Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi and Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir have met together to declare bilateral relations between their two countries. You can read about these meetings at Front Page Magazine here. Ahram online also reported on the meeting here. Both leaders rose to power through the support of the Muslim Brotherhood within their respective nations. Why might this be significant as it relates to Biblical prophecy? Well, in Daniel 11:43, we are told that in “the last days”, there would specifically emerge an Egyptian-Sudanese-Libyan alliance. In verse 40, we are told that in the last days, there would be a military clash between the “King of the South” (Egypt) and “the King of the North”. Historically, this refers to the region where Syria, Turkey, and Iraq intersect, but which I believe it refers to modern day Turkey. The Scriptural basis for this first, is the clear emphasis of Ezekiel 38-39 on Asia Minor / Turkey as well as the fact that it was in Turkey that the World witnessed the “fatal head wound” of the seventh beast empire. Revelation 13 and 17 informs us that after the Roman Empire, another empire, a seventh empire, would emerge that would suffer a fatal head wound but that would eventually be revived as the eighth empire, it stands to reason that even as it was the Ottoman Empire / Caliphate that suffered the head wound. It this stands to reason that because it was in the Ottoman Empire that the historical continuum of the Islamic Caliphates suffered a fatal head wound, so also will the Ottoman Empire experience the miraculous revival. And of course, on the ground, all evidence points now to a re-emergent Turkey with growing regional influence and stature. The fact that we are seeing an emerging Turkish power in the North at the same time that we are seeing an emerging assertive Egypt is certainly worth watching. And as the African nations of Egypt and Sudan, two of the nations specifically highlighted by the prophet Daniel begin to publicly identify with one another, then we also must ask if we are drawing closer. While it is too soon to know for sure or to declare these things with clarity, it certainly does seem to be moving in the direction of fulfilling the prophecy of Daniel 11. The return of Jesus very well could be much closer than many think. Let us be about the work of God.
Category: Gog-Ezekiel 38 & 39
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4918
A significant recent archeological discovery in western Turkey may hold a prophetic hint as to the nation from which the Antichrist will someday burst forth onto the world scene.
According to a recent report by Fox News, archeologists have uncovered the ancient “gate to hell.” Not literally, of course, but rather they’ve discovered an ancient pagan temple known as “Pluto’s Gate,” the cave that was believed to be the portal to Hades, in Greco-Roman mythology.
According to the Greek geographer Strabo, the cave emitted a thick vapor that would kill any who came into contact with it. According to Francesco D’Andria, the archeologist who discovered the gate, “We could see the cave’s lethal properties during the excavation. Several birds died as they tried to get close to the warm opening, instantly killed by the carbon dioxide fumes.”
Some students of prophecy have noted the similarity of the gate to hell to the “Abyss” as described in the book of Revelation:
“When [the angel] opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions.” (Revelation 9:2-3)
What is more interesting about this find as it relates to biblical prophecy is the fact that the gate was discovered in modern-day Pamukkale, Turkey, known in ancient times as Hierapolis. According to the first-century historian known as Pliny the Elder, Hierapolis was also known as “Magog.”
In fact, it was specifically this ancient Turkish-Magog connection that informed the understanding of a wide range of Jewish and Christian theologians concerning the region from which the armies of Gog and Magog would descend into the land of Israel.
Gog and Magog, according to the biblical prophet Ezekiel, are armies of the final antagonists of the Jewish people, who would invade the land of Israel just prior to the return of Jesus. While many prophecy teachers today hold to the idea that the Battle of Gog of Magog is a preliminary and distinct battle from the final Battle of Armageddon, this belief is actually a relatively new minority view within church history. Consider the following partial survey of theologians, both Christian and Jewish, who have long looked for the Antichristian armies of Gog of Magog to come from the land of Turkey:
Hippolytus of Rome (170–235), an early Christian theologian, in his Chronicon, connected Magog with the Galatians in Asia Minor, or modern-day Turkey.
Moses Ben Maimonides (aka Rambam) (1135–1204), the revered Jewish sage, in Hichot Terumot, identified Magog as being on the border of Syria and modern-day Turkey.
Nicholas of Lyra (1270–1349), a Hebrew scholar and renowned biblical exegete, believed that Gog was another title of the Antichrist. Lyra also affirmed that the religion of the “Turks,” a term used to refer to Muslims in general, was the religion of the Antichrist.
Martin Luther (1483–1546), understood Gog to be a reference to the Turks, whom God had sent as a scourge to chastise Christians.
Sir Walter Raleigh (1554–1618), in his History of the World, also placed Magog in Asia Minor, or modern-day Turkey:
“Yet it is not to be denied, that the Scythians in old times coming out of the northeast, wasted the better part of Asia the Less, and possessed Coelesyria, where they built both Scythopolis and Hierapolis, which the Syrians call Magog. And that to this Magog Ezekiel had reference, it is very plain; for this city Hierapolis, or Magog, standeth due north from Judea, according to the words of Ezekiel, that from the north quarters those nations should come.”
John Wesley (1703–1755), in his Explanatory Notes on Ezekiel 38 and 39, identified the hoards of Gog and Magog with “the Antichristian forces” who would come from the region of modern day Turkey.
Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758), one of American history’s most renowned theologians, also viewed modern-day Turkey as the nation from which the coming Gog Magog invasion would come forth.
John Nelson Darby (1800–1882), the British-Irish evangelist and a father of modern Dispensationalism and Futurism, in his Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, views Gog as the final Antichristian forces God will bring against Israel:
“Gog is the end of all the dealings of God with respect to Israel, and that God brings up this haughty power in order to manifest on earth, by a final judgment, His dealings with Israel and with the Gentiles, and to plant His blessing, His sanctuary, and His glory in the midst of Israel.”
C.I. Scofield (1843–1921), author of the Scofield Reference Bible, viewed the oracle of Gog of Magog in Ezekiel 38 and 39 as speaking of the Battle of Armageddon. Scofield, spoke of Ezekiel’s oracle thusly:
“[T]hat destruction should fall at the climax of the last mad attempt to exterminate the remnant of Israel in Jerusalem. The whole prophecy belongs to the yet future ‘day of Jehovah’; Isaiah 2:10-22; Revelation 19:11-21 and to the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:14).”
Charles Lee Feinberg (1909–1995), a prominent Messianic Jewish expositor in his commentary on Ezekiel, states, “The armies of chapter 38-39 would appear to be included in the universal confederacies seen in Zechariah 12 and 14.”
Charles Ryrie, in his Ryrie Study Bible, views Gog and his hordes as one and the same with the Antichrist and his armies.
Dave Hunt, apologist, author and radio commentator, identifies the Gog of Magog Battle with other Antichristic prophecies and views it as a reference to the ultimate battle of Armageddon.
Many other prominent Christian theologians could be cited. If all of these theologians are correct, and Antichrist/Gog does come forth from the modern nation of Turkey, then it would certainly seem appropriate that Turkey is the home to the mythological location of the ancient gateway to hell.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4901
After four years of exploration and drilling, as well as a $3.5 billion investment, Israel announced Saturday that the Tamar offshore gas field has finally come online, a move government officials say will diminish Israel’s dependency on foreign gas imports.
Tamar is believed to have reserves of up to 238 billion cubic meters (8.4 trillion cubic feet). Discovered in 2009, the field, which lies some 130 kilometers (81 miles) west of Haifa, is jointly owned by American company Noble Energy and three Israeli firms: Delek, Isramco and Dor Alon.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement on Saturday that the event marked “an important day for Israel’s economy.”
The Energy and Water Resources Ministry confirmed that “natural gas is now moving from the Tamar reservoir to a new naval production rig across from Ashdod, from where it will within 24 hours reach an absorption station in Ashdod.”
Energy and Water Resources Minister Silvan Shalom said, “This is Israel’s energy independence day. It is truly a historic event — Israel has received energy freedom.”
Delek Group owner Yitzhak Tshuva was quoted by Agence France-Presse as saying: “This is a very proud day for all of us. Our vision has become a reality. This is a tremendous achievement for the Israeli energy market and the beginning of a new era.”
International Relations, Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, who — while serving as finance minister in Netanyahu’s previous government — promoted legislation that paved the way for offshore drilling in Israel, said, “Pumping natural gas from Tamar will not only afford Israel clean and cheap energy, but it will also yield the state considerable revenue.”
The royalties the three Tamar partners will pay the state and Israel’s potential natural gas exports are expected to yield some 450 billion shekels (about $123 billion) in state revenue over the next 25 years, AFP said.
Israel generates approximately 40 percent of its electricity from natural gas and until 2012, Egypt provided much of those needs. That supply, however, was constantly interrupted in the wake of the Egyptian revolution, as the pipeline connecting the two countries was repeatedly blown up by terrorists. Cairo canceled its gas supply agreement with Israel in April 2012, claiming the terms of the deal were undermining Egypt’s interests.
Despite the fact that Tamar has come online, domestic electricity prices are not expected to drop. Israel Electric Corp. announced that its plan for a 6.5% price hike, slated for mid-April 2013, still stands. Tamar’s gas supplies are expected to affect the domestic consumers’ power bill in 2015 at the earliest.
Energy experts said that Tamar has the ability to meet Israel’s energy needs for decades and it is expected to save the market about 13 billion shekels ($3.6 billion) a year; as well as create thousands of new jobs and promote Israel’s position in the world energy market.
Israel’s second offshore gas field, Leviathan, which has yet to come online, is twice the size of Tamar, AFP said. It is believed to contain 450 billion cubic meters (some 15.9 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas. Once online, Leviathan has the potential to make Israel a key player in the world energy market.
The Energy and Water Resources Ministry estimated in 2012 that once Tamar and Leviathan are both fully operational, Israel would be able to export some 53% of its natural gas.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4885
Russia Sending Permanent Warship Fleet To Mediterranean: Is A Russian Naval Base In Cyprus Coming Next?
That Russia has previously threatened, and followed through with, sending ships to the Mediterranean is nothing new. In the past, every such episode was related to the protection of what Putin considered vital geopolitical interests in the region: whether defending the Syrian port of Tartus, various crude and natural gas pipelines in the region threatened by NATO expansion in Turkey, or offsetting heightened US presence around Gaza and Israel (and of course Iran). Which is why with the legacy conflicts in the region dormant, and the only news of any relevance being the European intervention in Cyprus against Russian oligarch interests, it is surprising we learn today that the Russian Navy will dispatch a permanent fleet of five or six combat ships to the Mediterranean Sea, with frigates and cruisers making up the core of the fleet.
How far into the Mediterranean one wonders? It wouldn’t be too difficult to put two and two together and assume that with Cyprus just a few hundreds kilometers away from Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and Israel, Russia may have not only a new geopolitical target, namely the now pseudo-insolvent Russian protectorate of Cyprus, but a perfect alibi to be in the region as well, and more importantly, have a Plan B to the Syrian port of Tartus which is Russia’s only naval base in the region.
How soon until we read that Russia is willing to invest even more unguaranteed loans into the Cypriot financial system…. in exchange for one tiny little naval and/or military base?
“Up to five or six ships must be on a permanent basis in the Mediterranean Sea. They should be controlled through the command of the Black Sea Fleet,” Russian TV channel Zvezda quoted Admiral Chirkov as saying.
Supply vessels will also be included in the permanent deployment to the Mediterranean.
The decision to send Russian ships to the Mediterranean’s waters was first announced on March 11 by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.
“I think that we have everything to create and maintain such a grouping. Certainly, this shows the positive dynamics of development of the Navy,” Shoigu told top officers of the Russian Armed Forces. By 2020, the Russian Navy will include eight missile submarines, 16 multipurpose subs and 54 combat ships, he added.
Chirkov said that top Navy officers are currently in the process of strategizing the deployment of a combat group to the Mediterranean. He also said that Russia is prepared to send combat ships to the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
“There was an experience in the history of the Navy when we had squadrons in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Of course, if needed, we will [advise] the Defense Ministry’s top officials, the government and the President [on the deployment of] task forces on a permanent basis there,” Chirkov explained.
And an example of the kind of ship that will soon be floating in Cyprus’ back yard:
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4871
Commander of U.S. Central Command Gen. James Mattis said Tuesday that ”at least one other nation” has told him “at the leadership level” they will seek nuclear weapons if Iran goes nuclear:
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R., S.C.): If the Iranians develop a nuclear capability, how certain are you that other nations in the region would acquire an equal capability?
MATTIS: At least one other nation has told me they would do that, at a leadership level, they have assured me they would not stay without a nuclear weapon if Iran armed.
GRAHAM: Was that a Sunni-Arab state?
MATTIS: Yes, sir.
GRAHAM: So the likelihood of Sunni-Arab states acquiring nuclear capability to counter the Shia Persians is great, would you not agree with that?
MATTIS: I agree, and also other non-Sunni-Arab states in the general region.
The statements by Mattis contradict the findings of a recent report drafted by former Obama Pentagon official Colin Kahl and produced for the Center for New American Security. That report argues that Saudi Arabia–as well as other states–would be unlikely to develop nuclear weapons if Iran acquired nuclear weapons.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4829
ANKARA – Turkey’s once powerful General Staff is reportedly struggling amid the resignation of senior military officers.
Military sources said senior officers were increasingly choosing early retirement rather than confront the intervention of Prime Minister Recep Erdogan.
They said many of the officers were dismayed by the return of personnel linked to Islamist groups as well as the arrest of 400 officers accused of supporting a coup against the ruling Justice and Development Party.
“The conclusion of many of mid- and senior-level officer is that the military is turning from secular to Islamist,” a source said.
The General Staff has acknowledged the resignation of an unspecified number of officers. But the command, which oversees the second largest military in NATO, said the retiring officers could be replaced.
“The allegations that there is command weakness in the Turkish armed forces are unrealistic,” the General Staff said on Feb. 6. “The retirements and resignations take place in January and February. The procedures for the personnel who want to quit willfully continues.”
In 2011, Erdogan oversaw the resignation of the chiefs of the three military services in protest of his intervention. The prime minister then selected his own candidate for chief of staff, and since then the military stopped expelling officers accused of Islamist leanings.
For his part, Erdogan said the reports of mass resignations of officers did not reflect any weakness in the military. He said the reports marked an effort to destabilize Turkey’s armed forces.
“They can ask for their retirement if they wish, but to approach it as if it is a deficiency is not acceptable,” Erdogan said. “It’s a virus put forward by those who want to stir up trouble and have bad intentions.”
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4777
Russia, Iran sign agreements to form “strategic partnership” as Russia sends warships to Iranian port.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a meeting in 2005.
Regulars readers of this blog — and books like The Ezekiel Option and Epicenter – know that I’ve been writing about a growing and troublesome alliance between Russia and Iran since 2005. Given that history, I thought it would be important to bring this New York Post article to your attention today. The headline is, “Why Iran is falling into Russia’s arms,” and it’s written by Amir Taheri.
Taheri is an Iranian dissident and former editor-in-chief of an Iranian newspaper whom I find quite insightful about Iranian foreign and domestic policy and political intrigues. He was one of the first international journalists to notice and begin reporting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s obsession with eschatology. After reading Taheri’s work, I began to study more closely Ahmadinejad’s pronouncements on the subject and began studying more carefully the substance of Shia End Times theology and its impact on Iranian foreign policy. While he was ahead of the curve on Ahmadinejad’s eschatology, Taheri is a little behind the curve on noticing the alliance forming between Russia and Iran. and its implications. Still, the good news is that he has focused on important new developments in recent weeks and is on to the story now.
Students of Bible prophecy will find all this particularly interesting. After all, the Hebrew prophet Ezekiel wrote 2,500 years ago that a dictator (Gog) from the territory we now call Russia (Magog) would form an alliance in the “last days” with Persia (what we now call Iran) and a group of other Middle Eastern countries. The goal of the alliance will be to threaten and then attack a prosperous and secure Israel in the years following Israel’s prophetic rebirth. Such an event has never happened in human history, but a growing number of Jewish and Christian Bible scholars and teachers believe geopolitical trends suggest the fulfillment of the “War of Gog and Magog” prophecy might not be so far off.
For now, I commend Taheri’s column to your attention.
- “A strategic partnership”: So Iran and Russia describe the series of security, economic and cultural agreements they’ve signed together in the past few weeks.
- Iran’s Foreign Minister Ai-Akbar Salehi arrived in Moscow this week to co-chair the first annual session of the “partnership” with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. Days earlier, a group of officers from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard arrived in the Russian capital for a crash course in crowd control and civil unrest. They’re expected to return to Iran by May and be “operational” in time for the June presidential election. Iranian authorities are nervous about expected unrest during the elections, and so have called on Russia to help prevent an Iranian version of the “Arab Spring.” But Russia made its support conditional on signing a security treaty with Iran; Tehran complied last month.
- The agreement represents a break with an old principle in Iran’s defense and security doctrines. Russia has been a source of fear and fascination for its Iranian neighbors since the 18th century. Several wars of varying magnitude proved Russia to be a threat, as successive czars dreamed of winning control of a port on the Indian Ocean — which meant annexing or dominating Iran.
- In Iranian political folklore, Russia has long been depicted as a bear whose embrace, even if friendly, could smother you….Even after the fall of the shah and of the USSR, the Iranian tradition of keeping the Russian bear at arm’s length continued under the Khomeinist regime. It’s clear that a different fear has moved Tehran to abandon that tradition.
- The new security pact provides for cooperation in intelligence gathering and the fight “against terrorism, people-trafficking, and drug-smuggling.” But it more significant is that it commits Russia to training and equipping Iranian security forces to deal with civil unrest….
- There are other signs of change in Moscow-Tehran relations. Last week, Iran played host to Russian warships visiting Bandar Abbas on the Strait of Hormuz in what looks like the opening gambit for a Russian naval presence in the strategic waterway….
- Days after the Irano-Russian pact was signed, Putin announced that he had terminated security cooperation with the United States on the fight against drug trafficking, people-smuggling and piracy.
- Observers in Tehran say the change in relations is caused by several factors. Both regimes are involved in the Syrian civil war on the side of Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Both believe that the “Arab Spring” is the result of “plots” hatched by Washington under the Bush administration. Both fear that the “velvet revolution” recipe for regime change could be used against them. And both Moscow and Tehran regard what they see as an US strategic retreat under President Obama as an opportunity. They think that, with the United States out, no other power has the capacity to check their regional ambitions.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4773
There is full awareness in Washington and Jerusalem that the North Korean nuclear test conducted Tuesday, Feb. 12, brings Iran that much closer to conducting a test of its own. A completed bomb or warhead are not necessary for an underground nuclear test; a device which an aircraft or missile can carry is enough.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s boast this week that Iran will soon place a satellite in orbit at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers – and Tehran’s claim on Feb. 4 to have sent a monkey into space – highlight Iran’s role in the division of labor Pyongyang and Tehran have achieved in years of collaboration: the former focusing on a nuclear armament and the latter on long-range missile technology to deliver it.
Their advances are pooled. Pyongyang maintains a permanent mission of nuclear and missile scientists in Tehran, whereas Iranian experts are in regular attendance at North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests.
Since the detonation of the “miniature atomic bomb” reported by Pyongyang Tuesday – which US President Barack Obama called “a threat to US National security”- Iran must be presumed to have acquired the same “miniature atomic bomb” capabilities – or even assisted in the detonation.
Word of the North Korean atomic test reminded US officials of Ahmadinejad’s boast only a couple of days ago about the forthcoming launch of an Iranian satellite into orbit. The two events clearly hang together as probably coordinated between Tehran and Pyongyang.
Ahead of the UN Security Council emergency session later Tuesday, Kim Jong Un’s government warned of “stronger actions” after the nuclear test. Its diplomat warned the UN disarmament forum that his country will “never bow to any resolutions.”
The nuclear threat is not the only unconventional warfare peril looming closer. In Damascus, Syrian rebels are nearer than ever before to crashing through the capital’s last lines of defense. Tuesday, they were only 1.5 kilometers short of the heart of Damascus.
Western and Israeli military sources believe that if the Syrian rebels reach this target, the Syrian ruler Bashar Assad will have no qualms about using chemical weapons for the first time in the two-year civil war to save his regime. Both the US and Israel have warned him that doing so would cross a red line.
debkafile’s military sources report that Syrian rebel forces, spearheaded by an Al Qaeda-allied Islamist brigade, gained entry Tuesday to the 4th Division’s (Republican Guard) main base in the Adra district of eastern Damascus and are fighting the defenders in hand to hand combat for control of the facility.
Other rebel forces are retaking parts of the Damascus ring road in fierce battles, thereby cutting off the Syrian army’s Homs units in the north from their supply lines from the capital.
These two rebel thrusts, if completed, would bring the Syrian army closer than ever before to collapse. Assad is therefore expected to use every means at his disposal to cut his enemies down.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4769
In an interview with the Voice of Russia, Russian analyst Konstantin Sivkov said: “Deploying these missiles in Turkey will be dangerous for Syrian military planes – this is obvious. A lesser obvious thing is that Turkey is getting ready for a war against Syria. If an attack on Syria from the territory of Turkey does take place, this will most likely be an attack not of the Turkish army, but of NATO’s forces.”
“The Middle East is getting ready for a large-sale battle which will very likely affect the Russian part of the Caucasus, and this, in its turn, will be reflected on the entire Russia,” Mr. Sivkov added.
The planned deployment by NATO countries of Patriot air defence systems on Turkey’s Syria border will actually amount to the imposition of a no-fly zone for Syrian aircraft in circumvention of the UN Security Council.
The opinion has been voiced by the leading research fellow of the Russian Institute for Oriental Studies, Vladimir Kudelev.
He feels that Patriot systems may drastically influence the fighting between the government troops and the opposition in the north of Syria, since the militants will thus get a 200 kilometre – to 250 kilometre-wide “umbrella” all along the Syrian-Turkish border.
The deployment of Patriots would also undermine the role of the UN Security Council, which, experts feel, would hardly authorize any proposal to impose a no-fly zone for Syrian aircraft.
Plans for the deployment of the Patriot Missile Air-Defence Systems on the Turkish-Syrian border are defensive in character, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a telephone talk with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Earlier Moscow voiced its concern over the militarization of that region.
The above-mentioned telephone talk was held on the initiative of the NATO Secretary General. Moscow says that Rasmussen wanted to clarify the situation with the deployment of the Patriot Missile Air-Defence Systems on the Turkish territory. Ankara filed a relevant request to NATO on November 21st. The information that appeared in the press more than once last month said that Turkey was making preparations for appealing to Brussels. Possibly, acting in this way Ankara wanted to indirectly put pressure on its NATO allies. As you know, till recently NATO was strongly against getting involved in a conflict between Turkey and Syria, a political analyst, Stanislav Tarasov, says.
“They started asking NATO to interfere in the conflict, using the Alliance’s Clause No.5 – the defence of territories. Which means that they wanted to drag NATO into the conflict and thus, to ensure its military presence in the region. NATO said “No”. Then they resorted to Clause No. 4 – the provision of help”.
NATO said that it would consider Turkey’s request without any delay. And Germany’s Foreign Ministry said that Turkey’s request should be met without any delay. Media reports even said that Berlin was ready not only to provide the Patriot Missile Air-Defence Systems to Turkey but also to send 120 Bundeswehr soldiers to the region. Turkey has not only moved its forces to its border with Syria but has also approved a law enabling it to bring its troops into the territory of its neighbor in case of a military threat. The reason for such a large- scale militarization was firing missiles into the Syrian territory, which official Damascus called an accident. Any escalation of this conflict is inadmissible, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on November 23rd. Moscow is well aware of Turkey’s concern as well as of NATO’s arguments but what is important in this case is the potential, not intentions – that is why any militarization on the Turkish-Syrian border may lead to an uncontrollable turn of events, the Russian minister said.
“Any accumulation of arms creates certain risks and urges all those who would like like to resort to the exterior factor of force to finally use it. We believe that this will not happen, and that all outside players will display maximum responsibility in assessing the on-going developments in the region’.
In the diplomatic language this means that the events in Syria may start developing according to the Libyan Scenario, experts say. As you know, the opposition is losing its support, and Assad has a military superiority in Syria now, an Oriental studies expert, Azhdar Kurtov, says.
“The Syrian-Turkish border has a sophisticated mountain relief. Under such conditions, combat aviation is a very effective method of fighting against the rebels. Thus, if Turkey deploys the Patriot Missile Air-Defence Systems on its territory, it will be able to block Syria using its own aviation in the border regions on its own territory, which may change the turn of military developments in the region. When the overthrowing of the Gaddafi regime was under way, a no-fly zone was established over Libya. Something like that may be created near the Turkish-Syrian border”.
Moscow’s fears may also be caused by something that is not directly linked with the crisis in Syria, a Turkish political analyst, Barysh Adybelli, says.
“Moscow believes that in case the Patriot Misslile Air-Defence Systems are deployed in Turkey, they can be used as one of the elements of the early warning system – that is, as one of the elements of the European missile defence system which the USA is ardently defending by now”.
Official Ankara reacted to Moscow’s statements on November 23rd. Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan called Moscow’s reaction to a possible deployment of the Patriot Missile Air-Defence systems erroneous, adding that Russia is trying to present Turkey’s domestic issue as its own problem. Fears remain though.
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen assured Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that plans of the alliance to deploy Patriot air defense missiles in Turkey are of purely defensive.
Mr. Rasmussen and Mr. Lavrov had a phone conversation on Friday initiated by NATO chief.
A statement released by the Russian Foreign Ministry after the talks says that Mr. Lavrov expressed his concerns over NATO`s plans to place Patriot air missiles on the Turkish-Syrian border.
He mentioned Russia’s initiative to help Ankara and Damascus be able to discuss all differences directly amid the increasing military potential in the region in order to avoid incidents.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said that Russia’s reaction to the deployment of the Patriot air defense systems on the border with Syria, which Ankara requested from the NATO on Wednesday, was “erroneous”.
Answering the question about the Moscow’s reaction to Turkey’s request to NATO, the official representative of the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation Alexander Lukashevich noted on Thursday that Russia considered the militarization of the Syrian-Turkish border to be an alarm signal. “I believe Russia’s statement to be very erroneous”, – the Turkish Prime Minister said in this regard to accompanying journalists on his return from Pakistan from the summit of the “Islamic group of eight”.
Russia has expressed its concern over the militarization of the Turkish-Syrian border, the VoR correspondent Polina Chernitsa has cited the Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich who commented on Turkey’s request to deploy Patriot missiles on the Syrian border.
Moscow would like Turkey to contribute to the beginning of the inter-Syria dialogue rather than flex its military muscles, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.
“The militarization of the Syrian-Turkish border is a dismal signal,” Lukashevich said, referring to Turkey’s recent request to deploy Patriot anti-missile systems to protect its border with Syria.
He urged Turkey to interact more with the Syrian opposition so as to help start the inter-Syria dialogue as soon as possible.
Turkey already hosted the complex twice. in 1991 and 2003 during the two Iraqi campaigns but never used it.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4451
The Yarmouk Complex of military plants near Khartoum, whicht was bombed five minutes after midnight Wednesday, Oct. 24, by four fighter-bombers, recently went into manufacturing Iranian ballistic surface-to-surface Shehab missiles under license from Tehran, debkafile’s military and intelligence sources disclose. Western intelligence sources have not revealed what types of Shehab were being turned out in Sudan but they believe the Yarmouk’s output was intended to serve as Tehran’s strategic reserve stock in case Iran’s ballistic arsenal was hit by Israeli bombers.
The Israeli Air Force has a long record of pre-emptive attacks for destroying an enemy’s long-range missiles in the early stages of a conflict. In June 2006, for instance, the IAF destroyed 90 percent of Hizballah’s long-range missiles in the first hours of the Lebanon war.
Videos of the explosions caused in the air raid over Sudan showed large quantities of phosphorus flares in the sky suggesting that a large stockpile was demolished along with the manufacturing equipment.
Western sources did not divulge information about the comings and goings of Iranian missile specialists or whether the Bashir government had given Tehran permission to stage attacks from Sudan against Middle East targets, in return for the allotment of a number of missiles to the Sudanese army. All they would say is that the complex’s structures had been completely leveled by the aerial bombardment and subsequent fire.
Sudan accused Israel of the attack and stated it reserved the right to respond at a time and circumstances of its choosing. Israeli officials declined to comment in answer to questions.
If Indeed Israel was responsible for the bombing raid, it is possible to postulate the following objectives:
1. Its air force flew 1,800-1,900 kilometers to reach the Sudanese arms factory, a distance longer than the 1,600 kilometers to the Iranian underground enrichment site of Fordo. This operation may have been intended to show Tehran that distance presents no obstacles to an Israeli strike on its nuclear program.
2. The IAF has an efficient in-flight refueling capability.
3. The raid would have degraded Iran’s ability to retaliate for a potential Israel or US attack.
If it was conducted by Israel, it would add a third item to the list of backdoor assaults in which Iran and Israel appear to be engaged in the past three months.
On August 17, the power lines to Fordo were sabotaged, interrupting the work of enrichment taking place there and causing some of the advanced centrifuges to catch fire.
On Oct. 6, an Iranian stealth drone was launched from Lebanon into Israeli air space and photographed its most sensitive military sites as well as the Dimona nuclear reactor before Israel brought it down.
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