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Just Days Before Conflict In The Middle East Exploded, Rare Solar Eclipse Mirage Created The Image Of ‘Red Devil Horns’ Rising Over The Persian Gulf

Mere days before the attack on the US Embassy in Iraq, and right before the targeted killing of Iran’s top Quds general Qassem Soleimani, an eerie natural phenomenon took place right in the Persian Gulf. An optical illusion known as the Fata Morgana, caused by a rare solar eclipse, gave the appearance of red devil horns rising over the water. Not only that, when it was done, the eclipse caused the sun to appear as the crescent moon of Islam, glowing an most evil shade of red. 

by Geoffrey Grider January 8, 2020

Just days before the conflict in the Middle East exploded, a mirage of ‘red devil horns’ rose above the Persian Gulf in eerie end times harbinger

Mere days before the attack on the US Embassy in Iraq, and right before the targeted killing of Iran’s top Quds general Qassem Soleimani, an eerie natural phenomenon took place right in the Persian Gulf. An optical illusion known as the Fata Morgana, caused by a rare solar eclipse, gave the appearance of red devil horns rising over the water. Not only that, when it was done, the eclipse caused the sun to appear as the crescent moon of Islam, glowing an most evil shade of red. These stunning photos were taken by Elias Chasiotis.

No one could have predicted the stunning violence that has followed in the wake of the ‘red devil horns’, just as no one but God knows just how far the current state between Iran, the United States and Israel will devolve. This could all blow over tomorrow, or, we could be on the precipice of World World 3. But in any event, I find it fascinating that red devil horns would rise over the Persian Gulf right before it all started. Are you ready for what comes next?

Incredible ‘red devil horns’ sunrise photos captured during rare solar eclipse mirage over the Persian Gulf

FROM THE SUN UK: Elias Chasiotis had planned on capturing the solar eclipse on December 26 while on holiday in Al Wakrah, Qatar. And he knew because it came at sunrise he had a chance to capture an even rare phenomenon – a solar eclipse combined with the light-bending mirage effects seen near the surface of the ocean.

He told BoredPanda: “I hoped that optical effects like inferior mirage would be visible and I was lucky enough to capture them.”

THE ‘RED DEVIL HORNS’ RISING INTO THE CRESCENT MOON OF ISLAM OVER PERSIAN GULF ON DECEMBER 26, 2019

This type of mirage over the ocean is called Fata Morgana and occurs when rays of light are bent when they pass through air layers of different temperatures. It is named after the Arthurian sorceress Morgan le Fay because it was once believed the mirages they were fairy castle created by her witchcraft to lure sailors to their death.

Elias added: “I was worried that nothing would come out of the eclipse.

“However, when the sun finally began to rise, it looked like two separate pieces, some sort of red horns piercing the sea. It soon took the form of a crescent, with the so-called ‘Etruscan vase’ inferior mirage effect visible. “Due to its shape, the phenomenon was nicknamed the ‘evil sunrise.’”

Elias said it was the most stunning sunrise he had ever seen. After the sun came above the horizon, he was able to see in a crescent shape behind the clouds with a plane passing in front.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10314

Iran Fires Dozens Of Ballistic Missiles At US Troops As It Begins ‘Operation: ‘Martyr Soleimani’ And The 82nd Airborne deploys to the Middle East

“We’re going to war, bro,” one cheered, holding two thumbs up and sporting a grin under close-shorn red hair. He stood among dozens of soldiers loading trucks outside a cinder-block building housing several auditoriums with long benches and tables. Days after President Donald Trump ordered the drone killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, raising fears of fresh conflict in the Middle East, the men and women of the U.S. Army’s storied 82nd Airborne Division are moving out in the largest “fast deployment” since the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

by Geoffrey Grider January 7, 2020

Iran has fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing American troops in a revenge attack for the U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian general.

Iran has officially begun ‘Operation: Martyr Soleimani’ which is their official retaliation for  the killing of General Qassam Soleimani over the weekend. It began just a few hours ago with the firing of ballistic missiles from Iran in a cross-border attack on US forces in Iraq. The United States is right now at this moment sending waves of troops to the Middle East, including the 82nd Airborne from Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

There are no reports of US casualties or injuries at this moment, but that could well change as this story is still breaking and very much in progress. But know this, for Iran to do a direct attack and not do a proxy attack as they usually do is a very different tact the Iranians have taken. This is the most direct aggression we have seen from Iran in quite some time. Buckle up and stay tuned.

‘We’re going to war, bro’: Fort Bragg’s 82nd Airborne deploys to the Middle East

FROM THE DAILY MAIL UK: The Ain al-Asad airbase in western Iraq that was visited by Donald Trump in December 2018 and the Erbil base in Iraqi Kurdistan were both struck by the missiles on Tuesday at about 5.30pm (EST).

“We’re going to war, bro,” one cheered, holding two thumbs up and sporting a grin under close-shorn red hair. He stood among dozens of soldiers loading trucks outside a cinder-block building housing several auditoriums with long benches and tables. Days after President Donald Trump ordered the drone killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, raising fears of fresh conflict in the Middle East, the men and women of the U.S. Army’s storied 82nd Airborne Division are moving out in the largest “fast deployment” since the 2010 Haiti earthquake. source

The Pentagon says the missiles were ‘clearly launched from Iran’ to target U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq. There was no immediate word on injuries but security sources told CNN that there were Iraqi casualties at the al-Asad airbase.

President Donald Trump has been briefed on the attacks and Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were spotted arriving at the White House soon after news of the strikes broke.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, which controls the country’s missile program, confirmed that they fired the rockets in retaliation for last week’s killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, according to state TV.

They reported the operation’s name was ‘Martyr Soleimani’ and it took place just hours after the slain general’s funeral.  The rockets used in the attack, according to Iranian TV, were Fatteh-110 ballistic missiles, which have a range of 186 miles or 300km.

The Iranian air force has since deployed multiple fighter jets to patrol it airspace, according to reports – as Iran warned the U.S. and its allies in the region not to retaliate.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10310

The Ottomans are back – what does that mean for Israel?

Tracing regional dynamics over the last century is vital to understanding the combustible situation today.

By SETH J. FRANTZMAN  

The Ottomans are back (photo credit: OMAR SANADIKI/REUTERS)

JANUARY 1, 2020 20:10

The Ottomans are back

In late November, Turkey 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 Libya.
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.

Today Turkey is back, moving into areas like northern Iraq, northern Syria, Libya and even the Gulf and Somalia.

The Paris 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 of 1923.

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.

Turkey’s 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.

But Turkey 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.

One should 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.

For Turkey, 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.

TURKEY’S 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 back.

Turkey has 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.

During the 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 citizenship.

The Assad 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.

That didn’t 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.

Kurds wanted 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.

This system 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.

ISIS came 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 winning.

What has 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.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10307

America? We Are Being Warned That Sleeper Cells “Can Hit Targets On U.S. Soil At Anytime Without Warning”

January 3, 2020 by Michael Snyder

There has never been a greater threat of terror attacks on U.S. soil than there is right now.  In the aftermath of the killing of Iranian military chief Qassem Soleimani, top Iranian leaders are vowing revenge.  Many of the talking heads on television are speculating that Iran may hit American targets in the Middle East, but what they are forgetting is that Iranian-backed terror groups already have a substantial presence in North America.  In particular, Hezbollah has been involved in the North American drug trade for a very long time.  Over the years, the mainstream media gave Al-Qaeda and ISIS a lot of attention, but the truth is that Hezbollah is far better funded and far better armed than either of those groups ever were, and now the man at the top of the military food chain that gave Hezbollah their marching orders has been killed by the United States.  If Hezbollah sleeper cells are ever going to be unleashed in the United States, now is the time when it will happen. 

Of course U.S. officials clearly understand that there is a threat.  As Paul Joseph Watson has noted, authorities in New York and Los Angeles are both ramping up security…

The threat posed by Iran-backed Hezbollah sleeper cells embedded in major American cities has once again come to the fore following the killing of Iran’s Quds Force General Qasem Soleimani.

Following last night’s assassination of the Iranian military leader, authorities in both New York and Los Angeles announced that they were ramping up security in readiness for possible revenge attacks on U.S. soil.

This is because Iran is known to have placed Hezbollah terrorist sleeper cells throughout not just Europe but the United States too.

And one former CIA officer is warning that we need to be operating under the assumption that Hezbollah sleeper cells “can hit targets on U.S. soil at anytime without warning”

Former CIA operations officer, Sam Faddis, warned that Hezbollah sleeper cells were hiding in the U.S. and potentially had targets in its sights.

‘It is more than possible that Hezbollah has sleeper cells in the United States ready to strike,’ Faddis told DailyMail.com.

‘Based on what we know we must assume they do and that they can hit targets on U.S. soil at anytime without warning.’

Up until now, Iranian leaders such as Soleimani have always held back their proxies from committing terror attacks on U.S. soil because the Iranians knew that it would potentially spark a full-blown war with the United States.

But now that Soleimani is dead and war is virtually a certainty, there would appear to be no reason to hold back any longer.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio rarely makes any sense at all, but for once I have to agree with him.  During a press conference on Friday, he told reporters that we are “in a de facto state of war”

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said they would be protecting key locations from ‘any attempt by Iran or its terrorist allies to retaliate against the U.S.’

‘We have to assume this action puts us in a de facto state of war,’ he told a press conference on Friday.

It comes amid fears that the Iran-backed Hezbollah militant group, which has been designated by the U.S. government as a foreign terrorist organization, may have sleeper cells in the U.S. that are ready to retaliate.

And he is right.

In particular, the Iranians and their proxies are going to be looking for high value targets to strike, and there are certainly a lot of them in New York.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that something will happen there, but it is definitely a possibility.

And we do know that Hezbollah has previously “plotted to attack U.S. interests inside the country”

Last year, the criminal prosecution and conviction in New York of the Hezbollah operative Ali Kourani revealed that the terror outfit has already plotted to attack U.S. interests inside the country and is ready to activate if it considers the existence of either Hezbollah or Iran to be at stake.

Following the arrest of Kourani and another Hezbollah operative named Samer el-Debek, the U.S. intelligence community reversed its belief that Hezbollah was unlikely to attempt attacks within the U.S.

“It’s our assessment that Hezbollah is determined to give itself a potential homeland option as a critical component of its terrorism playbook,” said National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas Rasmussen.

Unfortunately, a lot of Americans don’t understand the seriousness of what we are potentially facing.

Hezbollah is made up of the most radical Shiite terrorists on the entire planet.

These are the guys that ISIS and Al-Qaeda are afraid of.

Of all the terror groups in existence, Hezbollah is the most competent and the most frightening of them all.

In addition to terror attacks, it is being reported that the Trump administration is also deeply concerned about the possibility of cyberattacks.

The Iranians and their proxies are probably not as advanced in this area as Russia, China and North Korea are, but we do know that they have been building up a “cyber army”

Analysts believe Tehran has stepped up its capacity to attack key Western cyber infrastructure and has even built up a so-called “cyber army” that pledges allegiance to the Islamic Republic.

Loic Guezo, head of French information security group Clusif, said Iran’s cyber attacks above all sought to damage industrial targets such as dams or power stations.

“What is feared here is the impact on society — electricity cuts, poisoning, gas leaks, explosions, transport chaos and hospitals,” he told AFP.

So at some point your power may go out, and you may not even realize that the Iranians are behind it.

If and when the Iranians and their proxies start hitting us, it is going to cause a lot of panic.  America is totally unprepared for what is coming, and our enemies are going to take full advantage of that fact.

The Iranians and their proxies don’t fight clean and their don’t fight fair.

Getting into a fight with them won’t be pretty, and when it erupts a whole lot of people are likely to end up dead.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10304

Why Is Iran Flying A Blood Red Flag Over A Famous Mosque That Is Directly Associated With The Mahdi?

January 6, 2020 by Michael Snyder

For the first time ever, a blood red flag is being flown over the famous Jamkaran Mosque in the Iranian “holy city” of Qom.  If you have not see it yet, you can watch it being raised right here.  And as I will explain below, the fact that this mosque is directly associated with the Mahdi makes this symbolic gesture doubly significant.  The hoisting of this flag was broadcast on Iranian state television, and it was obviously intended to send a message to Shiites all over the globe.  So precisely what was that message?  Well, we are being told that according to Shiite tradition a red flag represents both “blood spilled unjustly” and a call for revenge…

Red flags in Shiite tradition symbolise both blood spilled unjustly and serve as a call to avenge a person who is slain.

It is the first time in history that the red flag has been hoisted on top of the Jamkaran mosque in the Iranian city and comes after warnings of harsh retaliation against the US.

Red flags have also been spotted flying at anti-U.S. demonstrations in Tehran over the past few days.

Clearly, the Iranians want blood.  They will never, ever forgive us for the killing of Qassem Soleimani, and their faith requires that he be avenged.

There is also a message inscribed on the blood red flag that is now flying above the Jamkaran Mosque, and apparently it is a reference to the death of the grandson of Muhammad

The flag, inscribed with the words “Those who want to avenge the blood of Hussein,” was hoisted above the mosque’s shrine for what local reports claimed was the first time in history, according to the Daily Mail.

The grandson of Muhammad, Hussein was decapitated in A.D. 680 during the Second Islamic Civil War, when Muslims were fighting over who was the proper successor to their prophet. The act was met with bloody retaliation from Muslims who considered Hussein’s death unjust and sought to avenge him.

Obviously the Iranians are viewing this as something much bigger than simply extracting sufficient revenge for the death of a deeply loved national leader.

Rather, they seem to be using this moment as a call to wage jihad against all of the enemies of Shia Islam.

And as I mentioned above, the fact that this flag was raised over this particular mosque is a very big deal.

The Jamarkaran Mosque is considered to be one of the holiest sites in Shia Islam, and it is also associated with the future reappearance of the Mahdi.  In fact, as the flag was being hoisted there was a direct reference to the Mahdi

As the flag was raised in Qom, the mosque speakers called, ‘O Allah, hasten your custodian reappearance,’ a reference to the end-times reappearance of the Mahdi.

In Iran today, most of the national leaders believe that the 12th imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, was born in Iraq in 869 and never died.  Just before judgement day, the Mahdi is supposed to reappear along with Jesus during a time of war and chaos “to bring peace to the world and establish Islam as the ruling faith across the globe”.  It is also commonly believed that the Mahdi is coming very soon, and so that explains why so many top Iranians seem to relish the thought that war could be coming.  They need war to come first in order for the Mahdi to appear, and since the Mahdi is supposed to return during the coming apocalyptic war and establish Shia Islam as the faith of the entire planet, they aren’t exactly too concerned about the threats that President Trump is making.

It is so important to understand the mindset of these radical Shiites.

If they die as martyrs, they will be rewarded as such in the afterlife.

If they live through the coming holy war, they will get to see the coming of the Mahdi, and they will help to institute the global rule of Shia Islam.

So in either case, they believe that they can’t lose.

At this point, what they want is blood.  In fact, even the daughter of Qassem Soleimani is asking for vengeance.  Just check out what she just asked Iranian President Hassan Rouhani…

‘Who is going to avenge my father’s blood?’ One of the commander’s daughters asked.

In response, Rouhani promised her that ‘everyone will take revenge’ and assured her as she wept, ‘we will, we will avenge his blood, you don’t worry.’

There is no question that Iran is going to strike back.

And it won’t just be a one time deal.  They are going to hit us repeatedly, and they have already identified 35 potential targets

IRAN today pinpointed 35 “key US targets” for revenge after its top general was assassinated – with America expecting retaliation “within weeks”.

Hours later, rockets were fired near the US Embassy in Baghdad and at an airbase housing American troops, according to reports.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have to wait long for the violence to begin.  In fact, the Green Zone in Baghdad has been targeted by rockets for two days in a row

At least three explosions were reported Sunday inside the heavily-fortified Green Zone — which houses the U.S. Embassy, Balad Air Base and Iraqi government buildings — in the second attack of its kind after the U.S.-led airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

A total of six Katyusha rockets — three inside the Green Zone and three in the nearby Jadriya area — hit Baghdad, according to a statement by Iraq’s military, as Reuters reported.

Of course President Trump is not going to put up with this, and he has warned the Iranians that he has identified 52 Iranian targets that could potentially be hit…

Showing no signs of seeking to ease tensions raised by the strike he ordered that killed Soleimani and Iranian-backed Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis at Baghdad airport on Friday, Trump issued a threat to Iran on Twitter. The strike has raised the specter of wider conflict in the Middle East.

Iran, Trump wrote, “is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets” in revenge for Soleimani’s death. Trump said the United States has “targeted 52 Iranian sites” and that some were “at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD.”

Following that tweet, many on the left harshly criticized Trump for potentially targeting cultural sites, but Trump subsequently doubled down on that threat

“They’re allowed to kill our people, they’re allowed to torture and maim our people, they’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people and we’re not allowed to touch their cultural site? It doesn’t work that way,” Trump told reporters.

“If they do anything there will be major retaliation.”

Does anyone see a way that war with Iran can be avoided at this point?

Because I certainly don’t.

The Trump administration and the Iranians will both keep escalating things until a full-blown cataclysmic war erupts in the Middle East, and it will be a war that will inevitably involve Israel as well.  This Middle East war will greatly accelerate the development of “the perfect storm” that I keep talking about, and none of our lives will ever be the same again.

Those that think that this is a crisis that will blow over in a few days or a few weeks are not being rational.

The Iranians will never, ever, ever forgive what Trump has done, and Soleimani’s successor is assuring everyone that we will soon “see the bodies of Americans all over the Middle East”

Esmail Ghaani, the successor to slain Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, threatened the US Friday following his appointment to head the Revolutionary Guards’ foreign operations arm.

“Be patient, and you will see the bodies of Americans all over the Middle East,” Ghaani said.

There is no stopping this now.

War is coming, and the death and destruction it will bring will shock the entire planet.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10300

The 2020s Is Going To Be A Decade Of Intense Preparation For The Next Global Conflict

By Ted on January 3, 2020 in Featured, General

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 Turkey.”

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 HUNGARY’S MILITARY

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.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10297

Iran vows ‘harsh retaliation’ after US airstrike kills Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani

By Danielle Wallace | Fox News

Fox News contributor Dan Hoffman reacts.

President of Iran Hassan Rouhani had words of praise for Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani early Friday morning, hours after the top military general was killed in an airstrike in Iraq ordered by President Trump, and he promised to “take revenge for this heinous crime.”

Rouhani also said Iran would “raise the flag” of Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, “in defense of the country’s territorial integrity and the fight against terrorism and extremism in the region.”

The Pentagon confirmed Thursday evening that Trump had ordered the attack that killed Soleimani and other military officials at Baghdad International Airport. Iran’s top “shadow commander” was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more, the State Department said.

The U.S. State Department issued a security alert Friday morning urging all U.S. citizens to “depart Iraq immediately” due to heightened tensions in the region.

“Due to Iranian-backed militia attacks at the U.S. Embassy compound, all consular operations are suspended. U.S. citizens should not approach the Embassy,” the alert said. The agency also shared phone numbers people concerned about U.S. citizens and other loved ones in Iraq could call toll free for information.

The State Department said the airstrike “was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.”

“General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region… The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.”

Brigadier General Esmail Ghaani, who served as Soleimani’s deputy commander since 1997, will now take over the helm as head of the Quds Force, Reuters reported, citing Iranian state media.

Officials in New York City and Los Angeles announced they’re taking precautionary measures in anticipation of a possible retaliatory attack. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday he’d spoken with top NYPD officials about immediate steps the department could take “to be vigilant against this threat for a long time to come.” LAPD said it was monitoring the situation in Iran but affirmed there has been no credible threat to the city.

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets of Tehran Friday to protest Soleimani’s killing, chanting “Death to America” and holding up posters bearing his image, AFP reported. Similar demonstrations were held in a number of other Iranian cities, it added, citing state media.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also tweeted a video that he claimed showed Iraqis taking to the streets to celebrate the death of Soleimani. It was not immediately clear where or when the footage in the tweet was recorded.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also warned “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S.

The Iranian foreign minister warned that the U.S. would bear all the consequences of the “foolish” military attack, claiming Soleimani’s assassination would only escalate tensions in the region given that he was “THE most effective force” fighting terrorism carried out by the Islamic State.

Javad Zarif, the foreign minister of Islamic Republic of Iran, said on Twitter that “The US’ act of international terrorism, targeting & assassinating General Soleimani—THE most effective force fighting Daesh (ISIS), Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al—is extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation.”

Many Democrats admitted that no Americans would mourn Soleimani’s death but also raised concern that the escalation will put the U.S. on a crash course for a new conflict in the Mideast. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement saying that Trump ordered the airstrike “without the consultation of Congress.”

 “American leaders’ highest priority is to protect American lives and interests,” her statement said. “But we cannot put the lives of American service members, diplomats and others further at risk by engaging in provocative and disproportionate actions. Tonight’s airstrike risks provoking further dangerous escalation of violence.”

An adviser to Rouhani also quickly warned Trump of retaliation from Tehran.

“Trump through his gamble has dragged the U.S. into the most dangerous situation in the region,” Hessameddin Ashena wrote on the social media app Telegram. “Whoever put his foot beyond the red line should be ready to face its consequences.”

Soleimani is the military mastermind whom Pompeo had deemed equally as dangerous as Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In October, Baghdadi killed himself during a U.S. raid on a compound in northwest Syria, seven months after the so-called ISIS “caliphate” crumbled as the terrorist group lost its final swath of Syrian territory in March.

The overnight attack occurred amid tensions with the U.S. after an Iran-backed militia attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which was targeted Tuesday by angry mobs who were protesting recent U.S. airstrikes. The two-day siege outside of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad came to an end Wednesday afternoon after dozens of pro-Iran militiamen and their supporters withdrew from the compound.

Soleimani was the long-running leader of the elite intelligence wing called Quds Force – which itself has been a designated terror group since 2007, and is estimated to be 20,000 strong. Considered one of the most powerful men in Iran, he routinely was referred to as its “shadow commander” or “spymaster.”

In April 2019, the State Department announced Iran was responsible for killing 608 U.S. troops during the Iraq War. Soleimani was the head of the Iranian and Iranian-backed forces carrying out those operations killing American troops. According to the State Department, 17 percent of all deaths of U.S. personnel in Iraq from 2003 to 2011 were orchestrated by Soleimani.

As recently as 2015, a travel ban and United Nations Security Council resolutions had barred Soleimani from leaving Iran.

Friday’s Baghdad strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, a source told Fox News. In all, at least seven people were killed and at least three rockets were fired, officials told The Associated Press. An official with the Popular Mobilization Forces said its airport protocol officer, Mohammed Reda, also died.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10294

After Joint War Games With Russia And China Conclude, Iran Tells The United States That Their Days Of Middle East Dominance Are Over

Rear Admiral in Iran Hossein Khanzadi told reporters Sunday that the four-day exercise in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman—dubbed “Marine Security Belt”—was a signal to U.S. forces operating in the region. “Today, the era of American free action in the region is over,” Khanzadi said, according to the Iranian Tasnim news agency. “They must leave the region gradually,” he added.

by Geoffrey Grider January 1, 2020

The commander of Iran’s navy has warned that the U.S. has no business in Middle Eastern waters after his forces held joint naval drills with Russia and China.

Iran is one of those nations that loves to brag about military capabilities they don’t actually possess, to convince themselves of how strong they are when the rest of the world knows it’s all a ruse. At least that’s how it’s always been since the Iranian Revolution took place in 1979. But just yesterday they concluded war games, Operation Marine Security Belt, with Russia and China who are very powerful nations, and who now seem to be in a partnership with Iran.

“And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.” Daniel 11:2 (KJV)

Iran has gone from being a laughable little nation whose bark is worse than their bite, to becoming a dark and mysterious wildcard that now may be functioning as bait to draw the United States into a large-scale international conflict. And there’s nothing funny about that.

Iran Warns U.S That Days Of Middle East Dominance Are Over

FROM NEWSWEEK: Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi told reporters in Iran Sunday that the four-day exercise in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman—dubbed “Marine Security Belt”—was a signal to U.S. forces operating in the region.

“Today, the era of American free action in the region is over,” Khanzadi said, according to the Iranian Tasnim news agency. “They must leave the region gradually,” he added.

The rear admiral said U.S. forces are not needed to ensure security in the area, where American and Iranian forces have been facing off amid high tensions between Washington and Tehran over the collapsed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal.

The joint drills coincided with an attack on American forces in Iraq, suspected to have been launched by an Iranian-backed militia. The rocket attack on an Iraqi military base on Friday killed one American civilian defense contractor and wounded four service members.

In response, the U.S. conducted airstrikes on Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria. Khanzadi said Sunday U.S. forces were not needed in the region.

“Regional countries themselves can ensure security together,” he said. “The presence of Americans only creates insecurity in the region,” he added, according to the state-backed Fars news agency.

The rear admiral suggested that Iran’s “friends” would be reassured by the exercises, while its adversaries should take the drills as a warning. He also said he hoped more regional nations would join future Iranian exercises. “We believe that maritime security definitely needs collective action,” Khanzadi explained.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10291

Newspaper Associated with Erdogan: US is ‘Great Satan’ Occupying World with Bases

By David Sidman December 30, 2019 , 3:03 pm

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 brethren. Genesis 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 world.”

The article gives a list of the major U.S. military bases in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Yeni Akit is an avid supporter of the AKP and has close ties with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Turkish media have been discussing the U.S. bases in Turkey following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s statement in a Dec. 15, 2019 interview that “if it needs to be shut down, we will shut down Incirlik [Airbase]. If it needs to be shut down, we will shut down Kürecik [Radar Station]” (see MEMRI TV Clip No. 7661 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: We Have the Authority to Shut Down U.S.-Run Airbase, Radar Station in Turkey; If Measures Such As Sanctions Are Taken Against Us, We Will Respond as Necessary, Dec. 15, 2019).

Following is the text of the Yeni Akit article:

‘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 territory.

“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.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10288

Pope Francis Unveils Globalist New World Religion at Summit with United Nations Leader

The Pope wants globalism to replace traditional religion.

Dec 26, 2019

By Shane Trejo

Pope Francis’ war on traditional Catholicism has been ramping up recently, and he castigated Catholics who believe in tradition and refuse to warp Biblical scripture to appease a godless world for creating a “minefield of misunderstanding and hatred.”

“Rigidity and imbalance fuel one another in a vicious circle,” he said. “And these days, the temptation to rigidity has become so apparent.”

“Tradition is not static, it’s dynamic,” Francis added.

Francis revealed the dogma that he intends to replace belief in Christ as savior with last week. He is advocating for Catholics to unite behind a one world government, and surrender their freedom and sovereignty to international interests.

“Trust and dialogue between people and between nations, in multilateralism, in the role of international organizations, and in diplomacy as an instrument for appreciation and understanding, is indispensable for building a peaceful world,” Francis claimed.

“Your clear moral voice shines through – whether you are speaking out on the plight of the most vulnerable, including refugees and migrants … confronting poverty and inequalities … appealing for disarmament… building bridges between communities … and, of course, highlighting the climate emergency through your historic encyclical, ‘Laudato Si’, and so many other vital efforts,” U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said during his meeting with the pontiff.

The “Laudato Si” was a blasphemous encyclical letter issued by Francis in 2015 calling for world government to solve the supposed global warming crisis.

“Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day,” Francis wrote in his second encyclical.

Francis added: “Enforceable international agreements are urgently needed, since local authorities are not always capable of effective intervention… International and regional conventions do exist, but fragmentation and the lack of strict mechanisms of regulation, control and penalization end up undermining these efforts… What is needed, in effect, is an agreement on systems of governance for the whole range of so-called ‘global commons.’”

Francis made fighting global warming a focal point of his speech while standing next to Guterres in the Vatican last week.

“It is necessary to recognize oneself as members of a single humanity and to take care of our land which, generation after generation, has been entrusted to us by God in custody so that we may cultivate it and leave it in inheritance to our children. Commitment to reducing polluting emissions and comprehensive ecology is urgent and necessary: let’s do something before it’s too late,” Francis said.

“We cannot – we must not – look the other way at the injustices, the inequalities, the scandal of hunger in the world, of poverty, of children who die because they have no water, food, the necessary care. We can’t look the other way at any kind of abuse against the little ones. We must fight this plague together,” he said.

Francis – the protector of pedophile predator priests – is an agent of the new world order, working to subvert authentic Christianity at a time when it is under unprecedented attack.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10285