Category: Gog-Ezekiel 38 & 39

Does Israel feel compelled to launch a strike at Iran’s nuclear sites? And if so, when?

Feb 2, 2021 @ 21:28 Aviv KochaviIran nuclearKenneth McKenzieTzachi Hanegbi

Israel may have to go it alone against a nuclear-armed Iran, said senior minister Tzachi Hanegbi on Tuesday, Feb. 2, because, je said, he can’t see the US taking such a military initiative. The minister spoke the day before an Israel foreign affairs and security cabinet session to discuss the Iranian nuclear issue for the first time since the Biden administration took office. For now, said Hanegbi, it is vital to keep up the pressure of sanctions.

On Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken added his voice to the warnings issued by US national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Israel’s top military chief Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, who both estimated that Tehran may be just weeks away from enough fissile material for making a nuke.

That distance is getting shorter. The UN nuclear watchdog disclosed on Tuesday that a second cascade of advanced IR-2m centrifuges for enriching uranium has begun working at Iran’s Natanz underground plant and a third cluster was ready to go. Last week, Tehran announced that it had upgraded uranium enrichment to 20pc at the Fordow plant. That level is still well below 90pc weapons grade, but it is a large jump towards that goal. Tehran is making no secret of all these flagrant violations of the nuclear accord it signed with six world powers in 2015 – ever since the US quit the accord.

DEBKAfile’s military sources point out that key elements of Iran’s nuclear program remain hidden – even from veteran experts who faithfully follow its progress. They all agree on some points, especially that the Islamic Republic wont risk going into production for a single nuke, but only when it has the capacity to roll out 3-5 weapons. The calculus is simple: the US or Israel may target a single bomb but would think twice if Iran was capable of responding in kind and launching a nuclear attack on its attackers. Tehran therefore deems a nuclear arsenal to be a deterrent against an enemy offensive.

The Iran pundits find it hard to pin down the exact point Iran has reached in developing a weapon. Is it only as far as a primitive device, or are they now able to build a nuke sophisticated and compact enough to mount on a missile? And what about, other sensitive components, such as the envelope for the fusion fuel canister, for instance? Is Iran getting help from North Korea or Pakistan on these essential details?

It may be assumed that these questions and more were covered in the quiet conversations US CENTCOM chief Gen. Kenneth McKenzie held in Israel last week, first with IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi and then in a two-hour sit-down with Yossi Cohen, director of Israel’s Mossad agency. Cohen no doubt filled the American general in on the intelligence data behind Kochavi’s landmark speech last Monday, in which he ruled out renewed nuclear talks as “wrong” and disclosed that he had instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare a number of operational plans, in addition to those already in place.”.

“It will be up to the political leadership, of course, to decide on implementation,” the general noted. “But these plans need to be on the table.”

It stands to reason that the CENTCOM chief will be drawing up military plans of his own ready to show to the new US president in the event of a decision to strike Iran.

Parallel to the military track, Washington and Tehran have been talking on the quiet for some weeks. Most recently, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Gulf emirates have jumped in to test Iran’s waters for any signs of readiness to engage in talks on an improved nuclear deal. A notable figure in all these moves is the newly CIA chief, Wiliam Burns, who was the key figure in the Obama administration’s backdoor talks in Oman in 2013-1014, which ripened into the 2015 accord.

The most notable development now is that the IDF is preparing for action against Iran’s nuclear program – even if it has to do it on its own.

Meanwhile, Washington and Tehran are moving along a predicable track, each waiting the other to make the first move.

On Saturday, Tehran stressed that the nuclear deal was “non-negotiable” and its participation “unchangeable” and repeated its demand for the lifting of US sanctions before its consent to return to the table. President Joe Biden insisted that Iran must first come into full compliance with its terms.

Then, on Monday, FM Mohammed Javad Zarif suggested that a European Union official could help “synchronize” or “coordinate” efforts by Iran and the US to return to a 2015 nuclear accord “as a standstill persists over which country will take the first step.”

The conflict is therefore taking on a wider dimension. Biden’s diplomatic stance towards Tehran is obviously being watchfully eyed by Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping as well as the North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un and may go far towards determining his administration’s standing on the international scene.

Israel faces a perilous quandary. Gen. Kochavi’s comments on the Iranian threat woke up the Israeli lobby of former security chiefs that thwarted the plans prepared by then PM Binyamin Netanyahu and his defense minister, Ehud Barak, to nip Iran’s nuclear weapons program in the bud with a military attack.

But these days, following the new relations and understandings Israel reached during the Trump administration with Gulf nations and Morocco, the Jewish state has an overriding need to preserve those highly strategic ties. At the same time, its government is bound to preserve its freedom of action against Iran obtaining a nuclear capability for aggression, while also remaining in sync with the United States, Europe and the Gulf.

Netanyahu is meanwhile preparing the ground for action. On Monday, he was closeted with the finance minster Yisrael Katz and Gen. Kochavi to put together a three-billion-shekel package (roughly $910 million) to fund a possible military attack on. On Wednesday, the security cabinet was to be convened to air the options. But time is short. If the incumbent government decides on action, it will have strike before the general election takes place on March 23.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11282

IRAN MAY BE “WEEKS” AWAY FROM DEVELOPING NUCLEAR BOMB’, SEC OF STATE BLINKEN ADMITS

BY JNS | FEB 2, 2021 | US-ISRAEL RELATIONS

O mortal, turn your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him Ezekiel 38:2 (The Israel BibleTM)

Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s national security advisor, suggested an expedited timeline for rejoining the Iranian nuclear deal, which the Trump administration exited in May 2018. The comments come as the Biden administration announced its decision to select veteran diplomat Robert Malley as its special envoy on Iran talks.

In remarks to the U.S. Institute of Peace on Jan. 29, Sullivan said that it was key for the United States to put the nuclear program “in a box” as the first order of business.

“We are going to have to address Iran’s other bad behavior, malign behavior, across the region, but from our perspective, a critical early priority has to be to deal with what is an escalating nuclear crisis as they move closer and closer to having enough fissile material for a weapon,” said Sullivan, according to The Washington Post. “And we would like to make sure that we re-establish some of the parameters and constraints around the program that have fallen away over the course of the past two years.”

In recent weeks, Iran has begun to accelerate its nuclear program. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said last week that Tehran will not reverse the acceleration of its nuclear program until the United States lifts sanctions against the country. Iran recently announced that it had begun enriching uranium to 20 percent, in violation of the nuclear accord.

The comments by Sullivan may indicate a disagreement among Biden administration officials on how to approach the Iranian nuclear program.

While Biden has indicated support for rejoining the deal, the administration has stated that a precondition would be full compliance by Iran with the original agreement.

Secretary of State Tony Blinken has been more skeptical of swiftly returning to the nuclear deal, saying that a U.S. return is still far off.

“Iran is out of compliance on a number of fronts. And it would take some time, should it make the decision to do so, for it to come back into compliance and time for us then to assess whether it was meeting its obligations,” he said during a news conference at the State Department on Jan. 27. “We’re not there yet, to say the least.”

In an interview with NBC News on Sunday, also warned that Iran could be months or even only “a matter of weeks” from developing a nuclear bomb if it further violates restrictions stemming from the 2015 accord.

‘Negotiating constraints on Iran’s nuclear program’

At the same time, the Biden administration has also announced that former Obama administration Mideast adviser Robert Malley will serve as a special envoy on Iran.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said that Blinken “is building a dedicated team, drawing from clear-eyed experts with a diversity of views. Leading that team as our special envoy for Iran will be Rob Malley, who brings to the position a track record of success negotiating constraints on Iran’s nuclear program.”

However, Malley’s appointment has been met with criticism by conservatives and pro-Israel groups, who contend that he may be too soft on Iran and critical of Israel.

“It’s deeply troubling that President Biden would consider appointing Rob Malley to direct Iran policy. Malley has a long track record of sympathy for the Iranian regime & animus towards Israel. The ayatollahs wouldn’t believe their luck if he is selected,” tweeted U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).

CUFI Action Fund Chairwoman Sandra Parker, who urged the Biden administration not to repeat the mistakes of 2015, also was critical of the choice.

“Robert Malley is the wrong man for the job. He has a well-documented track record of appeasing America’s adversaries and condemning one of our closest allies. Whoever sits across the table from Iran’s tyrannical regime should be more interested in a good deal than a deal at any price—Robert Malley is not that person.”

“We continue to urge the Biden administration to not repeat the errors of 2015 and instead engage Iran in a manner that maximizes the likelihood of securing a strong, comprehensive agreement with bipartisan support,” added Parker. “Unfortunately, Malley’s appointment signals that this outcome is less likely.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11276

IDF DRAWS UP PLANS TO WAGE WAR AGAINST IRAN

BY JNS | JAN 27, 2021 | IDF

When you take the field against your enemies, and see horses and chariots—forces larger than yours—have no fear of them, for Hashem your God, who brought you from the land of Egypt, is with you. Deuteronomy 20:1 (The Israel BibleTM)

Fremale tank commander at helm (Photo courtesy IDF)

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said he has ordered the preparation of plans to attack Iran’s nuclear sites in order to prevent the Islamic Republic from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

“Iran can decide that it wants to advance to a bomb, either covertly or in a provocative way. In light of this basic analysis, I have ordered the IDF to prepare a number of operational plans, in addition to the existing ones. We are studying these plans, and we will develop them over the next year,” he said in a speech to the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS).

 “The government will, of course, be the one to decide if they should be used. But these plans need to be on the table, in existence and trained for,” stressed Kochavi.

Earlier this month, Minister of Settlement Affairs Tzachi Hanegbi of the Likud Party said Israel could attack Iran’s nuclear program if the United States decides to go ahead and re-enter the deal. On Jan. 13, Israel launched unusually forceful strikes at Iranian targets in Syria.

Kochavi also urged the new Biden administration not to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal.

“With the changing of the administration in the United States, the Iranians have said they want to return to the previous agreement. I want to state my position—the position that I give to all my colleagues when I meet them around the world: Returning to the 2015 nuclear agreement or even to an agreement that is similar but with a few improvements is a bad thing, and it is not the right thing to do,” he said.

During his confirmation hearings last week, U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken said that America would not be joining the Iranian nuclear deal “anytime soon.”

On Monday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat that the U.S. would “closely consult” with Israel on all matters of regional security.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11270

In first Gulf trips, Netanyahu will bolster shared Iran line for Biden

 Jan 25, 2021 @ 12:23 BahrainBiden administrtionBinyanin Netanyahu Gulf visitIran nuclearUAE

PM Binyamin Netanyahu will reportedly make his first official trips to the UAE and Bahrain in the first week of February to meet their rulers face to face. His main purpose, DEBKAfile reports, will be to activate the Gulf-Israel axis against Iran shaped by former US president Donald Trump last September and anchored on normalized relations under the “Abraham accords.”  His successor, Joe Biden, has yet to set out his Iran policy in practical form, but his national security adviser Jake Sullivan raised a signpost after meeting his Israel counterpart, Meir Ben-Shabbat on Sunday, Jan. 24,


Sullivan in the readout spoke of a discussion on  “opportunities to enhance the partnership over the coming months, including by building on the success of Israel’s normalization arrangements with UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco.” Biden’s adviser extended an invitation to begin a strategic dialogue “in the near term.”

This early groundwork preceded Netanyahu’s landmark three-day Gulf trip. His first interview will be with Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MbZ) in Abu Dhabi, followed by a visit to Dubai for talks with its ruler Prime Minister and UAE Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and some businessmen. On the third day, Netanyahu will travel to Manama to meet King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain and Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The Saudi ruler, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, will be present in spirit though not in person with an ear on the event, although Riyadh has not joined the Abraham Accords.

This week, the UAE approved the establishment of its first embassy in Tel Aviv. Netanyahu will be able to call on Israel’s new embassies in Abu Dhabi and Manama. The prime minister has an obvious political interest in showcasing the historic ties he forged while fighting to win the coming Israeli election on March 23, At the same time, timely interaction with Washington cannot be delayed so long as the new US president has not set his Iran policy in stone. Biden indicated he intended to re-engage the Islamic Republic on the 2015 nuclear accord, but so far in general terms.

 The coming weeks will therefore see frequent trips between Jerusalem, the Gulf capitals and Washington as their rulers push for an active role in shaping that policy and subsequent negotiations.

Israel and the UAE have advanced their ties to joint air force exercises over the Gulf and Greece.

The White House is evidently open to advice, at least, from concerned regional players. Biden’s nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, assured senators at his confirmation hearing last week that the State Department will hold consultations with Israel and other allies before returning to the Iranian nuclear agreement.

Israel has a long list of fundamental repairs for the original “flawed” document, with high relevance to its national security interests.  Most will be seconded by its Gulf neighbors over shared concerns: They are believed to include an Iranian commitment to immediately halt uranium enrichment and advanced centrifuge production, as well as giving up its ballistic and precision missile program.

Tehran must stop supporting its proxy terror groups in the region, starting with the Lebanese Hizballah, and end terror attacks on Israeli or Jewish targets around the world. Iran must be compelled by any revised accord to grant full access to inspectors from the UN watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The Gulf rulers will undoubtedly join Israel in pressing hard on these issues and also for the ouster of Iran’s military footholds in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Although covert US-Iran talks have been taking place since before President Biden was sworn in, the Iranians are publicly playing hard ball with the new administration. They are flaunting the shedding of the restraints they undertook under the nuclear accord, especially on uranium enrichment, and are strengthening give-and-take ties with North Korea and China.

The European signatories of the nuclear accord, the UK, France and Germany, will be pushing Biden to get his Iran act together sooner rather than later so as to bring Iran back to a sustainable track.

The Israel-Gulf axis facing Iran will therefore be called on to moderate its demands.  Biden may also have a domestic issue to resolve: His Democratic party has opposed the huge arms transactions his predecessor concluded with the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11256

Will The Mediterranean Become A ‘Turkish Lake’ Again?

by Andrew Bieszad on January 23, 2021 in FeaturedGeneral

The Ottoman empire, even as early as the 14th century, was a naval power that rose to prominence in the 16th century at her height when the Mediterranean became a “Turkish lake”. This culminated at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, which while not annihilating the Ottoman Empire as a naval power, put her as a naval power into terminal decline that has not since seriously reversed.

Following the US victory in World War II, through the Gladio program the US and Germany began building Turkey into a military power so that she would act as a counterbalance to Soviet influence in the Caucasus, Balkans, and Middle East. The program was arguably a success, but with one small problem- it prepared the way for the revival of the Ottoman Empire that menaced Europe for centuries.

Now with Turkey approaching her centennial celebration as a ‘secular’ state, and with Erdogan’s visions of reviving the Ottoman Empire at hand, the Daily Sabah reports that Turkey is boasting that she is one of ten nations in the world who can construct and build her own battleships, and that she has cut an agreement with Pakistan to do just that.

resident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Saturday that Turkey is among 10 countries that can design, build and maintain their own warships.

“We will bolster our navy power in five years with five major projects,” Erdoğan said during a speech at the launch ceremony of an Istanbul frigate.

Along with the launch of the Istanbul frigate, the ceremony also marked the groundbreaking of the third ship to be constructed for the Pakistani navy under the MILGEM project. Erdoğan pointed out the exceptional defense relations between the two countries, which “has great potential.”

“We are moving a historical brotherhood between Turkey and Pakistan one step further. Just like Turkey, Pakistan also struggles against many terrorist threats in a difficult region. I believe that both countries can help each other in defying these threats,” he said.

The Pakistan Navy signed a contract with Turkey’s Military Factory and Shipyard Management Corporation (ASFAT) in July 2018 to acquire four MILGEM-class ships.

The MILGEM project was initiated in 2000 to locally design and build a fleet of multipurpose corvettes and frigates that will replace older ships. Turkey has built four corvettes so far in line with the program, namely the TCG Heybeliada, the TCG Büyükada, the TCG Burgazada and the TCG Kınalıada, while the fifth vessel, the first MILGEM I-class frigate of its kind, the Istanbul Frigate, was recently added to the inventory of the Turkish military with Saturday’s ceremony.

Speaking about naval capabilities, Erdoğan hinted at some details of the new projects, signaling major improvements in the Turkish navy’s submarine, aircraft carrier and naval defense capacity.

He said a new aircraft carrier, which will be designed indigenously, will promote Turkey to the top league in the naval field. Gökdeniz systems, the naval equivalent of Korkut low-altitude air defense, will be added to the inventory of the Turkish military with the Istanbul frigate, he added. (source)

The Ottoman Empire never died. It just went dormant, waiting for its revival at the right time in history.

With Turkey on the rise again, it is not an unreasonable question to ask if she will again make an attempt to repeat the past, and in that, attempting to conquer the Mediterranean and assert not just political, but religious authority over it in the name of Islam.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11253

Russia set to test 15,000mph nuke missile that can ‘beat any defence and destroy Texas’

Jon Lockett

Jan 2 2021, 7:49 ET

Updated: Jan 2 2021, 8:22 ET

RUSSIA is poised to test an “unstoppable” 15,000mph nuclear missile it boasts can beat any defense and wipe out Texas.

The RS-28 Sarmat doomsday rocket is now primed to replace the much-feared R-36 – once dubbed the “Satan” nuke by Nato.

The RS-28 Sarmat doomsday missile is destined to replace the feared R-36

The Kremlin brags it has a range of around 6,200 miles, can carry 16 warheads and is able to dodge any missile defense system. 

Its huge payload is capable of destroying an area the size of the Lone Star State according to Zvezda, the Russian defence ministry’s TV channel.

The introduction of the long-heralded weapon has been pushed back multiple times amid delays in testing, reports The Times.

But Alexei Krivoruchko – Russia’s deputy defence minister – revealed long-distance launches are now imminent.

He said: “I will note that ejection tests of the Sarmat missile are completed with positive results.

“In the near future we will begin carrying out flight tests of this rocket complex.”

Krivoruchko then chillingly added: “By virtue of its capabilities, no missile defense weapon, even the most advanced, can hinder it.”

The RS-28 – which will eventually be stationed in Siberia – was among an array of new weapons unveiled by Vladimir Putin in 2018.

Others include the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle, which the Russian leader said could fly “like a meteorite, like a ball of fire”.

The new Sarmat nuke – known in the West as Satan-2 – is seen as Russia’s most powerful nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile.

Just one of them contains eight megatons of TNT-equivalent explosive power.

That is more than 400 times more powerful than either of the two bombs the US dropped on Japan in the final days of World War Two.

This means they are capable of pulverising an area the size of England or Texas.

Resulting nuclear fallout would then spread from the destroyed zone, depending on wind speed and direction.

The missile, nicknamed Satan 2, can fly 6,000 miles and carry 16 warheads

Last month, Putin said a new “arms race has already begun” between the US and Russia and that his country’s new hypersonic missiles are ready for use in combat.

His worrying words came just months before the New Start treaty, the last major nuclear arms control treaty between the two countries, is due to expire.

Speaking at his annual set-piece press conference, Putin discussed Russia’s military capability and its bearing on US-Russia relations.

He was asked whether a failure to renew the New Start treaty, which committed both parties to a reduction in nuclear missile launchers, would mean the start of a new arms race.

“The arms race has already begun,” he said.  “After the US withdrew from the nuclear defense treaty, that’s exactly what happened.

“Their country is now building an umbrella to protect itself.” 

The Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, introduced in 1972, was a treaty between the US and Soviet Union that limited the development of systems used to defend against ballistic missile-delivered nuclear weapons.

In 2002, the US withdrew, citing the need to protect itself against nuclear blackmail from rogue states, and subsequently establishing the Missile Defense Agency.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11247

Russia Furious At Azerbaijan After Helicopter Shot Down

by Andrew Bieszad on January 4, 2021 in FeaturedGeneral

The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh is far from over. While Azerbaijan may have one, Russia’s entrance into Armenia is the beginning of potentially something much more serious.

Armenia and Azerbaijan were both part of the Soviet Union until her breakup in 1991. Azerbaijan, a Shiite Muslim nation culturally influenced by the Persians, ethnically influenced by the various Caucasus peoples, and linguistically influenced by the Turks, has since given her full support to Turkey, and she has openly expressed a desire to be annexed by the Turks. Armenia is hated by Turkey, who has made clear with her recent encirclement of Armenia following the capture of Nagorno-Karabakh that by her actions she is preparing to isolate and “finish the job” that she began in 1914. Armenia, however much she does not like the Russians, is also part of the CSTO, or a Russian attempt at her own NATO, and while really powerless, is there to be a thorn in the side of the Turks for the Russians. Meanwhile, Putin has made clear that since he equivocates Russian glory with Stalin and the USSR, his words and actions show attempts to rebuild the Red Giant.

The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, with a Russia trying to revive the USSR and an Ottoman ghost attempting to summon herself from the grave of history, sets up a scenario for a clash of major powers, between the first and second largest militaries in Europe and the second and seventh most powerful militaries in the world. Considering how Turkey has NATO and specifically, US and German backing, given that they are the first and ninth most powerful militaries, it has the potential to make any conflict between Russia and Turkey more interesting.

Just hours before a peace agreement was to be signed between Azerbaijan and Moscow, a Russian aircraft was shot down. While the Azeri government has apologized and offered to pay for it amid other concessions, it is being reported by Reuters that Russia is treating it as a case of murder.

Russian military investigators are now treating the Nov. 9 downing of a helicopter over Armenia as “wilful murder”, a more serious charge than the previous “death through negligence”, Interfax news agency reported on Monday, citing a source.

A Russian Mi-24 helicopter was shot down over Armenia near the border with a region belonging to Azerbaijan, killing two crew members and injuring another, just few hours before a Moscow-brokered peace deal over Nagorno-Karabakh was reached.

Heavy fighting between Azerbaijan, which has the political backing of Turkey, and ethnic Armenian forces over the mountainous region had been raging for six weeks at the time of the incident.

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said Azeri forces shot down the helicopter by accident, expressing apologies to Moscow and a readiness to pay compensation.

Interfax said on Monday, citing the source, that a case had initially been opened into a potential infringement of flying regulations that had resulted in deaths through negligence.

The reported switch to a murder charge, which could lead to a sentence of life imprisonment for those held responsible, may complicate relations between Moscow and Azerbaijan.

The conflict has tested Moscow’s influence in the South Caucasus, a swath of the former Soviet Union it views as vital to defending its own southern flank. (source)

While one cannot confirm anything, one must say that the timing is highly suspicious, especially since portraying Azerbaijan as the ‘aggressor’ may be a card Russia tries to use to force influence into that nation, up to and including potentially declaring war against her. However, the main target would not be Azerbaijan, but Turkey, since Russia wants what she considers “her territories” from the USSR back, but also to prohibit further expansion of a nascent Ottoman Empire that through Azerbaijan would have control over the oil sands of Baku and given new construction developments, passage into Central Asia, another bloc of nations under Russian control.

The world right now bears an increasing semblance to the world pre-World War I, where nations were scrambling against each other over small territories, building up troops and with tensions brooding between them, eventually breaking into the First World War. However, the difference was that major technologies then were the machine gun and poison gas. This time it is robotics, artificial intelligence, and computers, which is far more dangerous.

It will be interesting to see where this conflict goes and how Russia responds, given the trends toward war and potentially grave responses from either side.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11213

SHOCK AS US NATIONAL NUCLEAR SECURITY ADMINISTRATION NETWORK HAS BEEN HACKED THAT AUTHORITIES ARE SAYING HAS RUSSIA’S SIGNATURE ALL OVER IT

Authorities were alarmed after suspicious activity was detected in a number of networks belonging to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as well as the Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories in New Mexico and Washington. Networks belonging to the Office of Secure Transportation and Richland Field Office of the Department of Energy were also reportedly breached. Officials close to the incident claim that hackers were able to do more damage at FERC than the other networks, according to the report.

by Geoffrey Grider December 17, 2020

A major cyber espionage attack has hit a number of U.S. federal agencies, including networks belonging to the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Department of Energy (DOE), which are responsible for maintaining the country’s massive stockpile of nuclear weapons.

 

Iwasn’t joking when I first told you a while back that 2021 is going to be even crazier than 2020 has been, and with each passing day it is ringing truer and truer. When you go to the web site for cyber security company SolarWinds, the company responsible for keeping US Federal agencies safe from hackers says ‘SolarWinds: We Make It Look Easy’. That didn’t age well.

So is it Russia, is it China, perhaps a combination of the two? At this point, no one really knows, but what we do know is that it’s really bad. Microsoft said they found evidence of the hacker attack on their own systems as well. I have the feeling that something really big is about to break out, it has all the earmarks when take everything that has been happening lately and add it all together. They hacked the NNSA to get at our nukes, and the scary part is, they might actually have gained access deep enough to cause some real problems.

Hackers Target US Nuclear Weapons Agency in Massive Unprecedented Cyber Attack

FROM ACTIVIST POST: On Thursday, officials swiftly began coordinating notifications about the security breach to congressional oversight bodies following a briefing by DOE Chief Information Officer Rocky Campione, reports Politico.

Authorities were alarmed after suspicious activity was detected in a number of networks belonging to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as well as the Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories in New Mexico and Washington. Networks belonging to the Office of Secure Transportation and Richland Field Office of the Department of Energy were also reportedly breached.

OFFICIALS CLOSE TO THE INCIDENT CLAIM THAT HACKERS WERE ABLE TO DO MORE DAMAGE AT FERC THAN THE OTHER NETWORKS, ACCORDING TO THE REPORT.

Authorities have scoured the networks to ascertain how much data has been accessed or stolen, but officials are still largely in the dark about the extent to which government networks have been compromised. According to the report, officials at DOE could take weeks to understand how much damage was wrought by the attacks.

It is believed that the attack on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could have been part of a broader attempt to disrupt the U.S. electric grid. While FERC isn’t involved in the direct management of power flows, the data it stores could potentially reveal the most critical locations in case of future attacks.

The National Nuclear Security Administration, on the other hand, is the key agency tasked with managing the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and its operations take up the bulk of the DOE budget. Likewise, the Sandia and Los Alamos laboratories are critical sites where atomic research related to both nuclear weapons and civil nuclear power takes place. The Office of Secure Transportation is in charge of moving enriched uranium and other material related to the maintenance of the U.S. nuclear stockpile.

Federal officials have expressed concern about the breach, which is feared to have impacted computer systems not only in the U.S. and across the globe. So far, Russian hackers tied to the country’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) are being looked at as the most likely culprit. However, Moscow has denied any involvement in the attacks.

The attack on DOE networks appears to signal the potent threat posed by hackers even when they are up against core components of the U.S. national security enterprise. It is believed that the hackers were able to compromise the federal networks by exploiting security flaws in the networking software sold by IT company SolarWinds, which has hundreds of clients across the U.S. government and the private sector.

On Thursday, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued an ominous warning about a significant computer intrusion, noting that it “poses a grave risk” to governments on the federal, state, and local levels. On Wednesday, the FBI, CISA, and Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a joint statement acknowledging their collaboration in an “ongoing” cybersecurity campaign, noting that they had only begun their work in earnest in recent days after learning of the incident.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11194

The Israel-Iran shadow war locks in on southeastern Syria

 

Dec 13, 2020 @ 12:39 GolanHizballahIran vs IsraelSouth Syria

In the last weeks of the Trump administration, Israel is fast-tracking the military drive to push Iran and its helpers back from their advance on southern Syria and the Golan border. The IDF is urged to hurry up in case the Biden administration decides that Iran’s presence in Syria need not be addressed by the US in a potential renegotiated nuclear deal with Tehran.

Iran is using the uncertain transition period to advance on the Syrian-Israel Golan border by infiltrating and hiding behind Syrian army positions in the southern Syrian provinces of Deraa, Quneitra and Sweida. The Iranians are also practicing clandestine tactics on the Syrian Golan with the help of a special Hizballah unit and dozens of local armed groups and soldiers, taking advantage of the overall chaos prevailing in the region. The IDF is hitting back by expanding the targets of its air strikes to include the Syrian regime army positions hosting or covering Iranian Revolutionary Guards or Shiite militia forces in the south and the east.

The success of the IDF’s ramped-up operations to counter Iran’s strategy was indicated by IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi in an end-of-year summary last Thursday, Dec. 10. “Iran has begun cutting back on its military presence in Syria as a result of our operations,’ he said, “but there is still a long way to go before the job is done.” The tempo and quality of Israeli strikes against Iranian assets in Syria, including kinetic operations, the general said, have been enhanced this year, along with more numerous covert and clandestine missions.”

Iran had also significantly stalled its cargo airlift for smuggling weapons into Syria, Gen. Kochavi revealed. This came as a result of the destruction by aerial bombardments in recent months of vast quantities of advanced weaponry, that were to have been handed over to Iran’s proxy, Hizballah, for using in Lebanon as a convenient forward base for attacking Israel.

To escape Israel’s air strikes, Iran has moved its bases, camps and headquarters out of the line of Israeli fire around Damascus towards the northern and eastern parts of Syria. Iranian forces have also been drawn down. Hizballah and Syrian armed units have been left to anchor Iran’s presence in the south. Moreover, reported IDF air strikes on IRGC positions at Abu Kamal in eastern Syria on the sensitive border with Iraq showed Israel to be undeterred by the proximity of US bases.

Tehran is acting on the assumption that Israel is intent on provoking a major clash to provide Donald Trump with justification for clobbering Iran or its interests in the waning days of his presidency. Tehran is therefore at pains to avoid overt or extreme response to the intensified IDF campaign. Its presence in South Syria is denied except for “a few advisers.” Reported casualties are dismissed as “Zionist propaganda.”

The IDF is using Tehran’s caution to seriously bludgeon its assets and collaborators in Syria for the purpose of driving home Israel’s determination to drive them out.   

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11185

MOROCCO JOINS THE UAE, BAHRAIN, AND SUDAN AS THE FOURTH MIDDLE EAST MUSLIM NATION TO SIGN UP WITH ISRAEL IN THE PRE-DANIEL 9:27 ABRAHAM ACCORDS

President Donald Trump congratulated the two parties in a tweet: “Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations – a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East!” Less than a year ago, President Trump launched his Abraham Accords Middle East peace plan, which departed from previous efforts in that it sought agreements between Israel and Arab states without giving a veto to the Palestinians.

by Geoffrey Grider December 11, 2020

Morocco became the fourth Muslim nation to reach a peace deal with Israel this year, as news broke Thursday that the Kingdom would sign an agreement establishing diplomatic relations with the Jewish state and join Abraham Accords.

 

For those of you, like myself, who are patiently scanning the eastern skies in anticipation of taking off on Flight #777 on Titus213 Airlines, I have good news for you. We are not only getting giant steps closer to departing, things are heating up so much that Spring 2021 is starting to look like the time when that might be taking place. Not setting a date, not predicting anything, just looking out my window and talking. Just ask King Solomon how he felt about it, the answer might surprise you.

My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Song Of Solomon 2:10-13 (KJB)

Putting the wonderful thought of the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church aside for just a moment, let’s focus on the rapidly-expanding Abraham Accords Middle East Peace Treaty, the necessary precursor to the Daniel 9:27 Covenant with Death and Hell the Jews will agree to sooner rather than later. As we have been telling you, every major Muslim nation that rings around the Palestinians are going to sign the Abraham Accords, thus putting overwhelming pressure on the Palies to sign it as well. What will Israel receive in exchange for such open-minded, forward thinking? Not much, just the rebuilt Jewish Temple that Antichrist will inhabit, that’s all.

Another Abraham Accords Middle East Peace Deal: Morocco Latest to Establish Ties with the Jews and Israel

 

FROM BREITBART NEWS: President Donald Trump congratulated the two parties in a tweet: “Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations – a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East!”

Less than a year ago, President Trump launched his Middle East peace plan, which departed from previous efforts in that it sought agreements between Israel and Arab states without giving a veto to the Palestinians.

Earlier U.S. administrations had believed, incorrectly, that such an approach was impossible. Then-Secretary of State John Kerry said in 2016 that no separate peace between Israel and Arab states was possible:

Morocco has quietly enjoyed unofficial ties with Israel for many years. The country has a large Jewish community, many of whose members moved to Israel after the Jewish state declared independence in 1948. The Trump administration has been reaching out to Morocco for years. Ivanka Trump visited the kingdom last November. Morocco also granted an exclusive interview with Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita to Breitbart News in 2018.

On Thursday, Trump announced that the U.S. would be recognizing Morocco’s claims to the disputed Western Sahara:

The kingdom is the fourth state to make peace and forge diplomatic relations with Israel this year. The other three include the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which signed the Abraham Accords on the White House lawn in September; and Sudan, which announced it had reached an agreement with Israel several weeks later.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11176