New threats related to Idlib this week could see the Russian and Turkish
armies on a direct collision course.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday threatened a
full-scale military invasion of the war torn province after the Syrian Army and
its Russian ally refused to halt their ongoing offensive.
“An operation in Idlib is imminent,”Erdogan
told Turkish parliament of preparations for NATO’s second largest
army. “We are counting down, we are making our final warnings”.
“Turkey has completed preparations for the implementation of its plan
on Idlib, just like we did with previous operations. Frankly speaking, an
operation in Idlib is only a matter of time,” Erdogan said.
He further emphasized that
Turkey “is determined to pay any price to ensure security in
both Idlib and Turkey.” The Syrian and Turkish armies have
been engaged in sporadic fierce clashes for the past two weeks in Idlib,
resulting in scores dead and wounded on each side, though specific numbers are
disputed. Turkey has acknowledged at least 13 of its national troops killed.
“We will not leave Idlib to the [Syrian] regime, which does not
understand our country’s determination, and to those encouraging it,”
said Erdogan. Turkey has thus far sent limited deployments of troops and
armored convoys into the northwest Syrian province to support and defend a
dozen observation posts.
The Kremlin was quick to respond to such a threat of major escalation,
pointing out that any Turkish offensive against Syrian forces in Idlib
would be the “worst case scenario”.
“If it will be an operation against terrorist forces in Idlib, that would
certainly be within the spirit” of Russia’s agreements with Turkey, Kremlin
spokesman Dmitry Peskov said
before adding: “But if it is about an operation against legitimate
Syrian armed forces, that would certainly be the worst case scenario.”
Talks between Turkish and Russian officials earlier this week related to
Idlib failed to reach any agreement. This after Erdogan and Trump held a phone
call wherein both leaders agreed the Syrian-Russian offensive must be halted
Mainstream media has also begun to again put Idlib coverage front and center
as hundreds of thousands of civilians are said to be fleeing. Erdogan has long
expressed fears that a million or more refugees could flood across the
Turkish border, adding to the already some three million Turkey says
UN figures state that at least 700,000 people have been displaced in Idlib
since fighting was renewed in early December.
With the geopolitical situation now firmly on the backburner, we remind
readers that the last time we checked into the flurry of recent events in Syria
the weekend, we found that the Syrian Army was making major gains inside
Idlib in a military offensive condemned by Turkey and the United States,
capturing the key town of Saraqib from al-Qaeda linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Amid
the military advance, in the latest embarrassment to the US State Department,
the Syrian and Russian governments said they’ve recovered proof of US support
for the anti-Assad al-Qaeda insurgent terrorists, publishing photographs of
crates of weapons and supplies to state-run SANA.
In any case, the growing feud between Russia and Turkey over control of
Syria last remaining rebel holdout in Idlib province escalated overnight, and
as Bloomberg reports, Turkey sent hundreds of tanks, armored personnel
carriers and commandos to the Syrian province of Idlib as preparations continue
for a likely attempt to break the siege of some of its outposts by Bashar
The massive buildup over the weekend included the deployment of howitzers,
multiple-rocket launchers, ambulances and trucks loaded with munitions,
according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency.
Meanwhile, Turkey resumed talks with a Russian delegation in Ankara on
Monday after failure to reach an agreement on Idlib on Saturday, Foreign Minister
Mevlut Cavusoglu said, adding that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia’s
Vladimir Putin may meet if no deal can be reached
Turkey dramatically reinforced its forces across the border since Syrian
troops killed five Turkish soldiers and a civilian in Idlib on Feb. 3 as they
closed in on the country’s last major rebel holdout.
“Five of our troops were killed and five others were injured in the
shelling by the Syrian regime,” the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Monday,
adding that “return fire was opened.”
It wasn’t the first shelling incident between Turkish and Syrian forces in
Idlib. A week ago, six Turkish troops were killed by Syrian artillery fire in
an incident that Russia said was a result of miscommunication. The casualties
could have been avoided if Ankara properly notified Damascus that it was moving
troops in a border area where Damascus was holding an anti-terrorist operation
at the time, Moscow said.
Turkey’s Daily Sabah reported that in response to the alleged death of
Turkish soldiers, 115 regime targets have been struck, 101 regime soldiers have
been neutralized (i.e. killed), and 3 tanks and 2 mortars have been destroyed,
as the conflict is rapidly devolving into an all out war between Syria and
Turkey also called on Moscow to put pressure on Damascus to halt its
offensive in Idlib. Meanwhile, Syria’s government has been using Russian air
support to vanquish onetime al-Qaeda affiliates and Turkey-backed rebels in the
Erdogan last week threatened to use force to break the siege of military
outposts in Idlib unless Syrian forces withdraw before the end of February. At
least three of 12 Turkish outposts were confirmed to be cut off by Syrian
forces in the area.
Feigning humanitarian concern, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told
Hurriuet newspaper that Turkey’s main goal was “to prevent a refugee
exodus and humanitarian drama” adding that “we’re trying to reach a
cease-fire and stop the bloodshed.” However, he then made it quickly clear
that the fight over northern Syria is all about strategic positioning, noting
that if the violation of the Sochi and Astana agreements, which were signed by
Turkey, Russia and Iran to curtail fighting in northern Syria, “continued,
then we have plans B and C,” Akar said. “We keep telling them not to force
us” to implement those plans.
Ankara was expected to use its influence on anti-government militants to
prevent fighting with Damascus troops in order to create the basis for a
peaceful resolution. However, jihadist groups in Idlib continue hostile
activities, with Russia saying there were several thousand attacks in the last
two months alone, in which hundreds of Syrian troops and civilians died.
Who is Imam Mahdi and why was Khamenei congratulating him on the day of Soleimani’s death? In short, he is Islam’s messiah, the 12th of 12 Imams who are successors to Mohammed. Said to have been born in 879 CE, the Imam Mahdi is believed by Shi’a Muslims to still be alive, but hidden from mankind in “occultation” until a time of such upheaval on the earth that only his reappearance will rescue mankind and, in fact, usher in an age of global peace; Islamic peace, that is; a kind of peace in which all mankind is living in submission to the Allah of the Koran.
Why did Ayatollah Khamenei congratulate Imam
Mahdi on the day of Soleimani’s death? Because the real Prince of Persia is
undeterred. He is still coming, and Iran will do anything to pave his way.
If you’re a Bible believer, this story today from the
Jerusalem Post is a fascinating one, absolutely saturated with prophetic
meaning of what is soon to come in the days after the Church is removed in the
Pretribulation Rapture. While we as born again believers in Jesus
Christ look for our
Blessed Hope of being caught up in the clouds as our apostle Paul
teaches us, Iran is also waiting for their savior as well, someone known to
Muslims as Imam Mahdi. He is known to you and I as Antichrist.
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our
Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That
ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word,
nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man
deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except
there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed,
the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is
called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of
God, shewing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
The Iranian Revolution that took place in 1979 was designed
to prepare Iran and the Middle East for the appearance of Imam Mahdi, the
Islamic Antichrist. Why is Iran in 2020 a nation in a constant state of war,
upheaval and chaos? Because they are not looking to be a law-abiding member of
the United Nations, they are waiting for Imam Mahdi to come and lead the world
into an Islamic caliphate. Iran leaders live in constant anticipation the
arrival of the Mahdi just as you and I live in constant anticipation of meeting
Jesus in the clouds. And guess what? We are both about to receive the desires
of our hearts.
Now you know why Pope Francis signed a peace
covenant with Islam last year, why they are building the Chrislam
One World Religion headquarters in Abu Dhabi, he is preparing the Catholic
Church to receive not Jesus Christ, but Imam Mahdi. All the pieces fit
perfectly together as prophecy continues to unfold in glorious, end times
harmony. Please enjoy this timely and fascinating article from the Jerusalem
Post. The article is also highly ironic because when Imam Mahdi does appear,
the Jews for the first three and a half years of the time of Jacob’s trouble
will think he is their Messiah and follow him. Pray for the Jewish people.
Are you ready for what comes next?
The fall of Qassem Soleimani and the Mahdi
FROM THE JERUSALEM POST: When he left Damascus for Baghdad
late Thursday evening January 2, Qassem Soleimani
was flying high. As the military leader, chief strategist and charismatic face
of what he knew to be the world’s emerging and greatest empire, he had it all:
prestige, power, presence.
Not only did he command that rising empire’s independent
military force, he was nothing less than the voice of Allah to leaders in
nations soon to be absorbed: Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon; Yemen and the Sinai.
Although no one ever said so in quite these terms, he was, in fact, a rising
prince of Persia. And the arms at his disposal! In addition to an immeasurable
arsenal of conventional weapons, there was a growing repository of guided
missiles; a world-class brigade of ruthless cyber geeks; even submarines; and
soon, very soon, nuclear warheads.
From the north and the south of the world’s most despicable usurper, if not
so much to its east and to its west, Soleimani was slowly squeezing the Zionist
entity, needling its psyche (and military focus) by jihadists within its
pretentious boundaries, waiting for the perfect moment – when it was distracted
– to strike at its heart from the north with a massive arsenal of at least
100,000 rockets. When the time came, rockets without sophisticated technology
would draw the defensive shield of the Zionists’ interceptors. That shield
would stop a lot of them, but not all. Not all.
Then, at just the right time, hi-tech guided missiles would
be launched, programmed to hit key military sites and, best of all,
high-density population centers. Maybe, just maybe, inshallah, one of those
missiles would carry a nuclear warhead. As Zionists died in a mushroom cloud of
agony, all hell would break out throughout the region, even the world. It would
be a tragic upheaval but a necessary evil because then, as prophesied, the long
awaited savior of the world would emerge from centuries of withdrawal. The Imam
Mahdi would return, establishing a worldwide caliphate of perfect peace;
Islamic peace, of course.
On the evening of the second day of what the West calls its
New Year, Soleimani was fresh from meeting in Beirut, Lebanon, with one of his
nation’s most important vassals, Hassan Nasrallah, the uncontested head of the
pretentious “party of Allah,” Hezbollah. In that encounter, duly photographed,
Soleimani had accepted, once again, the “General Secretary’s” obsequious
hospitality. It was likely gratifying to the Islamic Republic’s major general
of Tehran’s notably redundant Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the IRGC.
The flight from Damascus was only one hour and five minutes, but it had been
delayed. The Middle East Eye reports that his flight landed at 12:32 a.m. Baghdad time. Anticipating
a comfortable weekend inside Baghdad’s Green Zone, Soleimani was met by the
head of the Iraqi paramilitary force, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, said to be “a
longstanding ally and a close friend.”
Just over an hour later, less than two hours into the third
day of January, Soleimani, Muhandis and their entourage left Baghdad
International Airport in two vehicles, a Hyundai Starex minivan and a Toyota
Avalon four-door sedan. As they reached the airport’s outer access road, both
vehicles were almost
evaporated by missiles fired by an American Reaper drone, a large
remote controlled aircraft regarded by the US military as a “hunter killer.”
Death was instantaneous for all inside both cars. Remains were so badly
shredded, Soleimani’s death was confirmed by a still intact hand bearing his
still intact silver ring embedded with a large oval carnelian stone.
To Western eyes, events in Iran in the aftermath of Soleimani’s execution
tend to look like a low-budget circus with all its performances gone bad.
“Let’s put all of this together,” opines YouTube commentator David Wood. “On
January 3, Major-General Soleimani was killed in a drone strike. On January 7,
56 Iranians were killed and more than 200 more were injured in a stampede at
Soleimani’s funeral. On January 8, Iranian leaders responded to the killing of Soleimani
with a missile attack on two Iraqi bases where US soldiers were housed, but… no
one was killed. Also on January 8, the Iranian military shot down a Ukranian
passenger plane as it took off from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport,
killing 176 people. On January 11, after three days of denying it had shot down
the plane … Iran admitted it had shot down the passenger plane.
“So, in response to the US government killing one man, Iranians killed, by a
stampede and surface-to-air missile attack, 138 Iranians and 94 others – none
of them Americans. I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to think that
Iranians might not be the best at war. [Mimicking Iranian leaders,] ‘Ah! They
killed a general. Let’s start trampling each other to death in the
streets and shooting down random planes.’
“I’m making fun of them,” says Wood, “because if the Iranian establishment
is this incompetent, there’s hope for the protesters who want to overthrow the
establishment. The days of the ayatollahs may be numbered.”
Iranian leaders as toothless buffoons is a gratifying
narrative, but it is also wrong. If anything, the Islamic Republic is more
dangerous than ever. As evidenced by Soleimani’s accomplishments in building a
regional network of proxy terrorists, by the nation’s weapons-grade nuclear
fuel technology, by hi-tech guided missile systems and a world-class cyber
warfare unit, Iran retains all of these things, losing none of them with
Wounded by Soleimani’s execution and US President Donald Trump’s economic
sanctions, the threat Iran poses to the Middle East and the world is not
lessened, it is magnified. Indeed, notes Israeli journalist and geopolitical
analyst Jonathan Spyer, it “can be expected to do all in their power to
preserve the regime by all possible means.”
Iran Is Waiting For Imam Mahdi, The Islamic
Why? Three main reasons: the Mahdi and necessary upheaval;
the Mahdi and Iran as the facilitator for his reappearance; the Mahdi and
Tehran’s visceral hatred of Israel. On the day Soleimani was killed, Iran’s
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, tweeted, “We congratulate Imam Mahdi
and Soleimani’s pure soul and condole the Iranian nation on this great
Who is Imam Mahdi and why was Khamenei congratulating him on the day of
In short, he is Islam’s messiah, the 12th of 12 Imams who
are successors to Mohammed. Said to have been born in 879 CE, the Imam Mahdi is
believed by Shi’a Muslims to still be alive, but hidden from mankind in
“occultation” until a time of such upheaval on the earth that only his
reappearance will rescue mankind and, in fact, usher in an age of global peace;
Islamic peace, that is; a kind of peace in which all mankind is living in
submission to the Allah of the Koran.
Crazy to Western ears, this messianic creed is the raison
d’être for the Islamic Republic of Iran according to its founders and leaders.
It is also the basis of Tehran’s foreign and military policies; and it is
impossible to overemphasize the Iran regime’s visceral commitment to it. The
Imam Mahdi is invoked in every public gathering, both civil and military; he is
the singular inspiration for every policy, every tactic, every mission; indeed,
he is nothing less than the regime’s reason for its existence and, as such, its
singular and unwavering motivation for the future.
This reality does not bode well for those who see recent stumbles as indicative
of an imminent fall of the mullahs in Tehran.
Khamenei’s official website is full of teachings about Imam Mahdi, including
one that states the Supreme Leader’s conviction that his reappearance is very
near. “Reappearance of Imam Mahdi [aj] is near, because minds are ready,”
Khamenei writes. The “aj” in parenthesis is shorthand for, “May Allah hasten
“The mind of humankind is ready to understand, to learn, and to know,
undoubtedly, that a lofty human will come to save them from the burden of
oppression and tyranny,” Khamenei explains. “The Iranian nation, enjoys a great
privilege today: the atmosphere of the country is an atmosphere of Imam Mahdi
,” he continues, adding that “many of our great scholars have personally
met with this beloved Imam of hearts of the admirers during his occultation;
many have made a pledge to him in person; many have heard from him some
heartwarming words; many have been caressed by him and many others have
received his kindness, care, and love.”
How is this unwrapped in terms of Iran’s
foreign and military policies today?
Global upheaval is a prerequisite for the Mahdi’s
reappearance. This means that inasmuch as Iran stirs up a global hornet’s nest,
it advances the Mahdi’s return, a return that is imminent. The regime’s primary
agenda is to strategically provoke the world to chaos; this is how it wins.
Chaos brings the Mahdi who brings global peace. Call it “The Mahdi Doctrine.”
The Iranian regime believes it has created an “atmosphere” that embodies the
spirit of the Mahdi. Its religious, military and civil leaders have had
personal encounters with him. In essence, then, today’s Iran is the womb from
which the Mahdi will be reborn. Accordingly, the regime will go to any lengths
to preserve itself. Accordingly, we should expect internal rebellion to be
ruthlessly squashed. Protesters, especially organizers, will disappear. All
external and internal opposition to the regime will be demonized.
Israel must be destroyed. Tehran’s unrelenting objective is resurrection of
the ancient Persian empire in the form of an Islamic caliphate. The primary
impediment to that objective is Israel, the “Zionist Entity,” the very
embodiment of evil in the world today. Notably, Khamenei’s Twitter feed is full
of vitriol about Israel.
“The Zionist regime is the epitome of evil,” he tweeted on Valentine’s Day
in 2016. It is a “racist, usurping, lying, vicious, apartheid regime,” he added
on February 5, 2019.
What then must be done? “Once people in the West realize their problems stem
from Zionist domination over governments, great social movements will give
birth to a new world,” he explained on 2 March 2015. Accordingly, the
“barbaric, wolflike and infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime but
to be annihilated.”
Translation: When the world finishes the job that Hitler
started, the Mahdi will come, bringing heaven on earth; Islamic heaven, that
is. Wounded by economic sanctions, embarrassed by internal protesters, Iran is
more dangerous today than ever.
Why did Khamenei congratulate Imam Mahdi on the day of Soleimani’s death?
Because the real Prince of Persia is undeterred. He is still coming, and Iran
will do anything to pave his way.
In his first testimony, Archbishop Viganò also stated that he informed Cardinal Sandri, along with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, about Theodore McCarrick’s decades-long abuse of priests and seminarians. Sandri was one of several high-ranking prelates who “knew in every detail the situation regarding Cardinal McCarrick,” he testified. Archbishop Viganò concludes: “ The faithful have a right to know these sordid intrigues of a corrupt court. In the Heart of the Church we seem to glimpse the approaching shadow of Satan’s synagogue (Rev 2:9).”
SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN: In a new testimony
touching upon the election of the next Pope, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has
alleged that the cardinal whom Pope Francis recently approved to preside over
the next papal conclave was involved in covering up the misdeeds of infamous
Legionary of Christ founder, Marciel Maciel.
I was a Roman Catholic for the first 29 years of my life,
day I got saved and became a born again Christian, and I have spent the
past tens years in this ministry of Now The End Begins to warn people about the
lies and evil foundations of the counterfeit Christian Church. So it makes me
happy when high-ranking and currently serving members of the Roman Catholic
Church says things like what you will see in this article today that backs me
“And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write;
These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know
thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I
know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not,
but are the synagogue of Satan.” Revelation 2:8,9 (KJB)
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who has been warning people
about Pope Francis for years now, makes a startling charge that the pope is a
deceiver, a liar, and actively engaged in multiple cover-ups on a variety of
levels. Vigano goes so far as to say that Pope Francis is turning the Roman
Catholic Church into the synagogue of Satan, and guess what? He’s right. We
have previously told you how Vigano exposed the ‘Gay
Mafia‘ in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as the ‘homosexual
network‘ that exists there and that Pope Francis works to keep hidden.
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of
desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso
readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the
mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out
of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his
clothes.” Matthew 24:15-18
Regular readers of NTEB are acutely aware that Pope Francis
spent all of 2019 forming
an alliance with Islam, signing
a covenant with them, and began to put the framework in place for the
World Religion of Chrislam. The Bible tells us, in Revelation, that the
One World Religion will have the Roman Catholic Church as it’s base, and that
Antichrist will rule the world from there. In the middle of the time of Jacob’s
trouble, Antichrist will move to take over Jerusalem and indeed sit on the
throne of the rebuilt
Jewish Temple. This triggers the Matthew 24 warning for the Jews to flee
to Selah Petra, where God Himself will sustain them supernaturally for
three and one half years.
“For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath
of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with
her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her
delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my
people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her
plagues.” Revelation 18:3,4
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, we congratulate you on
your keen sense of perception and discernment in noting that Pope Francis is in
the process of creating the synagogue of Satan, and since you found your way
into the book of Revelation, something you rarely see any Catholic do, let me
offer you another verse from Revelation that will help you as well. In
Revelation 17 and 18, the Bible is describing to us the Roman Catholic Church
and the Vatican superstructure. And in Revelation 18, quoted above, God gives a
warning to all Catholics to flee from the Roman harlot while
there is still time. So let me invite you in joining me as an ex-Catholic, and
in new life with Jesus Christ by becoming born again. The Roman
Catholic Church is indeed the synagogue of Satan, and will become the synagogue
of Satan in the time of Jacob’s trouble. Leave while you can.
Viganò Says Pope Francis Creating Synagogue
FROM LIFE SITE NEWS: In a statement released on January 31
and titled “The faithful have the right to know”, Archbishop Carlo Maria
Viganò asserts that Pope Francis’s confirmation of Cardinal Leonardo Sandri as
Vice-Dean of the College of Cardinals is a “masterpiece of deception.”
On Saturday, January 25, the Holy See announced that
Pope Francis had confirmed the election of Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, 86,
and Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, 76, as Dean and Vice-Dean of the College of
Cardinals respectively. The announcement came one month after Cardinal Angelo
Sodano, 92, resigned as Dean of the Sacred College.
Francis’s approval of these elections “has gone almost unnoticed and yet
conceals a devious strategy,” Archbishop Viganò writes.
The former apostolic nuncio to the United States contends
that the confirmation of Cardinal Re as Dean of the Sacred College is “a cover
for that other more effective appointment — of Cardinal Sandri — which has been
prepared ad hoc to pilot the next conclave secundum Franciscum,
that is, according to an updated and augmented edition of the St. Gallen
Role Of The Dean
The Dean of the College of Cardinals presides over the
Sacred College. When a Pope dies (or in the case of Benedict XVI has resigned),
the Dean is tasked with communicating to all the cardinals that the pontiff has
passed and summoning them to Rome for a papal conclave.
The word “conclave” refers to the time in which the
cardinals are locked inside the Sistine Chapel to elect a new Pope. Only those
cardinals who are under the age of 80 are eligible to enter the conclave and
vote. The Dean of the College presides over the conclave and also oversees what
are called the pre-conclave “congregations,” at which cardinals discuss the
logistics and planning for the conclave, and importantly, meet their brother
cardinals and get to know their positions. All of the cardinals, even those who
cannot vote in the actual election for reasons of age, are eligible to
participate in the congregations. Such was the case with former Cardinal
Theodore McCarrick in 2013.
The Vice-Dean’s role is to act as a substitute when the Dean cannot exercise
his office. At 86 years of age, Cardinal Re, as newly elected Dean, is not
eligible to enter into or preside at the next conclave and will therefore cede
this role to 76-year-old Cardinal Sandri.
Cardinal Re will still oversee the congregations, but
Cardinal Sandri, as Vice-Dean of the College of Cardinals, will exercise the
most important role — to preside over the election of the next Pope. This is
not a novelty. In 2013, after the resignation of Benedict XVI, for reasons of
age, Cardinal Angelo Sodano ceded this role to then-Vice-Dean, Cardinal
Re, who presided over the election of Pope Francis.
A Web Of Coverup?
In his new statement, Archbishop Viganò recalls his first
testimony in August 2018, in order to reiterate that “the person
chiefly responsible for covering up the misdeeds committed by Maciel was
then-Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano.”
“Unfortunately for him, Sandri also allowed himself to be involved by Sodano
in this operation to cover up Maciel’s horrible misdeeds,” he adds.
Drawing on his first-hand experience as a member of the diplomatic corps and
high-level official in the Vatican Secretariat of State, Archbishop Viganò
testifies that through a series of “shady maneuvers,” Cardinal Sandri was
transferred to Mexico, to replace Archbishop Justo Mullor, who “was removed
from the Apostolic Nunciature in Mexico because he opposed the directives
coming from the Secretariat of State to cover up the very serious accusations
against Marcial Maciel.”
Archbishop Viganò writes:
“To replace Archbishop Mullor in Mexico City, it was necessary to appoint a
person of unfailing loyalty to Sodano. Sandri had already given proof of this
as Assessor for the section of General Affairs in the Secretariat of State.
Serving at the time as Nuncio in Venezuela for just a little over two years, he
was transferred to Mexico.”
This new testimony echoes his first, in which he wrote:
“It is known that Sodano tried to cover up the Father Maciel scandal to the
end. He even removed the Nuncio in Mexico City, Justo Mullor, who refused to be
an accomplice in his scheme to cover Maciel, and in his place appointed Sandri,
then-Nuncio to Venezuela, who was willing to collaborate in the cover-up.”
In his first testimony, Archbishop Viganò also stated that
he informed Cardinal Sandri, along with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, about
Theodore McCarrick’s decades-long abuse of priests and seminarians. Sandri was
one of several high-ranking prelates who “knew in every detail the situation
regarding Cardinal McCarrick,” he testified.
Archbishop Viganò notes his “long-standing friendship” with
Cardinal Sandri that dates back 50 years to their shared time in the Pontifical
Ecclesiastic Academy (a training academy for Vatican diplomats) and the
Secretariat of State. He also affirms that his new testimony is inspired
“solely” by the bond of that friendship and is offered “for the good of his
soul, for the love of the Truth who is Christ Himself, and for the Church, His
Bride, whom we served together.”
The former US nuncio also testifies that Pope Francis, having asked him
about Sandri, knew about his character and the Mexico transfer, and “promoted
to Cardinal-Priest in May 2018 and a month later to Cardinal-Bishop, so
that he might confirm him as Vice-Dean of the College of Cardinals, a candidate
prepared by Francis to preside at the next Conclave.”
Archbishop Viganò concludes: “The faithful have a right to
know these sordid intrigues of a corrupt court. In the Heart of the Church we
seem to glimpse the approaching shadow of Satan’s synagogue (Rev 2:9).”
A new military incursion into Libya is part of a long-awaited dream by
Turkish President Erdogan to return the Ottoman Caliphate, a global Islamic
rule that subjugated Jews and Christians for six centuries.
Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Monday that Turkish-backed
Syrian mercenaries have begun arriving in Libya. Approximately 2,400 troops are
already in Tripoli while another 1,700 are currently undergoing training in
Turkey. Activists informed the SOHR that Turkey intends to send a total of
6,000 troops to Libya.
Turkey is backing the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) in
its fight against the eastern-based Libyan National Army led by General Khalifa
Haftar and backed by Russia. The GNA is supported by Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
The GNA also receives air support from the United Arab Emirates.
Until now, the role of the Turkish military has been limited to 35 military
personnel involved solely in training and advisory roles. The new Syrian troops
are mercenaries, hired from rebel groups opposing Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad. The Turkish government will pay each soldier a monthly stipend of
$2,000, far more than the $50 they earned to fight back home in Syria. The Syrian
troops are also fighting against the Kurds in Libya.
Turkish intervention is a manifestation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan’s aspiration to establish himself as the leader of a global Islamic
nation. The SOHR reported that a commander of the Turkish-backed Syrian troops
en route to Libya announced as their battle cry, “We will present our souls for
the Ottoman Caliphate.”
The Ottoman Caliphate, known in the West as the Ottoman or Turkish Empire,
was founded in the 13th Century and eventually controlled much of Southeast
Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa. This control lasted for several hundred
years and only truly ended after WWI when the empire was partitioned by the
Allied Powers and the 101st and final Caliph, Sultan Abdulmecid II, was deposed
The Ottoman Empire was a Sunni Caliphate which exerted a hegemonic power of
Muslim control over the non-Muslim populations, most notably a
Christian/Catholic majority. In accordance with the Muslim dhimmi
system, Christians were guaranteed limited freedoms, such as the right to
worship. They were forbidden to carry weapons or ride on horseback, their
houses could not overlook those of Muslims, in addition to various other legal
limitations. Many Christians and Jews converted in order to secure full status
Before his election, Turkish political analysts feared that candidate
Erdogan’s rise to power was fueled by his aspirations and those of his
supporters to return Turkey to its former glory at the head of the Muslim
world. His term in office confirmed these fears. In the wake of a failed
attempt at a coup by a faction in the army in 2016, Erdogan mobilized the
military against the populace and jailed hundreds of dissidents.
But Erdogan’s Caliphate aspirations extend beyond the borders of Turkey and
target Israel and, most specifically, Jerusalem. At a summit of the
Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul last year, Erdogan called
on all of the 57 Muslim member nations to join together against Israel to
avenge the deaths of Palestinians killed while charging the southern border
In 2015, Erdogan gave a speech commemorating 562 years since the Turks
captured Constantinople (now known as Istanbul) from European Christians in
which he called for the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem.
“Conquest is Mecca, conquest is Saladin, it’s to hoist the Islamic flag over
Jerusalem again; conquest is the heritage of Mehmed II and conquest means
forcing Turkey back on its feet,” Erdogan said in the speech in Istanbul.
Erdogan’s support of the Palestinians was returned in kind. In a Muslim
gathering on the Temple Mount earlier this month commemorating the conquest of
Constantinople in 1453 CE, Nidhal “Abu Ibrahim” Siam, a Palestinian
preacher, addressed a crowd of approximately 7,000.
As reported by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Siam told
the crowd that three prophecies would soon be fulfilled: a rightly-guided
caliphate will be established, that Jerusalem will be liberated and established
as its capital and that Islam “will throw its neighbors to the ground” thereby
achieving world domination.
The gathering was organized by Hizb ut-Tahrir, an international,
pan-Islamist political organization dedicated to establishing a global
caliphate. Founded in Jerusalem in 1953, the organization is banned in many
Erdogan has also been suspected of aiding Hamas, allowing the terrorist
organization to operate out of Turkey. The terrorist group is also reportedly
in contact with the Turkish intelligence agency.
The key to the Turkish incursion into Libya and the hidden motivation is
actually quite straightforward. Two months ago, Turkey signed a maritime
borders deal that gave Turkey a claim to parts of the eastern Mediterranean. In
addition to its strategic military importance, the eastern Mediterranean has
huge natural gas deposits. Turkey’s entrance into the eastern Mediterranean
puts it into close proximity with Israel and its offshore natural gas
“The whole thing is about natural gas,” Dr. Kedar said. “The agreement
between Turkey and Libya bypassed Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Egypt. They
related to the entire Mediterranean and the enormous natural gas deposits as if
they belonged only to Libya and Turkey.”
“This could bring Israel into direct conflict with Turkey but since Israel
is supplying vital gas to Europe, this also brings Turkey into conflict with
“In order to make sure that the Libyan government stays and Turkey’s gas
interests in the Mediterranean stay secure, Turkey is ramping up the
hostilities in Libya in favor of the GNA.”
Dr. Kedar emphasized that Turkey’s interest in Libyan hostilities is, in
essence, but not exclusively, financially motivated.
“But religion is big business,” he added. “Establishing a caliphate is
certainly a big part of Erdogan’s agenda but to do that, he needs money and
power. Taking over the gas in the Mediterranean will give him that.”
This aspect of the Libyan conflict concerning natural gas in the
Mediterranean is of grave concern to international leaders, including U.S.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish
President Erdogan, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Premier Giuseppe
Conte, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, all of whom gathered in Berlin
on Sunday to discuss the issue. Also in attendance were UN Secretary-General
Antonio Guterres along with senior representatives of the European Union, the
African Union, and the Arab League.
set its sights on a new goal.
In Libya, a
long-forgotten civil war was raging. The government in Tripoli, often called
the Government of the National Accord, was losing ground to the Libyan National
Army, led by a man named Khalifa Haftar, whose forces were based in eastern
Turkey supports Tripoli; Egypt supports Haftar. It is part of a much wider
struggle that represents Turkey’s attempt to revive influence not seen since
the end of the First World War. A century ago, the European powers thought that
the Ottoman Empire could be easily chopped up and its territories given away.
is back, moving into areas like northern Iraq, northern Syria, Libya and even
the Gulf and Somalia.
Peace Conference that ended in January 1920, 100 years ago, helped the stage
for many of the issues still facing the Middle East. It is hard to remember
now, but much of what we take for granted regarding the borders of the Middle
East is in some ways arbitrary. They were decided on partly after World War I
in a series of treaties, such as the Treaty of Sevres of 1920 and Treaty of Lausanne
Why is Hatay
province, once called Alexandretta, in Turkey, when it could have been in
Syria? Why is Mosul in Iraq and not in Turkey, as Turkey once claimed it? Why
do the Kurds lack a state? The recent tensions in the Middle East, the unresolved
questions from Lebanon to Iraq, Libya, Turkey and Gaza, are all part of this.
LET US begin
where Turkey now ends its recent ambitions – in Libya. Libya was once the
setting for a quiet proxy war that reflects divisions in the Muslim world
between the Muslim Brotherhood, which Turkey’s ruling party has roots in, and
countries that oppose the Brotherhood.
ruler President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has increasingly global ambitions.
Embattled Libya could be a key to them, thought Turkish leaders around Erdogan.
Turkey was already sending drones and armored vehicles to Tripoli. But they had
not stemmed the tide. Haftar vowed in November to take Tripoli and rid the
country of “terrorists” and “militias.” Turkey responded that the “warlord”
Haftar would have to be stopped.
wanted something in return for helping to stop him. It wanted rights to the
Mediterranean between Turkey and Libya.
If you draw
a line from Libya to Turkey, you run into Greek islands like Crete. But if you
draw a line from eastern Libya, there is a passage between Cyprus and the Greek
islands that narrowly links Turkey to Libya. It is here that Turkey made a bold
chess move. In exchange for sending some fighters to bolster the Tripoli
government, Turkey would get an exclusive economic zone that splits Cyprus from
Greece by sea and gives Turkey rights to explore for natural gas. It also sinks
the dreams of Greece and Cyprus to invite companies like ENI to explore for
natural resources under the sea.
The play by
Turkey has muscle behind it. Ankara has been sending its navy out to conduct
drills around Cyprus, showing the flag and its power. Turkey has new sea-based
missiles. It is buying new drilling ships. Cyprus thought it was ahead of the
curve, signing deals with Egypt in 2003, Lebanon in 2007 and Israel in 2010.
But Turkey has thrown down a gauntlet.
understand Turkey’s treatment of the Greeks and Cypriots historically. Turkey
invaded Cyprus in 1974 claiming to help protect members of the Turkish
minority. Turkey has stayed ever since, recognizing Northern Cyprus as a
country. No one else recognizes it, but Turkey says Northern Cyprus has
widespread rights to explore for gas around Cyprus. Turkey has sent drones to
Cyprus to show that it will police those waters it claims.
the Cyprus operation was a way to show it would not be removed from more
islands in the Mediterranean – for instance, the Dodecanese Islands, near
Rhodes, were taken by Italy during a war with the Ottoman Empire in 1912.
Rhodes also was held by Italy, then by Germany during World War II, and finally
became part of Greece in 1947. Turkey today says that these islands, even
though they are part of Greece technically, cannot be used by Greece to
determine its rights to the waters off the islands. Instead, the continental
shelf that extends from Turkey gives Erdogan’s country rights to the sea.
DECISION to revive its claims to the sea and send forces to Libya should be
seen in light of a century of Turkey’s policies since the fall of the Ottoman
Empire. The Ottomans lost Libya to the Italians in 1912. Now, the Turks are
flirted with various policies since the end of the Ottomans. For a few years in
the 1920s, it looked like the country would be dismantled. However, Turkey
pushed the Greeks out of modern-day Turkey and embarked on a campaign of
Turkish nationalism and secularism that supplanted European rule in Istanbul
and created the current borders. But Ankara was never entirely satisfied. It
felt that its formerly powerful role had been reduced.
Cold War, Turkey was an ally of the US and also suffered its own internal
troubles and coups. At the time, Turkey’s neighbors seemed to be advancing.
Syria under Hafez Assad, father of the current embattled president, was trying
to be an Arab socialist paradise. Borrowing heavily from secular nationalist
traditions of European fascism blended with socialism and Arab nationalism, the
Assadist regime was brutal to dissenters, but treated loyalists decently. It
wanted to modernize and look like an eastern European state, with the
Communist-style brutalist high-rises and lots of Soviet tanks and other
assorted accoutrements. It left to fester the questions that arose after 1920.
For instance, what about the Kurds in eastern Syria? The Assadist Ba’athist
regime treated them like they didn’t exist, suppressing them and denying many
regime also ignored large Arab tribes along the Euphrates. Those tribes
sometimes looked to Saddam’s Iraq across the border for cultural relations with
other tribes in Anbar province. Saddam Hussein, like the Assads, was a product
of the Arab nationalist revolutionary era. All these regimes, from Assad to
Saddam to Nasser’s Egypt, were products of a reaction against the colonial era
of the British and French mandates. They had replaced the old system of kings
and colonials and sheikhs. They wanted modernity.
In some way,
they were reactions also against the Jewish nationalism of Zionism, which they
hated, and also the secular Turkish nationalism of Ataturk. If there were to be
Jewish and Turkish states, so there would be an Arab nationalist group of
states as well.
Iraq never worked out the problems the British colonials had saddled it with.
The British wanted to include Mosul in Iraq so there would be more Sunni Arabs
to support the Hashemite king they had chosen. The king was from what is now
Saudi Arabia and a brother of the king of Jordan at the time. But for Iraq, he
became the first Iraqi.
mean much to Kurds in the north, who also wanted freedom and independence. It
is sometimes forgotten that a brief independent Kurdish state called the
Republic of Mahabad had arisen in 1946 after World War II. Like the changeover
in power of Rhodes, or the question of whether Hatay would be part of Turkey,
this republic was a byproduct of unresolved questions from the 1920s.
freedom and rights. Instead, they were forced to be part of states that didn’t
recognize or want them. They were told to be Arab nationalists or Turkish
nationalists, not Kurds. For the colonial powers, this didn’t matter. For the
nationalist regimes, they were a headache. For the US and Soviets in the Cold
War, they were tools to be used and discarded.
that arose in the 1920s and then in the 1960s revolved around questionable
states like Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Egypt was an ancient state, but Damascus
had its own ambitions. At one point, the Arab Revolt had sought to hold
Damascus as part of a greater Arab state. The British and French said no to
that. Instead, the Kingdom of Jordan became a Bedouin kingdom. The kingdoms
that were created in the 20th century may have seemed weak at the outset, but
they had more staying power than the nationalist regimes. Instead, the regimes
– from Gaddafi in Libya to Saddam in Iraq and Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen –
were overthrown. The Nassserist regime, too, fell apart in 2011 when the Arab
Spring broke out. Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia was also forced out. So
too the Algerian regime.
Why did some
of the monarchies survive and not others? The British helped shepherd to power
the kingdom of Egypt of Farouk. King Idris of Libya appeared a more formidable
ruler, but he was pushed from office in 1969 while away for medical treatment
in Turkey. The Gulf monarchies, by contrast, and the Moroccan and Jordanian
monarchies, have survived. Likely because their states are either more
homogenous or because of their traditions of rule, they have had more success.
THE PAST 10
years have witnessed an extraordinary reversal, as most of the Arab countries
have been torn apart from within. Where monarchies or Arab nationalism failed,
a rising religious extremism preyed on weak states. But even this Islamist
terrorist rise did not supplant the new states.
and went. Even the Muslim Brotherhood, briefly rising in Gaza and even in
Tripoli or other areas, and seeking election in Tunisia, Jordan and other
places, has not been the success that some thought. Political Islam is not
happened is that the historically powerful periphery states, Turkey and Iran,
have risen to grab influence throughout the Middle East. These states, as the
Ottoman Empire and Persian Empire, were weakened in 1920 and European powers
supplanted their historic role. But now, with Europe looking more insular,
these countries are rising again.
Turkey’s expedition to Libya is just one symbol of that new world order in
the Middle East.
My thoughts on the 2020s and how it will be a decade of immense preparation
for the next global conflict:
TURKEY’S MILITARY PLANS FOR THE 2020S
August of 2017 Erdogan declared in a speech:
“Just like [Turkey’s vision for] 2023 and 2053,
we’ve also determined 2071 [marking the 1,000th anniversary of the Battle of
Malazgirt] as a ‘horizon line’ … We are proud of our ancestors who walked with
glory, honor and victory into the center of Europe after entering Anatolia from
Malazgirt, with the red flag in one hand and the green sanjak in the other”
Kale Group, another Turkish defense company, is
currently working with Rolls Royce to develop the TF-X, Turkey’s first
independently made fighter jet. According to one report from Invest in Turkey:
“Rolls Royce, the British automotive and aviation
giant, and Kale Group, one of Turkey’s prominent defense contractors, have
announced the establishment of a joint venture.
Kale Group will own 51 percent and Rolls Royce 49
percent of the joint venture company, which will be known as the TAEC Aircraft
Engine Industry Corporation. The agreement was signed on May 8, 2017, in
Istanbul. TAEC will produce jet engines for both military and civilian
purposes, with intellectual property rights to the engines remaining in
Kale Group announced that they are taking the
lead on the TF-X National Fighter Jet project currently being developed by
Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI). The TF-X will be Turkey’s first domestically
designed and produced fighter jet and it is meant to replace the current ﬂeet
of F-16s in the early 2020s.”
In 2015, Erdogan, in a speech commemorating the
Battle of Gallipoli — in which the Ottomans gained a major victory over the
British in World War One — affirmed that “A nation without its own defense
industry cannot fight the cause of liberation,” and he further added that by
2023 a Turkish made combat plane will “fly the Turkish skies”.
A Stratfor report from May of 2017 states that
Turkey’s “goal is to achieve full self-sufficiency by 2023.”
TURKEY IS PLANNING ON HELPING TO REBUILD
Peter E. Uhde talks about a military plan for
Hungary that is set to be in full materialization by 2026:
“Zrínyi 2026” is the name of a ten-year defense and
military development program. This includes a voluntary reserve system for
territorial protection, ie homeland security.”
Hungary will be boosting its military capacity at a
substantial level, and Turkey will be a major player in the upgrading of the
Hungarian military. As we read in one report from Hungarian Spectrum:
“We know little about the conversation that took
place between Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Viktor Orbán during the Turkish prime
minister’s visit to Budapest a few days ago, but in the joint press conference
Orbán talked about improving the Hungarian armed forces with Turkish
participation. He explained that because of the poor economic conditions he
faced in 2010, he was forced to curtail military spending, but now the
Hungarian army is on track for a major upgrade. He intends for Turkey to play a
major role in this endeavor. He added that Hungary is planning to embark on
developing a robust armament industry with Turkish help.”
Orban also stressed that Turkey is essential for
controlling illegal immigration in Europe and for strengthening Hungary’s
military. As we read in a report from Hungary Today:
“Hungarian security and Turkish stability are
directly linked, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said after talks with President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Budapest on Monday. “A stable Turkish government and a
stable Turkey are a precondition for Hungary not to be endangered in any way
due to overland migration,” Orbán said at a joint press conference after the talks.
THE BRITISH NAVY
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has unveiled an
ambitious new National Shipbuilding Strategy which meets the challenge set by
Sir John AParker last November and sets out plans for the first batch of Type
31e frigates. The first ships are set to be in service by 2023.
GERMANY WANTS THE 2020S TO BE A DECADE OF
MILITARY TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION
An August 2019 report from Europaische
SIcherheit & Technik:
As the core of the land forces, and as carriers of
country operations it is important for the army to translate these ambitious
goals in a plausible ability nursery. The turnout for the nursery VJTF Brigade
have already been – here we are in 2019 in the year of implementation.
Planning it is now mainly depends on the ability to
ensure national and Alliance Defense Division 2027th This article explores the
question of what the army (yet) required for an operational division by the year
2027th For example, combat, deployment and management support are no longer
available to the necessary degree. At the same time the army has to keep pace
with technological developments. The trend toward rapid innovation and shorter
product life cycles and the use of digital technologies will intensify in the
coming years. New skills, innovation and flexibility is the army can open up
only with a comprehensive digital strategy.
The formation of a complete, operational Division,
including Division troops by 2027 requires timely removal of existing capacity
deficits and reconstruction of lost and developing new skills.
A 2018 report from the European Organization of
Military Associations and Trade Unions:
The minister of defense presented her plan of action
for the modernization of the German Armed Forces, which grants more money for
new material and personnel. According to the plan the main problems, which
should be tackled are the modernization of existing structures and the
definition of new tasks for the German Armed Forces. The new plan meets the
claims of the DBwV made in its program “Powerful Bundeswehr 2025”.…
Equipment problems of the Bundeswehr should be
history: A capability profile describes the way to modernize the small-scale
armed forces. … This will be achieved in three intermediate steps: 2023, 2027, 2031.
The Union’s defense policy spokesman, Henning Otte,
said: “The plans assume that by 2023 we will have to move towards an annual
financial requirement of around 60 billion euros.”
The CDU / CSU parliamentary group, Johann David
Wadephul, argues: “The Bundeswehr must become more modern and it must grow
again – that requires the security situation, which has been deteriorating for
a long time.”
And he shall be a wild ass of a man: his hand shall be against every man,
and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the face of all his
16:12 (The Israel Bible™)
A Dec. 26, 2019 article in the Turkish daily Yeni Akit, titled
“There Is No Place Left That They Have Not Messed Up! The ‘Great Satan’ Is
Occupying The World With Bases” read: “The U.S., which brings disasters to the
places it sees with drunken shouts of ‘We are bringing humanity!’ and is
turning the Middle East into a place of fire, has 800 military bases around the
The article gives a list of the major U.S. military bases in the Middle East
‘There Are About 180,000 Military Personnel at These Bases, With
60,000 to 70,000 in the Middle East’
“In recent years, despite having bases covering regions including Iraq,
Afghanistan, and Syria, the U.S. has approximately 800 bases around the world,
some of which are small radar stations, others are the size of cities.
Maintaining these bases costs $200 billion. According to data from the U.S.
Department of Defense, the U.S. bases cost $749 billion in 2018.
“The U.S. bases include all U.S. military structures connected to the
Department of Defense, from enemy observation points to naval supply points, from
training bases to radar bases. There are about 180,000 military personnel at
these bases, with 60,000 to 70,000 in the Middle East. These numbers become
more important when it is understood that they are found primarily in 17
countries that have permanent bases, and approximately 70 countries in total.”
‘In the List of Countries With U.S. Bases, Turkey Comes Ninth With
Nine Military Structures’
“It appears that the basic reason why the number of U.S. bases is so high is
that the U.S. rarely abandons a base that it establishes in a country. The
U.S.’s Ramstein base in Germany is an example of this. This base, which the
U.S. established in 1949 after the Second World War, still serves the U.S. Air
Force and, with 53,000 personnel, it is the U.S.’s largest base outside of its
“Aside from Ramstein, the U.S. has 87 more bases in Germany. Germany is also
the country, aside from the U.S., that has the most U.S. bases. After Germany
comes Japan with 86, South Korea with 64, Italy with 29, and the United Kingdom
with 16. In the list of countries with U.S. bases, Turkey comes ninth with nine
military structures. Incirlik Airbase is the largest and most well-known
military structure in Turkey. There are about 2,500 personnel and units
belonging to the U.S. Air Force at the base, which was established in the 1950s
after Turkey joined NATO.”
ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey will increase its military support to the
internationally recognized government of Libya if necessary and will evaluate
ground, air and marine options, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday, after
the two signed a military cooperation accord last month.
Turkey backs Fayez al-Serraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya,
which has been torn by factional conflict since 2011, and has already sent
military supplies to the GNA despite a United Nations arms embargo, according
to a report by U.N. experts seen by Reuters last month.
Turkey has also said it could deploy troops to Libya if the GNA makes such a
request. The GNA has been fighting a months-long offensive by Khalifa Haftar’s
forces based in the east of the country. Haftar’s forces have received support
from Russia, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.
Speaking in the northern province of Kocaeli, Erdogan said Turkey had
recently provided “very serious” support to the GNA, adding Libya was a country
Turkey would support “with its life”.
“They are supporting an illegal warlord, who is the pawn of certain nations,
instead of the U.N.-recognized government,” Erdogan said, in an apparent
reference to Haftar and the countries which support him.
“If necessary, we will increase the military aspect of our support to Libya,
and evaluate all our options, from the ground, air and sea,” he said.
Speaking before Erdogan, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said Turkey will stand
by Libya’s government until peace, stability and security are established in
Last month, Turkey and the GNA signed an accord to boost military
cooperation and a separate deal on maritime boundaries, which has enraged
Greece. Ankara and Athens have been at odds over hydrocarbon resources off the
coast of the divided island of Cyprus.
While Greece has said the accord violates international law, Turkey has
rejected those accusations, saying it aims to protect its rights in the eastern
Mediterranean. On Sunday, Erdogan said Turkey will “absolutely” not turn back
from its agreements with Libya.
“Nobody should come to us with attempts to exclude us, trap us in our own
shores or steal our economic interests,” Erdogan said. “We have no intention of
starting conflicts with anyone for no reason, or robbing anyone of their
rights,” he said.
“Those who oppose us have no sense of rights, law, justice, ethics or
mercy,” Erdogan said, referring to Greece, Israel and Egypt, who have opposed
the maritime accord.
In an interview with Greek daily To Vima on Sunday, Foreign Minister Mevlut
Cavusoglu said the accord with Libya was in line with international law, adding
Ankara may consider granting exploration licenses in areas determined by Turkey
“It would be the exercise of our sovereign rights in our continental shelf
in the region,” Cavusoglu said. “The exercise of our sovereign rights also and
naturally includes our right to deploy research vessels in the area,” he was
cited as saying.
In a first reaction from the United States on the agreement, a senior State
Department official said the maritime accord was “unhelpful” and “provocative”.
Responding to those comments, Turkey’s Communications Director Fahrettin
Altun said on Sunday the United States refused to understand Turkey’s
legitimate security concerns.
“It is neither ‘provocative’ nor ‘unconstructive’ as some US officials are
claiming,” Altun said on Twitter. “Those who dare criticize Turkey should take
a look at years of provocative actions by Greece and other regional states. We
will never accept a fait accompli over our maritime borders!” he added.
ATHENS, Greece — The Greek government said Sunday that it will sign an
agreement for a huge pipeline project with Cyprus and Israel next month that is
designed to ship gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe.
The move comes amid tensions with Turkey over its own activities in the area
and a contentious maritime deal with Libya, expanding Ankara’s claims over a
large gas-rich area of the sea.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s office said the agreement for the
EastMed pipeline would be signed in Athens on January 2 with Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.
The 2,000-kilometer (1,200-mile) pipeline will be able to transfer between
nine and 12 billion cubic meters a year from offshore gas reserves between Israel
and Cyprus to Greece, and then on to Italy and other southeastern European
The discovery of hydrocarbon reserves in the eastern
Mediterranean has sparked a scramble for the energy riches and a dispute
between Cyprus and Turkey, which has occupied the north of the Mediterranean
island since 1974.
The drilling vessel Fatih, which was deployed by Turkey to
search for gas and oil in waters considered part of the EU state’s exclusive
economic zone, in the Mediterranean Sea, off Cyprus, June 24, 2019. (AFP)
Turkey already faces European Union sanctions over ships searching for oil
and gas off Cyprus, whose internationally recognized government in Nicosia is
not recognized by Ankara.
The EastMed project is expected to make Cyprus, Greece and Israel key links
in Europe’s energy supply chain and aims to stymie Turkey’s effort to extend
its control to the eastern Mediterranean.
“It is really important that the countries showed they
can react quickly against Turkey’s provocative stance,” Greek government
spokesman Stelios Petsas said.
Greece responded angrily to the Turkey-Libya deal,
expelling the Libyan ambassador and urging the UN to condemn it.
Part of the deal sets a maritime boundary between the
two countries, which Greece says fails to take into account the island of
The Leviathan natural gas platform off the shore of Israel.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier this month that he
envisaged joint energy exploration activities with Libya in the eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey already has ships searching for oil and gas off Cyprus, and says the
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus — recognized only by Ankara — has the right
to explore around the entire island.
“The EastMed pipeline agreement will go forward despite
what Erdogan says,” Greek Energy and Environment Minister Kostis Hatzidakis
Revelation 1:3 "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near".
Watchman for Christ