, the U.S. military has been dramatically transformed, and not for the better.

But even if our military was in the condition that it should be, we should still not desire war, because in this day and age weapons of mass destruction have made full-blown war between major powers absolutely unthinkable. (Click to Source)

 

Get online and get completely recovered! We are a Biblical Online Recovery Program that is life changing and empowering. We are Teen Challenge Certified Teachers and have integrated the world famous Teen Challenge PSNC curriculum for the most healing fusion of elements for your recovery. VRM is breaking the chains of addiction for a lifetime! Check us out!

 

Report: “11 Christians Killed Every Day for Their Faith”

by Raymond Ibrahim

  • One of the most noteworthy trends concerns the “shocking reality of persecution against women…. In many places, they experience a ‘double persecution’ — one for being a Christian and one for being a woman.”
  • Another trend that should send an alarm is that, “For the first time since the start of the World Watch List, India has entered the top 10” — meaning Christians there are now experiencing “extreme persecution.”

Last year, Christians were persecuted more than ever before in the modern era — and this year is expected to be worse: “4,136 Christians were killed for faith-related reasons,” according to Open Doors USA in its recently published World Watch List 2019 (WWL) of the top 50 nations where Christians are persecuted. “On average, that’s 11 Christians killed every day for their faith.” Additionally, “2,625 Christians were detained without trial, arrested, sentenced and imprisoned” in 2018, and “1,266 churches or Christian buildings were attacked.”

Whereas 215 million Christians faced persecution in 2018, 245 million will suffer in 2019, according to Open Doors — a 14% increase, that represents 30 million more people abused for their faith. This means that “1 in 9 Christians experience high levels of persecution worldwide” (note: all quotations in this article are from the WWL 2019).

One of the most noteworthy trends concerns the “shocking reality of persecution against women.”

“In many places, they experience a ‘double persecution’ — one for being a Christian and one for being a woman. Even in the most restricted circumstances, gender-specific persecution is a key means of destroying the minority Christian community.”

Last year’s WWL provided more specific numbers: “At least six women every day are raped, sexually harassed or forced into marriage to a Muslim man under the threat of death for their Christian faith…”

Another trend, one that should send an alarm, is that, “For the first time since the start of the World Watch List, India has entered the top 10” — meaning Christians there are now experiencing “extreme persecution”:

“Christians have been targeted by Hindu nationalist extremists more each year. Since the current ruling party took power in 2014, attacks have increased, and Hindu radicals believe they can attack Christians with no consequences. The view of the nationalists is that to be Indian is to be Hindu, so any other faith — including Christianity — is viewed as non-Indian. Additionally, in some regions of the country, converts to Christianity from Hinduism experience extreme persecution, discrimination and violence.”

The most obvious trend remains unchanged:

“Islamic oppression continues to impact millions of Christians. In seven out of the top 10 World Watch List countries, the primary cause of persecution is Islamic oppression. This means, for millions of Christians — particularly those who grew up Muslim or were born into Muslim families — openly following Jesus can have painful consequences. They can be treated as second-class citizens, discriminated against for jobs or even violently attacked.”

Not only is that responsible for the persecution Christians face in seven of the ten worst nations; 38 of the 50 nations making the list are Muslim-majority.

Among the worst persecutors are those that rule according to Sharia. In Afghanistan (ranked #2), “Christianity is not permitted to exist” because it “is an Islamic state by constitution, which means government officials, ethnic group leaders, religious officials and citizens are hostile toward adherents of any other religion.” Similarly, in Somalia, (#3), “The Christian community is small and under constant threat of attack. Sharia law and Islam are enshrined in the country’s constitution, and the persecution of Christians almost always involves violence.” In Iran (#9), “society is governed by Islamic law, which means the rights and professional possibilities for Christians are heavily restricted.”

While the forms persecution and actors behind them vary, many seem connected to Islam. For example, “Under Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws, Christians continue to live in daily fear they will be accused of blasphemy — which can carry a penalty of death.” In Libya (#4), Yemen (#8), Syria (#11), Iraq (#13) war has given rise to Islamic militancy and general lawlessness, both of which prey on Christian minorities.

In Muslim nations where Christians make up a minority, a significant quantity of churches might be needed to meet their numbers — the visibility of which may offend Muslim sensibilities. Thus in Egypt (#16), where Christians number at least 10% of the population (possibly even double that):

“Severe restrictions on building or securing places for worship prevent Christians from congregating, in addition to hostility and violence toward believers who do gather. In recent years, Islamic extremist groups have targeted Christians and churches in numerous violent and deadly acts of persecution.”

“The spread of radical Islam across sub-Saharan Africa” is another growing and troubling trend. For example,

“Nigeria’s score for violence [99.9%] has stayed as high as possible, primarily due to the increased attacks on Christian communities by militant Fulani herdsmen. These attacks claimed the lives of hundreds of believers during the reporting period, and villages and churches burned to the ground. Additionally, in parts of northern Nigeria, Christians are treated as second-class citizens.”

Some WWL’s findings are surprising. Although Orthodox Christians are the majority of its population, the Russian Federation is #41, and the “source of persecution” is, again, “Islamic oppression”: “Christians in parts of Russia dominated by Islam report the highest level of persecution.”

Despite the role of religion, North Korea (#1) remains the worst nation, where “never-ending pressure and violence” is directed against Christians:

“The primary driver of persecution in North Korea is the state. For three generations, everything in the country has focused on idolizing the Kim family. Christians are seen as hostiles to be eradicated.”

As difficult as it is for Christians identified by the Kim regime, there may be some eventual relief for them and those in other communist nations (such as China, #27): cults of personalities might last so long, but in the Arab and Muslim world, where, sadly, there seems to be little or no education to respect religious differences, the weight of the dominant religion continues to permeate all of society. (Click to Source)

Raymond Ibrahim, author of the new book, Sword and Scimitar, Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Recovery Room 7 is a community of people with similar backgrounds, where people from all walks of drug & alcohol recovery can meet together, share, socialize, interact, join in fun activities, share meals, pray and learn. It’s a place of joy and awakening to their true purpose in life. Jesus Christ is always present and ready to receive everyone in Recovery Room 7. We will be located in beautiful Northwest Montana. If you would like to donate to get Recovery Room 7 up and running, please go to our PayPal Donation Link here.

 

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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