Category: Gog-Ezekiel 38 & 39

US Warship Seizes 150 Iranian Missiles En Route in Arabian Sea

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz February 14, 2020 , 10:32 am

“You are My war club, [My] weapons of battle; With you I clubbed nations, With you I destroyed kingdoms;” Jeremiah 51:20 (The Israel Bible™)

The U.S. Navy captured illegal Iranian-made weapons on Sunday, including 150 anti-tank missiles, three Iranian surface-to-air missiles, Iranian thermal scopes, and Iranian parts for unmanned systems, among other advanced parts and munitions on a small traditional sailing vessel in the Arabian Sea, announced U.S. Central Command on Thursday.

The weapons seized on Sunday included 150 “Dehlavieh” anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), which are Iranian-manufactured copies of Russian Kornet ATGMs. U.S. Central Command said the small boat was boarded in accordance with international law while the USS Normandy was conducting maritime security operations.

The weapon systems and parts interdicted by the crew of the Normandy are similar to weapons seized by the guided-missile destroyer Sherman in Nov. 2019 that were en route to Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Under a United Nations resolution, Tehran is prohibited from supplying, selling or transferring weapons outside the country unless approved by the Security Council. A separate UN resolution on Yemen bans the supply of weapons to Houthi leaders.

CENTCOM said the operation was ongoing.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10402

Turkey Deploys Hundreds Of Tanks, APCs And Commandos To Idlib; Attacks Syrian Army

by Tyler Durden

Mon, 02/10/2020 – 17:05

With the geopolitical situation now firmly on the backburner, we remind readers that the last time we checked into the flurry of recent events in Syria over the weekend, we found that the Syrian Army was making major gains inside Idlib in a military offensive condemned by Turkey and the United States, capturing the key town of Saraqib from al-Qaeda linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Amid the military advance, in the latest embarrassment to the US State Department, the Syrian and Russian governments said they’ve recovered proof of US support for the anti-Assad al-Qaeda insurgent terrorists, publishing photographs of crates of weapons and supplies to state-run SANA.

In any case, the growing feud between Russia and Turkey over control of Syria last remaining rebel holdout in Idlib province escalated overnight, and as Bloomberg reports, Turkey sent hundreds of tanks, armored personnel carriers and commandos to the Syrian province of Idlib as preparations continue for a likely attempt to break the siege of some of its outposts by Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

The massive buildup over the weekend included the deployment of howitzers, multiple-rocket launchers, ambulances and trucks loaded with munitions, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency.

Meanwhile, Turkey resumed talks with a Russian delegation in Ankara on Monday after failure to reach an agreement on Idlib on Saturday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, adding that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia’s Vladimir Putin may meet if no deal can be reached

Turkey dramatically reinforced its forces across the border since Syrian troops killed five Turkish soldiers and a civilian in Idlib on Feb. 3 as they closed in on the country’s last major rebel holdout. 

“Five of our troops were killed and five others were injured in the shelling by the Syrian regime,” the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Monday, adding that “return fire was opened.”

It wasn’t the first shelling incident between Turkish and Syrian forces in Idlib. A week ago, six Turkish troops were killed by Syrian artillery fire in an incident that Russia said was a result of miscommunication. The casualties could have been avoided if Ankara properly notified Damascus that it was moving troops in a border area where Damascus was holding an anti-terrorist operation at the time, Moscow said.

Turkey’s Daily Sabah reported that in response to the alleged death of Turkish soldiers, 115 regime targets have been struck, 101 regime soldiers have been neutralized (i.e. killed), and 3 tanks and 2 mortars have been destroyed, as the conflict is rapidly devolving into an all out war between Syria and Turkey.

Turkey also called on Moscow to put pressure on Damascus to halt its offensive in Idlib. Meanwhile, Syria’s government has been using Russian air support to vanquish onetime al-Qaeda affiliates and Turkey-backed rebels in the province.

Erdogan last week threatened to use force to break the siege of military outposts in Idlib unless Syrian forces withdraw before the end of February. At least three of 12 Turkish outposts were confirmed to be cut off by Syrian forces in the area.

Feigning humanitarian concern, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told Hurriuet newspaper that Turkey’s main goal was “to prevent a refugee exodus and humanitarian drama” adding that “we’re trying to reach a cease-fire and stop the bloodshed.” However, he then made it quickly clear that the fight over northern Syria is all about strategic positioning, noting that if the violation of the Sochi and Astana agreements, which were signed by Turkey, Russia and Iran to curtail fighting in northern Syria, “continued, then we have plans B and C,” Akar said. “We keep telling them not to force us” to implement those plans.

Ankara was expected to use its influence on anti-government militants to prevent fighting with Damascus troops in order to create the basis for a peaceful resolution. However, jihadist groups in Idlib continue hostile activities, with Russia saying there were several thousand attacks in the last two months alone, in which hundreds of Syrian troops and civilians died.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10396

On The Day That Qassem Soleimani Was Killed Ayatollah Khamenei Prayed To Imam Mahdi, The Islamic Antichrist, Who They Believe Is Almost Here

Who is Imam Mahdi and why was Khamenei congratulating him on the day of Soleimani’s death? In short, he is Islam’s messiah, the 12th of 12 Imams who are successors to Mohammed. Said to have been born in 879 CE, the Imam Mahdi is believed by Shi’a Muslims to still be alive, but hidden from mankind in “occultation” until a time of such upheaval on the earth that only his reappearance will rescue mankind and, in fact, usher in an age of global peace; Islamic peace, that is; a kind of peace in which all mankind is living in submission to the Allah of the Koran.

by Geoffrey Grider February 1, 2020

Why did Ayatollah Khamenei congratulate Imam Mahdi on the day of Soleimani’s death? Because the real Prince of Persia is undeterred. He is still coming, and Iran will do anything to pave his way.

If you’re a Bible believer, this story today from the Jerusalem Post is a fascinating one, absolutely saturated with prophetic meaning of what is soon to come in the days after the Church is removed in the Pretribulation Rapture. While we as born again believers in Jesus Christ look for our Blessed Hope of being caught up in the clouds as our apostle Paul teaches us, Iran is also waiting for their savior as well, someone known to Muslims as Imam Mahdi. He is known to you and I as Antichrist.

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 (KJB)

The Iranian Revolution that took place in 1979 was designed to prepare Iran and the Middle East for the appearance of Imam Mahdi, the Islamic Antichrist. Why is Iran in 2020 a nation in a constant state of war, upheaval and chaos? Because they are not looking to be a law-abiding member of the United Nations, they are waiting for Imam Mahdi to come and lead the world into an Islamic caliphate. Iran leaders live in constant anticipation the arrival of the Mahdi just as you and I live in constant anticipation of meeting Jesus in the clouds. And guess what? We are both about to receive the desires of our hearts.

Now you know why Pope Francis signed a peace covenant with Islam last year, why they are building the Chrislam One World Religion headquarters in Abu Dhabi, he is preparing the Catholic Church to receive not Jesus Christ, but Imam Mahdi. All the pieces fit perfectly together as prophecy continues to unfold in glorious, end times harmony. Please enjoy this timely and fascinating article from the Jerusalem Post. The article is also highly ironic because when Imam Mahdi does appear, the Jews for the first three and a half years of the time of Jacob’s trouble will think he is their Messiah and follow him. Pray for the Jewish people.

Are you ready for what comes next?

The fall of Qassem Soleimani and the Mahdi Doctrine

FROM THE JERUSALEM POST: When he left Damascus for Baghdad late Thursday evening January 2, Qassem Soleimani was flying high. As the military leader, chief strategist and charismatic face of what he knew to be the world’s emerging and greatest empire, he had it all: prestige, power, presence.

Not only did he command that rising empire’s independent military force, he was nothing less than the voice of Allah to leaders in nations soon to be absorbed: Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon; Yemen and the Sinai. Although no one ever said so in quite these terms, he was, in fact, a rising prince of Persia. And the arms at his disposal! In addition to an immeasurable arsenal of conventional weapons, there was a growing repository of guided missiles; a world-class brigade of ruthless cyber geeks; even submarines; and soon, very soon, nuclear warheads.

From the north and the south of the world’s most despicable usurper, if not so much to its east and to its west, Soleimani was slowly squeezing the Zionist entity, needling its psyche (and military focus) by jihadists within its pretentious boundaries, waiting for the perfect moment – when it was distracted – to strike at its heart from the north with a massive arsenal of at least 100,000 rockets. When the time came, rockets without sophisticated technology would draw the defensive shield of the Zionists’ interceptors. That shield would stop a lot of them, but not all. Not all.

Then, at just the right time, hi-tech guided missiles would be launched, programmed to hit key military sites and, best of all, high-density population centers. Maybe, just maybe, inshallah, one of those missiles would carry a nuclear warhead. As Zionists died in a mushroom cloud of agony, all hell would break out throughout the region, even the world. It would be a tragic upheaval but a necessary evil because then, as prophesied, the long awaited savior of the world would emerge from centuries of withdrawal. The Imam Mahdi would return, establishing a worldwide caliphate of perfect peace; Islamic peace, of course.

On the evening of the second day of what the West calls its New Year, Soleimani was fresh from meeting in Beirut, Lebanon, with one of his nation’s most important vassals, Hassan Nasrallah, the uncontested head of the pretentious “party of Allah,” Hezbollah. In that encounter, duly photographed, Soleimani had accepted, once again, the “General Secretary’s” obsequious hospitality. It was likely gratifying to the Islamic Republic’s major general of Tehran’s notably redundant Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the IRGC.

The flight from Damascus was only one hour and five minutes, but it had been delayed. The Middle East Eye reports that his flight landed at 12:32 a.m. Baghdad time. Anticipating a comfortable weekend inside Baghdad’s Green Zone, Soleimani was met by the head of the Iraqi paramilitary force, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, said to be “a longstanding ally and a close friend.”

Just over an hour later, less than two hours into the third day of January, Soleimani, Muhandis and their entourage left Baghdad International Airport in two vehicles, a Hyundai Starex minivan and a Toyota Avalon four-door sedan. As they reached the airport’s outer access road, both vehicles were almost evaporated by missiles fired by an American Reaper drone, a large remote controlled aircraft regarded by the US military as a “hunter killer.” Death was instantaneous for all inside both cars. Remains were so badly shredded, Soleimani’s death was confirmed by a still intact hand bearing his still intact silver ring embedded with a large oval carnelian stone.

To Western eyes, events in Iran in the aftermath of Soleimani’s execution tend to look like a low-budget circus with all its performances gone bad.

“Let’s put all of this together,” opines YouTube commentator David Wood. “On January 3, Major-General Soleimani was killed in a drone strike. On January 7, 56 Iranians were killed and more than 200 more were injured in a stampede at Soleimani’s funeral. On January 8, Iranian leaders responded to the killing of Soleimani with a missile attack on two Iraqi bases where US soldiers were housed, but… no one was killed. Also on January 8, the Iranian military shot down a Ukranian passenger plane as it took off from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport, killing 176 people. On January 11, after three days of denying it had shot down the plane … Iran admitted it had shot down the passenger plane.

“So, in response to the US government killing one man, Iranians killed, by a stampede and surface-to-air missile attack, 138 Iranians and 94 others – none of them Americans. I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to think that Iranians might not be the best at war. [Mimicking Iranian leaders,] ‘Ah! They

[the US]

killed a general. Let’s start trampling each other to death in the streets and shooting down random planes.’

“I’m making fun of them,” says Wood, “because if the Iranian establishment is this incompetent, there’s hope for the protesters who want to overthrow the establishment. The days of the ayatollahs may be numbered.”

Iranian leaders as toothless buffoons is a gratifying narrative, but it is also wrong. If anything, the Islamic Republic is more dangerous than ever. As evidenced by Soleimani’s accomplishments in building a regional network of proxy terrorists, by the nation’s weapons-grade nuclear fuel technology, by hi-tech guided missile systems and a world-class cyber warfare unit, Iran retains all of these things, losing none of them with Soleimani’s death.

Wounded by Soleimani’s execution and US President Donald Trump’s economic sanctions, the threat Iran poses to the Middle East and the world is not lessened, it is magnified. Indeed, notes Israeli journalist and geopolitical analyst Jonathan Spyer, it “can be expected to do all in their power to preserve the regime by all possible means.”

Iran Is Waiting For Imam Mahdi, The Islamic Antichrist

Why? Three main reasons: the Mahdi and necessary upheaval; the Mahdi and Iran as the facilitator for his reappearance; the Mahdi and Tehran’s visceral hatred of Israel. On the day Soleimani was killed, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, tweeted, “We congratulate Imam Mahdi

[aj]

and Soleimani’s pure soul and condole the Iranian nation on this great martyrdom.”

Who is Imam Mahdi and why was Khamenei congratulating him on the day of Soleimani’s death?

In short, he is Islam’s messiah, the 12th of 12 Imams who are successors to Mohammed. Said to have been born in 879 CE, the Imam Mahdi is believed by Shi’a Muslims to still be alive, but hidden from mankind in “occultation” until a time of such upheaval on the earth that only his reappearance will rescue mankind and, in fact, usher in an age of global peace; Islamic peace, that is; a kind of peace in which all mankind is living in submission to the Allah of the Koran.

Crazy to Western ears, this messianic creed is the raison d’être for the Islamic Republic of Iran according to its founders and leaders. It is also the basis of Tehran’s foreign and military policies; and it is impossible to overemphasize the Iran regime’s visceral commitment to it. The Imam Mahdi is invoked in every public gathering, both civil and military; he is the singular inspiration for every policy, every tactic, every mission; indeed, he is nothing less than the regime’s reason for its existence and, as such, its singular and unwavering motivation for the future.
This reality does not bode well for those who see recent stumbles as indicative of an imminent fall of the mullahs in Tehran.

Khamenei’s official website is full of teachings about Imam Mahdi, including one that states the Supreme Leader’s conviction that his reappearance is very near. “Reappearance of Imam Mahdi [aj] is near, because minds are ready,” Khamenei writes. The “aj” in parenthesis is shorthand for, “May Allah hasten his appearance.”

“The mind of humankind is ready to understand, to learn, and to know, undoubtedly, that a lofty human will come to save them from the burden of oppression and tyranny,” Khamenei explains. “The Iranian nation, enjoys a great privilege today: the atmosphere of the country is an atmosphere of Imam Mahdi

[aj]

,” he continues, adding that “many of our great scholars have personally met with this beloved Imam of hearts of the admirers during his occultation; many have made a pledge to him in person; many have heard from him some heartwarming words; many have been caressed by him and many others have received his kindness, care, and love.”

How is this unwrapped in terms of Iran’s foreign and military policies today?

Global upheaval is a prerequisite for the Mahdi’s reappearance. This means that inasmuch as Iran stirs up a global hornet’s nest, it advances the Mahdi’s return, a return that is imminent. The regime’s primary agenda is to strategically provoke the world to chaos; this is how it wins. Chaos brings the Mahdi who brings global peace. Call it “The Mahdi Doctrine.”

The Iranian regime believes it has created an “atmosphere” that embodies the spirit of the Mahdi. Its religious, military and civil leaders have had personal encounters with him. In essence, then, today’s Iran is the womb from which the Mahdi will be reborn. Accordingly, the regime will go to any lengths to preserve itself. Accordingly, we should expect internal rebellion to be ruthlessly squashed. Protesters, especially organizers, will disappear. All external and internal opposition to the regime will be demonized.

Israel must be destroyed. Tehran’s unrelenting objective is resurrection of the ancient Persian empire in the form of an Islamic caliphate. The primary impediment to that objective is Israel, the “Zionist Entity,” the very embodiment of evil in the world today. Notably, Khamenei’s Twitter feed is full of vitriol about Israel.

“The Zionist regime is the epitome of evil,” he tweeted on Valentine’s Day in 2016. It is a “racist, usurping, lying, vicious, apartheid regime,” he added on February 5, 2019.
What then must be done? “Once people in the West realize their problems stem from Zionist domination over governments, great social movements will give birth to a new world,” he explained on 2 March 2015. Accordingly, the “barbaric, wolflike and infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime but to be annihilated.”

Translation: When the world finishes the job that Hitler started, the Mahdi will come, bringing heaven on earth; Islamic heaven, that is. Wounded by economic sanctions, embarrassed by internal protesters, Iran is more dangerous today than ever.

Why did Khamenei congratulate Imam Mahdi on the day of Soleimani’s death? Because the real Prince of Persia is undeterred. He is still coming, and Iran will do anything to pave his way.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10374

Turkey deploys 2,000 troops to Libya to Reestablish Muslim Caliphate with Jerusalem as Capital

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz January 21, 2020 , 2:01 pm

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 Bible™)

A new military incursion into Libya is part of a long-awaited dream by Turkish President Erdogan to return the Ottoman Caliphate, a global Islamic rule that subjugated Jews and Christians for six centuries.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Monday that Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries have begun arriving in Libya. Approximately 2,400 troops are already in Tripoli while another 1,700 are currently undergoing training in Turkey. Activists informed the SOHR that Turkey intends to send a total of 6,000 troops to Libya. 

Turkey is backing the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) in its fight against the eastern-based Libyan National Army led by General Khalifa Haftar and backed by Russia. The GNA is supported by Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The GNA also receives air support from the United Arab Emirates.

Until now, the role of the Turkish military has been limited to 35 military personnel involved solely in training and advisory roles. The new Syrian troops are mercenaries, hired from rebel groups opposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Turkish government will pay each soldier a monthly stipend of $2,000, far more than the $50 they earned to fight back home in Syria. The Syrian troops are also fighting against the Kurds in Libya.

Turkish intervention is a manifestation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s aspiration to establish himself as the leader of a global Islamic nation. The SOHR reported that a commander of the Turkish-backed Syrian troops en route to Libya announced as their battle cry, “We will present our souls for the Ottoman Caliphate.”

The Ottoman Caliphate, known in the West as the Ottoman or Turkish Empire, was founded in the 13th Century and eventually controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa. This control lasted for several hundred years and only truly ended after WWI when the empire was partitioned by the Allied Powers and the 101st and final Caliph, Sultan Abdulmecid II, was deposed and expelled.

It should be noted that after his expulsion from Turkey, Sultan Abdulmecid II was in close correspondence with the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini, the founder of Palestinian nationalism who later became a close friend of Adolf Hitler and an advocate of the Holocaust.

The Ottoman Empire was a Sunni Caliphate which exerted a hegemonic power of Muslim control over the non-Muslim populations, most notably a Christian/Catholic majority. In accordance with the Muslim dhimmi system, Christians were guaranteed limited freedoms, such as the right to worship. They were forbidden to carry weapons or ride on horseback, their houses could not overlook those of Muslims, in addition to various other legal limitations. Many Christians and Jews converted in order to secure full status in society.

Before his election, Turkish political analysts feared that candidate Erdogan’s rise to power was fueled by his aspirations and those of his supporters to return Turkey to its former glory at the head of the Muslim world. His term in office confirmed these fears. In the wake of a failed attempt at a coup by a faction in the army in 2016, Erdogan mobilized the military against the populace and jailed hundreds of dissidents. 

But Erdogan’s Caliphate aspirations extend beyond the borders of Turkey and target Israel and, most specifically, Jerusalem. At a summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul last year, Erdogan called on all of the 57 Muslim member nations to join together against Israel to avenge the deaths of Palestinians killed while charging the southern border with Gaza.

In 2015, Erdogan gave a speech commemorating 562 years since the Turks captured Constantinople (now known as Istanbul) from European Christians in which he called for the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem. 

“Conquest is Mecca, conquest is Saladin, it’s to hoist the Islamic flag over Jerusalem again; conquest is the heritage of Mehmed II and conquest means forcing Turkey back on its feet,” Erdogan said in the speech in Istanbul.

Erdogan’s support of the Palestinians was returned in kind. In a Muslim gathering on the Temple Mount earlier this month commemorating the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 CE,  Nidhal “Abu Ibrahim” Siam, a Palestinian preacher, addressed a crowd of approximately 7,000. 

As reported by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Siam told the crowd that three prophecies would soon be fulfilled: a rightly-guided caliphate will be established, that Jerusalem will be liberated and established as its capital and that Islam “will throw its neighbors to the ground” thereby achieving world domination.

The gathering was organized by Hizb ut-Tahrir, an international, pan-Islamist political organization dedicated to establishing a global caliphate. Founded in Jerusalem in 1953, the organization is banned in many countries.

Erdogan has also been suspected of aiding Hamas, allowing the terrorist organization to operate out of Turkey. The terrorist group is also reportedly in contact with the Turkish intelligence agency.

The key to the Turkish incursion into Libya and the hidden motivation is actually quite straightforward. Two months ago, Turkey signed a maritime borders deal that gave Turkey a claim to parts of the eastern Mediterranean. In addition to its strategic military importance, the eastern Mediterranean has huge natural gas deposits. Turkey’s entrance into the eastern Mediterranean puts it into close proximity with Israel and its offshore natural gas facilities.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University, noted that Erdogan’s interest in Libya is really quite simple.

“The whole thing is about natural gas,” Dr. Kedar said. “The agreement between Turkey and Libya bypassed Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Egypt. They related to the entire Mediterranean and the enormous natural gas deposits as if they belonged only to Libya and Turkey.”

“This could bring Israel into direct conflict with Turkey but since Israel is supplying vital gas to Europe, this also brings Turkey into conflict with Europe.”

“In order to make sure that the Libyan government stays and Turkey’s gas interests in the Mediterranean stay secure, Turkey is ramping up the hostilities in Libya in favor of the GNA.”

Dr. Kedar emphasized that Turkey’s interest in Libyan hostilities is, in essence, but not exclusively, financially motivated.

“But religion is big business,” he added. “Establishing a caliphate is certainly a big part of Erdogan’s agenda but to do that, he needs money and power. Taking over the gas in the Mediterranean will give him that.”

This aspect of the Libyan conflict concerning natural gas in the Mediterranean is of grave concern to international leaders, including U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Erdogan, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, all of whom gathered in Berlin on Sunday to discuss the issue. Also in attendance were UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres along with senior representatives of the European Union, the African Union, and the Arab League.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10348

Israel: Iran to Go Full Nuclear by December

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz January 15, 2020 , 1:53 pm

” When the righteous become great the people rejoice, But when the wicked dominate the people groan.” Proverbs 29:2 (The Israel Bible™)

IDF intelligence reported that Iran will have enough uranium for a nuclear warhead by the end of year but President Trump is leading a multinational effort to prevent this from happening.

An article published in Haaretz on Tuesday reported that Israeli military intelligence estimated that by the end of the calendar year,  Iran will have 40 kilograms of 90% enriched uranium; enough needed to produce a single nuclear bomb. But the same IDF report notes that Iran is still two years away from developing a missile capable of delivering a nuclear payload. 

Last week, President Trump challenged this timeline when, in the midst of confrontations with Iran, he stated simply, “As long as I am President of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.” The president criticized the Iran deal set in place by his predecessor as enabling, rather than curtailing, Iran’s nuclear aspirations and its “destructive and destabilizing behavior in the Middle East and beyond.”

President Trump has been a maverick, breaking from the pack of world leaders in rejecting the Iran deal. Former President Barack Obama implemented the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal, in 2015. The agreement lifted long-standing economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for a shift in Iran’s nuclear program, delaying its production of a nuclear weapon for ten years. 

Known as the P5+1, it included the participation of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany together with the European Union. The agreement was criticized for containing inadequate measures for verifying Iranian compliance. The JCPOA required Iran to cease its program for intercontinental ballistic missiles which Iran refused to do, claiming its ICBMs were for defensive purposes. 

In May 2018, President Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA. 13 months later, Iran announced its uranium had exceeded limits set by the agreement.

Ten days ago, in the aftermath of the Baghdad Airport Airstrike that targeted and killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, Iran declared that it would no longer abide by the limitations of the deal.

The bond between the U.S. and Israel was highlighted on Tuesday when Prime Minister Netanyahu echoed Trump’s vow.

“We know exactly what is happening with the Iranian nuclear program. Iran thinks it can achieve nuclear weapons. I reiterate: Israel will not allow Iran to achieve nuclear weapons. I also call on all Western countries to impose snapback sanctions at the UN now.”

Trump had another supporter in newly elected British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“From the American perspective, it’s a flawed deal… plus it was negotiated by President Obama,” the Johnson said to the press on Tuesday. “Let’s replace it with the Trump deal. That’s what we need to see. President Trump is a great dealmaker by his own account, and by many others. Let’s work together to replace the JCPOA and get the Trump deal instead.”

In fact, the JCPOA does seem to be crumbling. The foreign ministers of the U.K., France, and Germany announced Tuesday that they are lodging a formal complaint that Iran is not meeting its commitments.

“Our three countries are not joining a campaign to implement maximum pressure against Iran,” the diplomats explained in a joint statement released Tuesday, explaining that their hope was to retain the agreement. “Our hope is to bring Iran back into full compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10330

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

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.

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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.

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