Saudi’s Prince Muhammad Bin Salman is provoking Iran again. I will explain how the provocations will ultimately lead to Armageddon, not just the war between the Kings of the North and South – Iran and Saudi Arabia.
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The new face of Saudi Arabia made his Washington D.C. debut this week, and you better take a good look because, at 32-years old, he will very likely be with us for a while.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, nicknamed MBS, has rapidly consolidated power within the kingdom. Get used to him. He’s the guy that will go head to head with Iran one day – and lose.
Let’s understand the character of the new King of Saudi Arabia. MBS is ruthless and he’s a man who mistakes his ruthlessness for power, a big mistake when it comes to taking on Iran.
Some of his ruthlessness became evident when, last year, he knocked out his rivals to the throne by bringing corruption charges against many of them. Some went to jail. Some have died in jail. MBS’s action is now dubbed the “2017 Saudi Arabian purge”.
The most recent man to die in Saudi Arabian custody was Maj Gen Ali al-Qahtani, an officer in the Saudi National Guard. His body showed signs of abuse including his neck that appeared to be twisted and his body was badly swollen.
But this kind of abuse is not enough for MBS. This past week, he called for the creation of new agencies that are intended to “increase effectiveness” and accelerate the process of combating corruption. Given the tortures happening to those who were arrested last November, this is probably code speak for increased torture methods – methods that simply say, “don’t mess with me”.
Aside from Maj Gen Qahtani, the Middle East Eye also reports that more than a dozen prisoners were abused while they were being held, and that many of the assets of the 381 princes, ministers and tycoons have yet to be seized. It may be that they will all die in prison – tortured to death – so that MBS can get control of all their fortunes.
Middle East Eye has previously reported that several of the prisoners – including Prince Miteb bin Abdullah and five other princes, and businessman Amr al-Dabbagh – were tortured while in custody.
The NYT report on Monday puts the figure to at least 17 people who were hospitalized for physical abuse.
Saudi Arabia’s attorney general said in January that more than $106bn was seized from the citizens arrested in the purge. An MEE investigation last month showed that basic facts about what had been seized and how that tallied with the $106bn figure remained unclear. In other words, the numbers don’t gel.
The government has taken charge of the Saudi Binladen Group construction company while chairman Bakr Binladen remains in custody, according to the NY Times.
The state has also reportedly taken “large sums” and real estate from Mohammed al-Tobaishi, former head of royal court protocol; Fawaz Alhokair, a businessman; Khalid al-Tuwaijery, former chief of the royal court; Adel Fakieh, former economic minister; and Dabbagh, a businessman who once oversaw the country’s foreign investment authority.
We are now dealing with a much more forward-leaning Saudi Arabia that is also seeking to modernize. The recent corruption purge took on a hint of irony, when it was revealed recently that MBS himself has some extravagant tastes that include a palace in Versailles, France, and the purchase of the most expensive art work in history, Da Vinci’s depiction of Jesus, for $450 million, among other goodies.
It appears that MBS has secured his position now that his rivals have been vanquished, so he is moving on to his next target: Iran.
The topic of Iran is a key agenda item for his meeting with President Trump this week. Trump met a couple of weeks ago with Netanyahu. One of the topics of discussion was what to do about Iran. Iran appears to be the enemy that the West, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, are most concerned about.
Most people assume that Israel and Saudi Arabia see Iran the same way and that they have the same concerns about Iran. Quoting this CNBC article, “Both Israel and Saudi Arabia see Iran as a grave threat, to such a degree that the two countries, once fierce enemies, are now sharing intelligence and cooperating in other ways. Netanyahu has alluded to this budding friendship by noting that Israel “has friends in the Middle East.””
But there is something the media, the pundits and perhaps even the politicians either don’t know, don’t understand, or if they do know and understand, they don’t want you to know, which is that Israel and Saudi Arabia have very different reasons for viewing Iran as their enemy.
Israel understands that the Amalekites within the ancient Persian Empire have wanted to annihilate the Jews for over 2500 years. Haman from the account of Purim was an Amalekite. He was not the only Amalekite in Persia. Today, Iran is the rising ancient empire of Persia and the probably the greatest concentration of Amalekites in the end of days.
Let’s take a little step back to remember who the Amalekites are in scripture. Amalek is the grandson of Esau, Jacob’s twin brother, who promised to annihilate Jacob one day. The Great Tribulation is Esau’s last attempt to accomplish this.
Esau had one particular descendant who picked up Esau’s hated of Jacob and Jacob’s descendants in the most vehement way. That is Amalek, Esau’s grandson.
His hatred for the Israelites was shown during the Exodus when they were at their weakest because of their lack of water. Amalek took the shameful route of attacking Israel during this time. He did os brazenly, not caring that it was a point of shame. He simply wanted to kill all the Hebrews.
In the ancient near east, it was considered shameful and an act of cowardice to attack a weak enemy. Even today, Arabs have a cultural value of helping a weak enemy. I have been told by Arabs that if a person’s enemy is found in a weak condition, it is the person’s duty to bring him into the home, nurse him back to health, protect him while he is in the home and then let him go in good condition to fight another day. This is part of the honor and shame culture of the Middle East to this day.
But Amalek’s hatred toward Israel is so vehement that they shamefully attacked Israel when Israel was weak. This is why YHVH instructs His people to go to war and slay Amalek in every generation.
Deu 25:17 “Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the road while you were coming out of Egypt,
Deu 25:18 how when you were very tired and weary, they lay in wait for you on the road and eliminated everyone who was lagging behind. They had no fear of God.
Deu 25:19 Therefore, when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your enemies who surround you in the land that he is about to give you to possess as an inheritance, you must completely erase the memory of the Amalekites from under heaven. Don’t forget!”
Saul lost his Kingdom because he didn’t finish off the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15).
At the end of days, Amalek is Iran – ancient Persia. It will take Yeshua to finally put an end to them. They have been allowed to live, because of King Saul, and thus have been a danger to Israel ever since.
The ancient Persian empire is rising from its ashes. Iran has already formed a coalition of nations called the 4+1 Coalition which includes Iraq (even though the US government and media say Iraq is still a US ally. It is not. Iraq is fully in Iran’s pocket), Syria (Bashar Al-Assad is only a figurehead ruler in Syria now. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is calling the shots there) and Hezbollah. Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah – 4+1 coalition – is backed by Russia. Russia is the “+1”.
Other alliances have been made by Iran besides these. They include Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. All these minus Yemen were a part of the ancient Persian empire at its height.
But note on this map that, to date, only part of the ancient Persian Empire is resurrected. Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia are yet to be brought under Persian – or Iranian – control. So, Israel understands the danger it is in from Iran since Israel was once occupied by Persia.
The situation for Saudi Arabia is different, though. Look at the map. The area which in modern times is called Saudi Arabia was never a part of the ancient Persian Empire. So, for Saudi Arabia, Iran’s expansion is not a matter of reconstituting its former territory. For Saudi Arabia, it is a matter of hegemony – who will control the next, and currently rising, Islamic Caliphate.
There are two very different reasons for Israel and Saudi Arabia to deal with Iran. Israel’s reason is defensive, while Saudi Arabia’s if offensive. And offensive it became again this week.
MBS’s Washington visit has caused a high-production video showing Saudi Arabia invading Iran to resurface. The high tech military weapons shown are some that Saudi Arabia doesn’t even own. This, by itself, should give people pause because it may mean that MBS is confident nations like the US and Israel’s weapons will be involved. In fact, MBS is in Washington this week talking with President Trump.
Will he be asking Trump to become involved in an Iran invasion?
The recent video, first published on Dec 14, 2017, which appeared on Youtube, clearly states MBS’s goal. These are the words at the start of the video. You can watch the video within this article, too.
“To rid the Qibla of the Muslims is a main target for the Iranian regime. We will not wait until the fight is in Saudi Arabia. We will bring the fight to Iran”.
If you have been listening to The Jerusalem Report on Beast Watch News for any length of time, you have heard me say that Iran will sweep through Israel and Jordan on its way to Saudi Arabia in order to conquer Mecca and Medina. This is exactly what MBS is stating in this video as justification for provoking Iran.
Just before embarking on his Washington visit, MBS compared Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei to Adolf Hitler and he said the Iran nuclear deal is a “flawed agreement”. This echoes President Trump’s position.
In fact, President Trump’s firing of Tillerson and hiring of Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State is expected to cause the termination of the Iran nuclear deal which had been favored by former Secretary of State Tillerson. Tillerson was fired simply over his approval of the nuclear deal that Trump wants to rescind.
MBS is being championed, in some circles, as standing against radical Islam, but he is also standing as Sunni Muslin against Islam’s other faction, the Shia branch, which Iranians, mostly, adhere to, and there is nothing new about that.
There has been a proxy war raging between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Yemen and Syria. The Saudis recently trotted out an unexploded rocket that was launched from Yemen into the kingdom that bore Iranian markings. Saudi air sorties regularly bomb Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The situation vis-à-vis Iran is escalating. A second “coalition of the willing,” the term used to describe allies in the second U.S. war with Iraq, may be forming to take on Iran more directly, and the roster looks to include Saudi Arabia, U.A.E, Israel, and the United States. Look for triparty agreement on Iran among the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and U.A.E. to be announced this week, as a prelude to a broader grouping.
Saudi Arabia used to be a quiet giant in the Middle East, more than happy to be the world’s largest source of oil, minting petrodollars and spreading the wealth, internally, to keep the powers that be in charge and the populace placated.
MBS is making it clear that is no longer the case. Get ready to hear Saudi Arabia roar, with all that brings with it.
Saudi Arabia will look to use its power and influence to remake the Middle East in its image. The kingdom will not sit idly by and allow Iran to gain de facto control of Iraq, which has parliamentarian elections in May. Iran is actively trying to engineer the return of former Prime Minister Maliki.
Saudi Arabia is trying to bully Iran out of its agenda to control the coming Islamic Caliphate, putting them on a collision course that will result in direct hostilities, and Saudi Arabia has partners willing to assist it with such a fight, in that coalition of the willing.
TURKEY GETTING INVOLVED
The escalation between the Kings of the North and South have Turkey in upgrade mode.
Turkey’s semi-official newspaper, Yeni Şafak, called for urgent action to form a 57-nation “Army of Islam” to besiege and attack Israel. This is an appeal to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation founded in 1969. This OIC includes Iran and the coalition nations currently allied with Iran.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s wink and nod at the newspaper’s call for action possibly signals Turkey’s intent to refocus the Arab and Persian Islamic world toward Israel and away from each other, a sort of wrong-headed attempt at diplomacy through a mutual cause.
It may also signal the possible intent to create the largest military force on the planet – one nearly as large as the total population of the Jewish state.
The article also advocates establishing joint bases for the army’s ground, air and naval forces that will arrive from all over the Muslim world to besiege Israel, while noting that Pakistan, as the only nuclear country, has “a special status” among the OIC countries. An interactive map provides information on military forces stationed in various locations and the role they can play in the potential joint Muslim attack on Israel.
The report gave intelligence information about the size and location of Israeli forces, etc. One would expect such bluster from Erdogan. The report further says, “Turkey will serve as an important headquarters[read: Caliphate] during the operation, due to its land, air and naval infrastructures,” the report continued. “The Turkish army, which carried out ‘Operation Euphrates Shield’ [in Syria in 2017] with great success, is now ranked the world’s seventh strongest army, and the second largest army among the NATO powers. Turkey has approximately 4,000 tanks and 1,000 war planes and other aircraft. Its navy made significant progress during the last years, with 194 vessels at its disposal.”
The report also noted that Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein described President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as a blow to Muslims, and added: “The Malaysian armed forces are ready to fulfill their duty regarding Jerusalem.”
I have explained that the final King of the North war has two phases. The first one is Shi’ite Iran conquering their Sunni enemies and Israel. Iran will take Mecca and Medina – just what MBS is trying to prevent by going on the offensive.
Phase 2 of this coming war has to do with Turkey forming a Sunni army to retake the newly established Caliphate from Iran. Turkey’s army will include the Arab nations on the eastern edge of the Middle East region.
Dan 11:44 …reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he’ll march out in great anger, intending to destroy and to desolate many.
To the east of Tehran lies the Arab nations that Iran will not have conquered as this King sweeps south across Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia.
To his north – north of the 4+1 Coalition, not directly north of Tehran – lies Turkey. We’re talking about general directions here – easterly, northerly.
Turkey has been on the move to conquer Greece, too. Remember that Greece was the empire that conquered Persia. It makes sense, then, that Turkey wants to mobilize against Greece to prevent a possible repeat of the ancient past should Turkey regain the Caliphate. Greece’s military is not capable of such a move, but Greece, along with certain allies, might have a chance at putting a Sunni Caliphate in the place of the coming Shi’ite one.
The possibility of this will hit Iran square in the face once Turkey begins making its move against Tehran. This will trigger Russia, the only matching military power that can successfully defeat end times Babylon, America, going forth to conquer in the authority of the newly arisen ancient Persian empire.
Along with Russia will be China and North Korea.
Phase 2 will momentarily take Iran’s attention off of Israel just long enough for YHVH’s people, who will have been scattered out of the Babylon (America) to return to the Mountains of the West Bank, including Mount Carmel, Gilead and Bashan.
Jer 50:19 I’ll bring Israel back to his pasture. He will graze on Carmel, on Bashan, on Mt. Ephraim, and on Gilead—his hunger will be satisfied.
This will happen after the destruction of Babylon, but before the end of the Great Tribulation.
After phase 2 is completed, Daniel 11:45 says the King of the North will set up his “palace”, or government from the Mountain, Temple Mount (yes, the Edomites still know where God’s Temple is supposed to be even if some anti-Semitic Hebrews in Christianity, Messianic Judaism and Hebrew Roots do not).
Dan 11:45 When he pitches his royal pavilions between the seas facing the mountain of holy Glory, he’ll come to his end, and no one will help him.
Ephraimites and Jews will begin to re-occupy Israel while Iran and Russia are busy militarily forcing the Sunnis – worldwide – to cooperate with the new Shi’ite Caliphate. Toward the end of the Great Tribulation, once Iran believes it has the Caliphate well in hand, it will return to Israel where it will seek to re-establish its government in Jerusalem.
Iran will have set up its Caliphate from “the seas facing the mountain of holy Glory” in Phase 1, but the final verse of chapter 11, verse 45, says that the King of the North will come to ruin and no one will be able to help him.
Why will it be that no one will be able to help him? It is because the next war Iran will face in trying to establish Esau in the Abrahamic birthright position in Jerusalem is Yeshua and His army.
Events will happen so quickly in the Great Tribulation that it will seem like the world is in a spin. Thinking about how slowly most events come to fruition throughout history, it might not be easy for you to imagine how all of these situations and conditions can occur so quickly. But the Bible says that’s exactly how they will appear – suddenly, quickly, etc., are the words most often used.
Iran will realize how quickly YHVH’s people have occupied the territory formerly cleaned out in Phase 1 of their invasion and will try to establish their foothold in Israel again. This attempt to re-take and re-establish Jerusalem under the Shi’ite Caliphate is the Armageddon war. This is where Esau’s descendants and all those who ally with them meet their horrible fate.
Yeshua cannot, and will not, allow Esau to establish a permanent government in Jerusalem. The birthright and blessing are Jacob’s, not Esau’s.
So, the provocations of Muhammad Bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, against Iran will unleash a series of wars and battles that cannot be stopped. These provocations will lead to not just the King of the North and South war, not just the conflict between Iran, Russia and the US or not just any of the other skirmishes prophesied in the Bible. These provocations ultimately will lead to the Battle of Har Meggido – Armageddon.
In fact, Iran already knows this. In January 2016, Iran announced that it intends to bring Armageddon to fruition.
Let me read this short article titled, “Iran Preparing For Armageddon?” from IBTimes.
Iran has prepared almost 200,000 young men in countries across the Middle East to help with the arrival of the Mahdi, a Muslim leader who will usher in justice prior to the Day of Judgment, a Revolutionary Guard commander said earlier this week. Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said recent violence across the region, including the rise of the Islamic State group, was a sign the arrival of the messianic Muslim leader was imminent, the Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah reported.
Jafari said the current developments in the region, “the formation of [the Islamic State group] and Takfiri [extremist] groups, and the events that occurred in the past years are paving the ground for the emergence of Imam Mahdi,” Middle East Monitor reported. “You can now see the positive results in the readiness of nearly 200,000 young armed in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.”
Shiite Muslims generally believe the Mahdi will arrive following a period of widespread violence and instability, and will usher in justice and an event like the Armageddon, the conclusive battle between good and evil. The comments come as Iran has grown increasingly entangled with several regional conflicts, including in Syria, where Revolutionary Guard forces have been battling to support the embattled dictator Bashar Assad.
The conflict, which has broken down along sectarian lines, has given rise to apocalyptic theories, as war in the region was prophesied by the Islamic Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the Syrian war, and millions more have been displaced.
Several regional leaders expressed disapproval of the Iranian general’s statement, reported Asharq al-Awsat, a London-based Arabic language newspaper. A spokesman for the Yemeni government said Jafari’s comments were seen as “direct aggression against Yemen and a violation of its sovereignty.” Houthis have been battling the Yemeni government for months and are believed to be backed by Iran.
The region has seen intensified sectarian tensions in recent weeks, particularly in the aftermath of the execution of a popular Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia, a country with a Sunni majority. The execution sparked protests in Shiite communities across several Muslim countries, including in Iran where protesters attacked the Saudi embassy.
Saudi Arabia and several of its predominantly-Sunni allies in the region cut diplomatic ties with Iran following the embassy attack. The execution and outcry that followed was seen as exacerbating already tense relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, two of the Middle East’s major powers.
And these are the two that will soon be at war with each other.
This article was dated January 15, 2016. Iran knows its prophesied role in the end of days. It is astonishing to me how many believers in the West just gloss over what is happening in the Middle East. American Babylonians are fat and happy in their little strongholds with their little problems. They don’t realize how the events taking place right now are shaping up to cause the final 3.5 years of man’s, and Satan’s, rule on earth forever.
Keep reading Beast Watch News dot com and listening to The Jerusalem Report every week to stay abreast of the situation as it occurs.
ROME’S END TIME PLACE
Where does Rome fit into end times scenarios?
Most prophecy teachers are still hanging onto the 600-year-old Protestant aversion to Catholicism and continue to look for Rome to be a major “Beast” entity in the end of days.
Rome does still have prophecies that need to be fulfilled, the most important of which is her final destruction. Within her confines, she trapped YHVH’s Hebrew people from the House of Judah and the House of Israel and taught them to sin because her doctrine that is like that of Islam which says YHVH’s Torah is done away. Both Rome and Islam have different versions of the Torah with similarities just enough off the mark to mislead believers. Thus, Rome awaits destruction.
The final two Beast governments of Revelation as seen by John are not Roman. They are Islamic. One was and one has yet to be.
Rev 17:7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
Rev 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
Rev 17:10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
Rev 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
Rome was one of the seven empires or ‘kings’ YHVH warned us of in Revelation. Rome was the 6th ‘king’. John was alive during the time of the 6th ‘king’, the Roman empire, but YHVH told John that there would be two additional Beasts.
The nature of a Beast is to conquer and occupy Jerusalem. Rome had her chance, but in 635AD, another Beast came on the scene. It was Islam. This particular Islam was a Sunni Islam that lasted for about 1300 years. There is another Islam, an 8th Beast, yet to come.
The next Beast will not be Rome again. Rome’s time is over except for the idolatrous exploits she does with the Islamic Beast and her destruction. Why is this?
Rev 17:16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
Rome has been riding, and I believe she even helped to create, the Islamic Beast from the beginning. But, the Beast she has been riding has been a Sunni Beast. There is a Shi’ite Beast coming who hates her! The Sunni Beast spent 1300 years learning to live with those Christians it could not convert or defeat.
This next Beast is different. It is a Persian Beast that does rise again, according to Daniel 11.
Daniel 11 lists four Kings of the North. The first was Persian, the next two were Greek. Who will be the next one? Who will be the one to invade Jerusalem at the end of days? Greece, Rome or Iran? Those are your choices.
So, ask yourself this question: Who has the military power, the strategic allies and one of the only two superpowers on the earth on its side? Greece, Rome or Iran?
The Islamic Beast carries the adulterous woman, the Catholic and Protestant whores as Revelation says in 17:7, but she does not command the Beast. ‘Riding’ is a euphemism for copulation. In other words, she does exactly what the current Pope is doing – capitulating to Sunni Islam at every turn. This is one reason Shi’ite Islam will hate her so much. Another reason for their hatred is because that Christian church is populated by a lot of Hebrews, descendants of Jacob. Edomites are trapped there, too, because Catholicism is an Edomite creation just as Islam is an Edomite creation. So, she rides the Beast. She has been riding the Beast, but there is a Beast coming that will burn her out of her own hide.
However, Rome will not rise up to be a major government again, go to war to defeat any nation again, put any more Kings on thrones again or any other governmental capacity she once had. All that awaits her now is destruction.
So, stop looking at Rome to do some spectacular rise to power and start paying attention to Iran’s 4+1 Coalition because this is the reality on the ground as we get closer to the Great Tribulation. Pay attention to Saudi Arabia, the King of the South, too. A great big war is brewing between these two nations which will ultimately lead to the return of Yeshua our Messiah who doesn’t have any use for modern Christianity or Islam. However, He will save His people who are trapped within them.
SYRIA WAR CONTINUES TO ESCALATE
The US-led coalition fighting ISIS has observed pro-Syrian regime forces once again conducting a slow build-up east of the Euphrates River near where US troops are presently advising local allies, according to multiple US and coalition officials.
The pro-regime forces are assembling near where similar forces allied with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad initiated an unprovoked attack on US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, US Army Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the coalition told CNN.
Dillon added that the coalition was keeping a close eye on the activity and was communicating with their Russian counterparts via the de-confliction hotline to discuss the development.
The coalition was also on the lookout to see if pro regime forces bring in any combat equipment, like artillery, that could threaten coalition troops.
A US military official told CNN that Russian private military contractors remain in the area and are using local pro-regime troops to scout coalition positions.
Russia uses mercenaries because of the technicality that it can say Russian military forces are not involved even though the mercenary forces are under the command of a high ranking military and personal friend of Putin’s.
The slow buildup comes just days after pro-regime forces fired artillery rounds that landed about one kilometer from a US-allied force of Syrians operating near the coalition base in At Tanf, Syria.
At-Tanf is also known as the Al Waleed border crossing and is one of three official border crossings between Syria and Iraq. Al Waleed is located close to the westernmost point of Iraq and the northeasternmost point of Jordan, in the desert Badia region. It serves as the main border checkpoint on the highway between Damascus and Baghdad. The at-Tanf checkpoint is on the Syrian side of the border, in Homs province. The Al-Waleed Palestinian refugee camp is nearby.
Not only has the build up of Syrian troops increased in the last couple of days, but there has been a direct attack on Damascus moving that city in the direction of it becoming a ruinous heap, according to YHVH’s prophecies.
Rockets fired on a market in a government-controlled neighborhood of Damascus on Tuesday killed 35 people and wounded more than 20 others, Syrian state-run media said, marking one of the highest death tolls in a single attack targeting the capital.
The government blamed rebels in the eastern suburbs of Damascus for the attack on the Kashkol neighborhood. The capital, seat of President Bashar Assad’s power, has come under increasing attack as government forces continue to pound rebel-held eastern Ghouta, with military backing from Russia.
With government forces tied up in the monthlong offensive on eastern Ghouta, Islamic State militants seized a neighborhood on its southern edge, forcing the government to rush in reinforcements.
IS militants captured the neighborhood of Qadam late Monday, a week after rebels had surrendered it to the government. At least 36 soldiers and pro-government militiamen were killed in the clashes, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It said dozens more were captured or wounded.
On Monday, ISIS militants pounced on Qadam from the neighboring Hajr al-Aswad and Yarmouk neighborhoods, which they control. More than 1,000 rebels and their families had earlier fled Qadam for rebel-held territory in the north of the country, instead of submitting to the Damascus authorities.
I keep wondering, when I read about the continuing ISIS fighters doing battle, about all those articles last Fall saying that ISIS was nearly defeated.
There was no comment from the Syrian government following the IS seizure of Qadam.
The government’s assault on eastern Ghouta has displaced 45,000 people, the United Nations said Tuesday, while tens of thousands more are living in desperate conditions in northern Syria, where a Turkish military campaign is underway.
In eastern Ghouta, rescue workers were still retrieving bodies from the basement of a school that was bombed Monday by government or Russian jets, a spokesman for the Syrian Civil Defense group said.
The bodies of 20 women and children were retrieved from the rubble, said the group, also known as the White Helmets. The school in the town of Arbin was being used as a shelter by residents.
Oways al-Shami, the Civil Defense spokesman, said continued bombing was slowing down rescue operations.
Yes, Syria and the Russians continue to bomb the jeepers out of Ghouta, killing civilians who cannot escape in order to catch a few ISIS and other militia fighters.
Government forces abruptly intensified their fire on Douma on Sunday after a six-day reprieve allowing a limited number of medical evacuations. In the meantime, they made sweeping advances against other areas of eastern Ghouta, leaving just a fraction of the enclave still outside the government’s control.
Meanwhile, the U.N. children’s agency said some 100,000 people were trapped in rural areas of the northern Syrian district of Afrin and in need of humanitarian aid after Turkish and allied Syrian forces drove out a Syrian Kurdish militia there.
Also Tuesday, at least nine people were killed in airstrikes targeting a camp for displaced people in rebel-held Idlib province in the northwest of the country, according to the Observatory and the Civil Defense. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack.
It appears there is a possibility that the May 14th unveiling of the new US Embassy in Jerusalem has hit some bureaucratic red tape and may be in danger of not happening. Of course, no one believes the Israeli government can’t cut right through that tape, but it makes for interesting copy.
Arutz Sheva is reporting that senior officials are concerned that Israeli red-tape may nix the May 14th unveiling. According to the report, State Department officials have requested permission to construct a roughly 10-foot wall around the new embassy building, as well as pave a new road to increase access to the facility.
Director-General of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Yuval Rotem, has warned Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) that without special dispensation from the government to circumvent the normal bureaucratic channels, the embassy cannot be opened by May 14th.
“The process of requesting alterations to the current [zoning] plans will likely take a long time,” wrote Rotem, “preventing the work from being completed in time for the embassy move. Until the changes are completed, the compound will not meet the requirements of the State Department for the American Embassy.”
While the future embassy compound – currently the consulate compound – can be rezoned to permit the alterations, without a special waiver it will require approval by the National Planning and Building Committee. The committee is scheduled to meet next only in April, after the upcoming weeklong Passover festival.
How much do you wanna bet this is the first thing on their list and they can just get it done?