The Big War Between Israel And Her Enemies Could Begin As Soon As July 1st

The level of tension in the Middle East is sky high right now, and it is about to go even higher.  On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he would move ahead with a plan to annex portions of the West Bank in the months ahead. The coalition agreement that he reached with Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz allows him to submit annexation for a vote as early as July, and if Netanyahu is actually going to do this it will almost certainly happen before the U.S. election in November.  The Trump administration is prepared to support Israel’s annexation under certain conditions, but a Biden administration would be 100 percent opposed to such a move.  So Netanyahu realizes that this opportunity may never come again, and he is fully prepared to seize the moment.  But of course if Israel does annex large portions of the West Bank, that could easily spark a huge regional war.

Needless to say, the Palestinians and their allies will never, ever accept the annexation of any West Bank territory, but Netanyahu seems absolutely determined to move ahead with his plans.  The following comes from Time Magazine

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday pledged to annex parts of the occupied West Bank in the coming months, vowing to move ahead with the explosive plan despite a growing chorus of condemnations by key allies.

The Palestinians, with wide international backing, seek the entire West Bank as the heartland of a future independent state. Annexing large chunks of this territory would all but destroy the faint remaining hopes of a two-state solution.

And Haaretz is reporting that Netanyahu specifically stated that “the target date for beginning annexation is July 1, and we don’t intend to change it”…

The Americans said recently that they’re prepared for annexation “within weeks.” Under the coalition agreement between Likud and Kahol Lavan, on July 1 – meaning in a month’s time – Netanyahu will be able to “bring the agreement reached with the United States on the issue of applying sovereignty to a debate in the security cabinet and the full cabinet, and for the approval of the cabinet and/or the Knesset.” On Monday, Netanyahu told a meeting of Likud’s Knesset faction, in response to an MK’s question, that “the target date for beginning annexation is July 1, and we don’t intend to change it.” He added that “this is an opportunity that can’t be missed.”

Wow.

It looks like this is really going to happen, and Israeli settlers in the areas that are going to be annexed will greatly celebrate once it happens.

But at the same time we will see a massive outpouring of fury from the Palestinians and their allies.

In the south, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not strong enough to invade Israel, but they will almost certainly start firing rockets toward Israel in retaliation.

In the north, Hezbollah has more than 150,000 missiles aimed at Israeli cities right now, and Hezbollah was on the brink of a new war with Israel even before talk of annexation became public.

In the West Bank, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has already voided all previous agreements with the United States and Israel because of this pending annexation, and he is warning that there will be grave consequences if it actually happens.

Needless to say, most of Israel’s Arab neighbors are vehemently opposed to any annexation as well, and Jordan’s King Abdullah has even warned of “a massive conflict” if Israel does not back down…

More than two weeks after Jordan’s King Abdullah issued what can only be described as the sternest warning to Israel if it goes ahead with its annexation plans, Jordanians and Israelis are still wondering how Amman will react if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does go ahead with his intention to annex parts of the West Bank and the Jordan Valley as early as July.

In his May 15 interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, the king warned of “a massive conflict” between Jordan and Israel “if Israel really annexed the West Bank in July.”

For such a long time the Middle East has seemingly been on the brink of war, and this could potentially be the trigger that finally pushes everyone over the edge.

Of course Netanyahu would never be pushing for annexation unless the Trump administration was willing to support it.

And it turns out that the Trump administration has made it abundantly clear that support for annexation will only be given if Netanyahu is prepared to fully accept Trump’s plan to permanently divide the land of Israel

According to the Trump plan itself and senior U.S. officials, including Pompeo, Israeli annexation is dependent on acceptance of the entire plan, especially its agreement to conduct direct negotiations with the Palestinians for at least four years. During this period, Israel is asked to freeze all construction and demolitions in the territory earmarked for the Palestinian state, as well as possibly in other areas. The plan also includes the establishment of a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem neighborhoods and the release of Palestinian prisoners.

That certainly puts a different spin on things, doesn’t it?

As I have discussed previously, Trump’s plan would double the amount of territory currently under Palestinian control and would permanently divide the city of Jerusalem.

At this moment in history, the little nation of Israel has once again taken center stage, and what happens next is going to have staggering implications for all of us.

If a major war erupts in the Middle East and Donald Trump is still the president of the United States, it is quite likely that the U.S. would side with Israel in such a war.

But if Joe Biden wins in November, that would probably not be the case once he is in the White House.

In any event, it appears that war is coming.  Benjamin Netanyahu is a man of his word, and I believe that he is quite serious about beginning the annexation process on July 1st.

And there is no way in the world that the Palestinians and their allies will allow annexation to go unchallenged.

It does not look like either side is going to back down, and so that means that we are on a course toward military conflict.

And once war starts, it may not be so easy to stop.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

The Next Generation: Giant Locust Armies Of “Biblical Proportions” Threaten To Cause Mass Starvation In Africa

Even before COVID-19 became the biggest public health crisis to hit the globe in decades, enormous swarms of locusts the size of major cities were devouring crops throughout eastern Africa, across the Middle East and even in some parts of Asia.  Now a new generation that officials are describing as “20 times bigger” has emerged, and the devastation that this new generation of locusts is causing is extremely alarming.  These colossal locust swarms can travel up to 90 miles a day, and as you will see below, when they descend upon a field they can literally eat everything there in as little as 30 seconds.  This new generation of locusts has been spotted as far south as Congo, as far north as Iran and as far east as India.  In other words, the food supplies of billions of people are at risk.

Yesterday, I reported that the UN had used the phrase “biblical proportions” to describe the famines that are starting to happen around the globe as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Well, the phrase “biblical proportions” is also being used to describe these giant armies of locusts

While much of the world focuses on the coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 1.6 million people across the globe, East Africa is battling the worst invasion of desert locusts in decades — a months-long “scourge of biblical proportions” that experts warn could get worse with a larger second wave already arriving in parts of the region.

Heavy rains last month created ideal conditions for this next generation of locusts, and we are being told that the new swarms are “particularly severe in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia”

And now, at the worst time, a second wave of locusts 20 times bigger than the first has descended on the region, thanks to heavy rains late last month, according to the FAO. The swarms have infiltrated Yemen and firmly established themselves across the Persian Gulf, having laid eggs along 560 miles of Iran’s coastline. New swarms are particularly severe in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia.

Unfortunately, this is a really, really bad time for a new generation of locusts to show up, because this is the time of the year when farmers are planting their fields.

When the locusts invade a new area, all the farmers can do is watch as all their hard work is destroyed.  The following is how one FAO official is describing the current state of affairs

“The timing is really horrendous, because the farmers are just planting, and the seedlings are just coming up now since it’s the beginning of the rainy season,” says Keith Cressman, senior locust forecasting officer with the FAO. “And it’s right at the same time when you have an increasing number of swarms in Kenya and in Ethiopia. There’s already pictures and reports of the seedlings getting hammered by the swarms. So basically that’s it for the farmers’ crops.

Here in the United States we have never experienced anything like this, and so most Americans don’t really understand how destructive these locusts can be.

As I noted above, when they come storming into a field they can literally eat all the crops there “in as little as 30 seconds”

Massive swarms of locusts are devouring entire fields of crops in as little as 30 seconds – fuelling fears of a major food crisis in some of the world’s poorest countries, international aid organisation Concern Worldwide has warned.

The charity said communities in Pakistan, Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia are facing alarming food shortages, with the crops they grow to survive being eaten in seconds by the flying desert locusts.

The United Nations is calling these locust armies “an unprecedented threat” to global food security.

Of course the exact same thing could be said about the coronavirus.

And let us not forget that African Swine Fever has already wiped out approximately one-fourth of all the pigs in the world.

This truly has become a “perfect storm” for global food production, and many believe that what we have seen so far is just the beginning.

And please don’t be tempted to think that this is just a problem that Africa is dealing with.  All the way over in Pakistan, officials are using the word “disaster” to describe the threat posed by these locusts.  The following comes from a Pakistani news source

Parliamentary leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Balochistan Minister for Secondary Education Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind has expressed deep concern over the procreation of locusts across the province, stressing upon anti-locust spray on urgent basis.

“If procreation of locusts does not stop it would badly affect crops and will also lead to nutritional disaster in Balochistan,” Rind noted, adding that due to consecutive attacks, growers and farmers are facing extreme difficulties as widespread destruction of crops is feared due to procreation of locusts.

And after everything that they have already been through, farmers in Australia are facing an enormous invasion of locusts as well, although it is a different species that they are dealing with

After a year of battling drought, fire, dust, flood and disease, farmers in far western New South Wales are now facing a plague locust infestation.

The Australian plague locust species, if not controlled, can cause significant damage to crops and pastures by consuming all in their path.

In the post-World War II era, can you point to another time when the world was facing so many major problems all at once?

As I write this article, I can’t seem to think of one.

In the days ahead, the coronavirus pandemic will continue to dominate the headlines, and the global death toll will soon cross the 200,000 mark.

But this plague of locusts should also be receiving a tremendous amount of attention, because it is wiping out farms at a blinding pace and countless numbers of people could face severe food shortages as a result.

Efforts will continue to be made to spray these locust swarms with pesticides, but when you are talking about swarms that are the size of major cities, the truth is that spraying really doesn’t make that much of a dent.

It truly is a plague of “biblical proportions”, and despite all of our advanced technology we are powerless to stop it.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

Will It Be War? U.S. Airstrikes Hit Iranian-Backed Militias As The Pentagon Warns More Military Action May Be Coming

A lot of people seem to have forgotten that we were literally on the brink of war with Iran earlier this year. Back in June, President Trump cancelled a major U.S. bombing mission against Iran at the last minute, and things seemed to settle down quite a bit since that time. But now tensions are rising once again. On Sunday, U.S. airstrikes targeted Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria that U.S. officials believe have been behind recent rocket attacks against U.S. forces. Of course those Iranian-backed forces never would have launched such attacks in the first place if they did not have permission from Tehran itself. The Iranians love to hide behind proxies, and for now the U.S. is only conducting airstrikes against those proxies. But at some point President Trump’s patience is likely to run out, and at that point we could start hitting Iran itself. Over the past six months, the U.S. has sent 14,000 more troops to the Middle East, and it is being reported that “the Pentagon is considering deploying additional forces to the region”. The drumbeats of war are starting to get louder again, and many believe that eventually one side is likely to push the other side a bit too far.

The attacks that we just witnessed were supposed to send a very strong message to Tehran. According to the Daily Mail, five separate targets were hit, and at least 19 people were killed…

US air strikes left 19 people dead in Iraq and Syria on Sunday in retaliation against an Iranian-backed militia group blamed for a rocket attack two days earlier that killed an American contractor.

F-15 Strike Eagles hit five targets associated with Kataib Hezbollah, the Iranian-sponsored Shiite militia group, said Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

These airstrikes were launched to directly retaliate for the casualties that U.S. forces suffered from a rocket attack on one of their bases in Iraq on Friday

Officials with the U.S.-led mission to defeat ISIS said Friday that a U.S. civilian contractor was killed and several American troops were wounded in a rocket attack targeting an Iraqi base in Kirkuk.

The attack, which occurred Friday around 7:20 p.m. local time in Iraq, also wounded several Iraqi personnel, officials with Operation Inherent Resolve told Military Times in an emailed statement.

But of course that attack was just the latest in a series of rocket attacks that have targeted U.S. forces lately

U.S. officials believe Iranian-backed militias are behind a recent spate of rocket attacks that have targeted U.S. bases and interests in Iraq over the last couple months.

A U.S. official told Military Times that Iran-backed militias are now using more lethal and longer range 122 mm rockets in their attacks.

Friday’s attack on Kirkuk is at least the eleventh rocket attack targeting an outpost housing American forces in the last two months.

I am certainly not a fan of military conflict, but if I am sitting in the White House and someone keeps lobbing rockets at my troops I wouldn’t wait two months to hit them back.

So why did President Trump wait so long?

As I noted earlier, these Iranian-backed militias wouldn’t be doing anything without approval from Tehran. If Trump really wants these rocket attacks to stop, Iranian leaders need to be sent a message that will be clear and unmistakable.

And it appears that U.S. officials may be starting to lean in that direction. In fact, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told the press on Sunday that more military action “could be warranted”

Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and General Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared briefly in a club ballroom to comment on the airstrikes.

Esper termed the offensive “successful,” but said that Trump was informed that a further military response could be warranted.

Personally, I don’t know what the Iranians are thinking.

Perhaps they believe that if they use their proxies to make things uncomfortable enough for U.S. forces that Trump will eventually pull them out of the region.

But if that is what they are really thinking, they have badly miscalculated.

Meanwhile, Iran continues to get cozy with Russia and China. In fact, the three nations are currently conducting “their first-ever joint naval drills”

This weekend, China, Iran, and Russia began their first-ever joint naval drills in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman. The training exercises were announced by China’s defense ministry on Thursday, as all three nations continue to have strained relations with the United States and its allies.

The Russians have developed a very strong military presence in the Middle East in recent years, and Russia and China have both warned about what a war between the U.S. and Iran would mean for the entire region.

A major war in the Middle East would have very serious implications for the entire globe, and it would risk sparking a much wider conflict.

Right now our relations with Russia are already the worst that they have been since the end of the Cold War, and they just continue to deteriorate.

Most Americans don’t spend too much time thinking about a potential war with Russia, but over in Russia there is lots of talk about a possible military confrontation. In fact, Russia’s top general recently warned that the western powers are preparing for a “large-scale military conflict”

Russia’s top general has warned a big war is coming in a chilling prediction amid ongoing tensions with NATO.

Valery Gerasimov, the chief Vladimir Putin’s general staff, has said he believes the West are preparing for a “large-scale military conflict”.

He was speaking at a senior briefing for the military – saying that the West has assigned “adversary status” to Russia.

Ultimately, one of the big reasons why Trump may have been so hesitant to be more aggressive with Iran is because he realizes that it could potentially spark World War 3.

Because once we go to war with Iran, the Iranians are going to start launching missiles directly at Israel, and Israel would undoubtedly strike back with overwhelming force.

Once the dominoes start falling, it could very easily set off a sequence of events that nobody is going to be able to control.

We definitely live at a time of wars and rumors of wars, and peace could be taken from the Earth very easily.

So let us hope that cooler heads prevail.

But if the Iranians keep pushing their luck, it is only a matter of time before Trump gets fed up, and when he decides to hit them directly he is going to hit them exceedingly hard.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

Trump Says That The Military Response To The Attack On Saudi Arabia Will Be “Proportionate”

Trump administration officials are telling reporters and that there is no doubt that the attack on the oil production facilities in Saudi Arabia originated from Iranian soil, although Trump himself is being less dogmatic in his public statements. It appears that Trump wants all of the evidence to come in before making a final decision about what to do, but clearly he is leaning toward military action against Iran. And when we hit Iran, there is a very high probability that they will hit back. In fact, the Iranians have already stated unequivocally that they will defend themselves. So as I discussed yesterday, we are potentially facing a scenario that could ultimately lead to World War 3.

It is true that Trump did tell reporters on Monday that he does not want war, but war may be coming anyway. If the evidence that he is shown clearly demonstrates that the attack on Saudi Arabia came from Iran, President Trump is going to feel forced to respond militarily.

Trump has indicated that he will have all the evidence that he needs to make a final decision very soon, and when a reporter asked Trump if a military response to the attack on Saudi Arabia would be “proportionate”, Trump responded affirmatively

‘I think we just want to find out the final numbers and see – You look at a vector, and you look at – there are lots of different things we can look at,’ Trump told DailyMail.com as he left the White House for New Mexico. ‘And we’ll know for certain over the next pretty short period of time.’

Asked if he would order military action if he is sure who was behind the attack, Trump said: ‘Then we’re going to decide.’

When a reporter asked if the response would be proportionate, Trump responded: ‘I would say yes.’

In other words, if it is ultimately determined that Iran was behind the attack on Saudi oil production facilities, we should probably expect the U.S. to hit similar facilities in Iran in return.

Such an attack could spark a much broader conflict, and it could easily set off a chain of events that nobody will be able to stop.

Even though the Houthi rebels in Yemen have publicly taken responsibility for the attack in Saudi Arabia, at this point virtually everyone is coming to the conclusion that Iran did it.

For example, this is what the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen is saying

The Saudi-led military coalition battling Yemen’s Houthi movement said on Monday that the attack on Saudi Arabian oil plants was carried out with Iranian weapons and was not launched from Yemen according to preliminary findings.

Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said that an investigation into Saturday’s strikes, which had been claimed by the Iran-aligned Houthi group, was still going on to determine the launch location.

And a “senior Trump administration official” has told ABC News that the U.S. has solid evidence that the Iranians “launched nearly a dozen cruise missiles and over 20 drones from its territory”

Iran launched nearly a dozen cruise missiles and over 20 drones from its territory in the attack on a key Saudi oil facility Saturday, a senior Trump administration official told ABC News Sunday.

It is an extraordinary charge to make, that Iran used missiles and drones to attack its neighbor and rival Saudi Arabia, as the region teeters on the edge of high tensions.

In addition, CNN is reporting that an unnamed “U.S. official” has told them that the Trump administration “has assessed that the attack originated from inside Iran”…

The US has told at least one US ally in the Middle East, that they have intelligence showing that the launch was “likely” coming from staging grounds in Iran, but they have not shared that intelligence yet. “It is one thing to tell us, it is another thing to show us,” said a diplomat from the region.

A US official separately tells CNN that the US has assessed that the attack originated from inside Iran. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

So it sounds like the decision has already been made.

And even President Trump himself is telling the press that it is looking like Iran is responsible

A day after threatening an armed response over an attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, President Donald Trump said Monday that it looks as if Iran was responsible – but he doesn’t want war.

“Well, it’s looking that way,” Trump said when asked whether Iran is responsible for the missile and drone strikes this weekend on a major source of oil for the Saudis and the world. “As soon as we find out definitively, we’ll let you know. But it does look that way.”

I think that Trump is hesitant to actually use the military, and he definitely does not want to get the U.S. into yet another endless Middle East war.

But if the evidence shown to him indicates that Iran directly attacked Saudi oil production facilities, the pressure on him to do something will be immense.

At this point, even one of the top Democrats in the Senate is calling for a military response “if that’s what the intelligence supports”

Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.) said Monday that the U.S. may need to use military force against Iran if intelligence reports determine Tehran was behind recent attacks on two Saudi oil refineries.

“This may well be the thing that calls for military action against Iran if that’s what the intelligence supports,” Coons said Monday on “Fox & Friends.”

As much as the Democrats like to attack Trump, most of them are simply not going to go against the intelligence community. And so if the intelligence ultimately indicates that Iran was responsible for the attack, most Democrats in Congress will end up supporting a military option.

In the end, it is so hard to predict what Trump will do when it comes time to make a final decision. Back in June, he called off a military strike against Iran at the last moment, and it is entirely possible that such a thing could happen again.

And as it stands right now, the Russians are clearly urging Trump not to pull the trigger

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, asked about the U.S. statement, said: “We have a negative attitude towards rising tensions in the region and call for all countries in the region and outside of it to avoid any hasty steps or conclusions which may deepen destabilisation.”

In a separate statement on Monday, Russia’s foreign ministry said it believed that the exchange of strikes on civilian targets was “a direct consequence of the ongoing sharp military and political crisis in Yemen”.

In addition, the Chinese are warning that a “revenge attack” against Iran could cause the region to “spiral out of control”

China has warned President Trump that he is being manipulated by warhawks into believing “conspiracy theories” that Tehran was behind the attack on Saudi oil facilities and that any “revenge attack” on Iran could cause the Middle East to “spiral out of control.”

The warning was contained in an editorial posted by the Global Times, which is widely recognized as a Communist Party mouthpiece.

The Russians and the Chinese both understand how close to World War 3 we potentially are, and they both desperately want to avoid such a scenario.

Unfortunately, we live at a time of wars and rumors of wars, and circumstances seem to be inexorably pulling the entire globe toward military conflict.

It certainly appears that Trump would like to avoid a war with Iran, but is there a clear way out at this point?

If the intelligence that he is presented with clearly indicates that Iran was responsible for the attack against Saudi Arabia, it is going to be exceedingly difficult for him to do nothing.

So it is quite likely that a “proportionate response” is coming, and that could set off a chain of events that nobody will be able to control.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

U.S. Prepares To Strike Iran As The Middle East Braces For World War 3 To Erupt

President Trump is using the phrase “locked and loaded” to describe our current stance toward Iran, and the big news networks appear to believe that some sort of U.S. military action could be imminent. We just witnessed the worst attack on Saudi oil production facilities in history, and it would seem to be extremely unlikely that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia would allow this to pass with no response. Houthi rebels in Yemen have publicly taken responsibility for the attacks, but as you will see below, U.S. officials have already completely rejected that explanation for a variety of reasons. At this point, we are being told that the attacks probably originated either from Iranian-backed Shia rebels in southern Iraq or from Iran itself. And if the U.S. strikes back by conducting airstrikes inside Iran, that could literally cause World War 3 to erupt. We are so close to a major war breaking out, but most Americans are still not paying attention.

President Trump certainly sounds like he is ready to take military action. On Sunday, he tweeted the following

Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!

Is it just me, or does that make it sound like we will strike whoever the Saudis blame for the attack?

That is potentially very dangerous, because the Saudis seriously hate the Iranians, and there are many in the Saudi government that would like nothing more than for the U.S. military to bomb the living daylights out of Iran.

And as CNN has noted, the “locked and loaded” language that Trump just used is very similar to the “cocked & loaded” language that he used when we came within minutes of bombing Iran back in June…

Trump’s tweet, which appeared to raise the specter of a US military response, served to ratchet up tensions in a region already on edge after Saturday’s audacious attack on the Saudi oil field.

Trump used similar language in June when he announced he had called off an attack on Iran just as the US was “cocked & loaded” to strike because he decided it would cause too many deaths for a proportionate response to Tehran’s downing of a US drone.

So what would a U.S. attack on Iran look like?

Well, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham has suggested hitting Iran’s oil refineries

US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said the United States should consider an attack on Iran’s oil refineries in retaliation.

Senator Graham, a strong ally of President Trump, tweeted: “It is now time for U.S. to put on the table an attack on Iranian oil refineries if they continue their provocations or increase nuclear enrichment.”

President Trump would probably like that because it is “proportional”, and if the attack is conducted at night the loss of life would likely be minimal.

But of course if the Iranians responded by hitting U.S. targets in the region, that could potentially set off a sequence of events that would inevitably lead to World War 3.

So let us hope it does not come to that.

As I mentioned above, Houthi rebels in Yemen actually took responsibility for the attacks on Saturday, but U.S. officials are skeptical of that explanation for a number of reasons. The following comes from CNN

The official said 19 Saudi targets were struck in Saturday’s attack and argued that such an attack could not be carried out with 10 drones, which the Houthis claimed to have used.

“You can’t hit 19 targets with 10 drones like that,” the official said.

The official, drawing on commercial satellite imagery shared with CNN, also noted that “all the points of impact on Saudi facilities were on the northwest side of them, which is somewhat difficult to do from Yemen.”

Of course drones don’t have to fly in a straight line, and it would have been entirely possible for someone to maneuver them in such a way that they would have approached the facilities from a certain direction.

U.S. officials are also telling us that instead of drones, cruise missiles may have actually been used instead

The U.S. official, who asked not to be named, said there were 19 points of impact in the attack on Saudi facilities and that evidence showed the launch area was west-northwest of the targets – the direction of Iran – not south from Yemen.

The official added that Saudi officials had indicated they had seen signs that cruise missiles were used in the attack, which is inconsistent with the Iran-aligned Houthi group’s claim that it conducted the attack with 10 drones.

In the end, we may never know the exact truth about where these attacks originated or what precise weapons were used.

The Iranians have completely denied responsibility, but if they are attacked they insist that they are prepared for a “full-fledged” war, and they are warning that all U.S. targets within 2,000 kilometers “are within the range of our missiles”

Amirali Hajizadeh, head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps Aerospace Force, warned that US military bases were within range of Iranian missiles.

He told Tasnim news agency: ‘Everybody should know that all American bases and their aircraft carriers in a distance of up to 2,000km around Iran are within the range of our missiles.’

Yes, the Iranians have anti-ship missiles that are fully capable of sinking a U.S. aircraft carrier, and if they did that the U.S. public would never be satisfied until U.S. troops were occupying Tehran.

Of course it would take the full power of the entire U.S. military to conduct such a war, and the Iranians and their allies would hit use with literally everything that they have got.

As Lawrence Korb told Al Jazeera, it would be “a very, very violent conflict”…

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Lawrence Korb, former US Assistant Defense Secretary, said the last thing Trump wants is a conflict with Iran.

“If we would attack Iran, then we would have a very, very violent conflict that would spread throughout the whole Gulf,” he said.

I hardly ever agree with anything that is said on Al Jazeera, but in this case Lawrence Korb is precisely correct.

Such a war would draw in the entire Middle East, it would be the deadliest war the world has seen since World War 2, and it would set the stage for things that most Americans don’t want to think about.

So let’s hope that a peaceful way out of this crisis can be found.

Unfortunately, that appears to be less likely than ever.

Hopefully I am wrong, but military action appears to be imminent, and the situation in the Middle East is about to dramatically shift in a major way.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

The Fighting Dramatically Escalates As Both Sides Prepare For “The Final War” Between Israel And Iran

Are we about to see World War 3 erupt in the Middle East? Over the past several days, Israel has attempted to prevent attacks by Iranian forces and their allies by striking targets in Syria, Gaza, Lebanon and Iraq. As you will see below, political leaders in both Lebanon and Iraq are now accusing Israel of a “declaration of war”, and Hezbollah is pledging to strike Israel back extremely hard. Of course if a full-blown war erupts between Israel and one of her neighbors, it is likely to become a multi-front war almost immediately. But at the core, this is a conflict between Israel and Iran. The Iranians have repeatedly pledged to wipe the nation of Israel off the face of the planet, and the coming “final war” is going to literally be a matter of life or death for those two nations. Both sides have been preparing for this “final war” for a very long time, and once it fully erupts the death and destruction that we will witness will be off the charts.

Just within the past few days, the fighting has escalated dramatically as the Israelis have conducted operations in four different territories

Israeli forces openly claimed attacks over the weekend in Syria and the Palestinian-administered Gaza Strip and were blamed for two more operations in Lebanon and Iraq. As reports of what occurred across the region emerged, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted at his country’s ongoing efforts abroad, telling a Monday planning meeting that “we will deepen our roots and strike at our enemies.”

The attacks in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq specifically targeted Iranian forces and their allies, and the goal was to prevent imminent attacks against Israel

In Syria, Israeli warplanes killed two members of the Lebanese Hezbollah. Israel says the individuals were supporting an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps plot to launch explosive-laden drones into Israel. The Israelis say that the specific Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps unit responsible was the Quds Force, led by Qassem Soleimani. If true, the Quds Force was likely using Hezbollah as a deniable proxy to avoid direct links between the plot and Tehran.

In another operation in Lebanon, Israel targeted another Iranian-allied group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. In Iraq, senior Iran-aligned figures accused Israel of another air strike.

Missiles are not flying directly back and forth between Israel and Iran yet, but at this point a state of war essentially exists, and many are deeply concerned about what is going to happen next.

In particular, it looks like Hezbollah could launch a large scale attack against Israel at any moment, because their leadership is absolutely furious that the Israelis just hit their headquarters building in Beirut

Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s secretary-general, threatened to attack Israel in retaliation for a drone attack over the weekend on the organization’s headquarters in Beirut. Tensions between Israel and Hezbollah are now at their highest point since the 2006 war.

And the Lebanese government itself is extremely angry as well. In fact, the president of Lebanon has publicly stated that what Israel has just done is essentially the equivalent of “a declaration of war”

Lebanese President Michel Aoun met Monday with the U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jan Kubis, calling Israel’s moves in Beirut and Qusaya “a declaration of war.”

The statement echoed the words of Iraq’s powerful Fateh Alliance, which called separate strikes that killed a militia commander in the border town of Al-Qaim “a declaration of war on Iraq and its people,” according to the Associated Press.

 

This is an extremely serious situation. Israel is literally on the brink of war with Hezbollah, and many feel that such a war is inevitable.

Meanwhile, a very powerful bloc in the Iraqi government has also accused Israel of “a declaration of war”

A powerful bloc in Iraq’s parliament has called for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, following a series of air raids targeting Iran-backed Shia militias in the country that have been blamed on Israel.

The Fatah Coalition said on Monday that it holds the United States fully responsible for the alleged Israeli aggression, “which we consider to be a declaration of war on Iraq and its people.”

We had not seen the Israeli military strike targets in Iraq until just recently, and this latest attack has absolutely enraged the Shia militias. During the funeral procession for the commander that was killed in the attack, some of the Shia fighters were actually trampling the American flag

The Shia militia group, meanwhile, held a funeral procession in Baghdad for the commander killed on Sunday.

“There is no greater God but God!” the mourners shouted as they marched behind a banner with the words “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.” Some trampled on an American flag as they marched.

Thousands of U.S. soldiers died, thousands more were injured, and we spent trillions of dollars in the process of “liberating” Iraq, and this is how they feel about us.

What a colossal waste.

Ultimately, nothing is going to be able to stop the massive war that is coming to the region. The Iranians and all of their allies have a religiously-fueled hatred for Israel that most people living in the western world will never understand, and they are absolutely obsessed with permanently destroying the nation of Israel as it exists today. There will never be peace between the two sides, and the coming apocalyptic conflict will literally be a battle for national survival.

This can definitely be described as a time of “wars and rumors of wars”, and the situation on the ground is extremely fluid right now. The fact that the Israelis have another national election coming up adds another layer of complexity to all of this, and that election may cause events to accelerate even faster than many were anticipating.

Let us pray for peace, because right now tensions are extremely high and things are beginning to spiral out of control.

And when a full-blown war does break out, it is highly likely that the U.S. will get involved, and that will have enormous implications for all of us.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

What is the U.S. planning? Deployment of F-22 stealth jets to the Middle East stokes war fears

The U.S. has deployed F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets to the Middle East for the first time, and this has many concerned that military action against Iran may be in the near future.  Could we soon see the spark that causes World War 3 to erupt?  The following comes from the Express

The US has deployed a mysterious number of F-22 Raptor stealth fighters for the first time to the Middle East, amid growing fears of a clash with Iran. The number of F-22 Raptors remains unclear but photographers spotted at least a dozen of the radar-evading jets at the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar for the first time ever. In response, a senior Iranian figure has threatened to annihilate Israel “with half an hour” if the US strikes Iran.

The deployment of the top-secret stealth fighter jets has put the Middle East is on alert amid rising tensions between Iran and the US.

Earlier today, the US Air Force confirmed the presence of the fighter jets – insisting they were deployed to “defend American forces and interests”.

If The U.S. And Iran Go To War, Tens Of Thousands Of Missiles Will Rain Down On Israel

We could be on the verge of the most cataclysmic war that the Middle East has ever seen. As you will see below, we are being told that there will be a “measured” U.S. response to the downing of a U.S. Navy drone by Iranian forces. In other words, we should expect some sort of U.S. military action against Iran to happen soon. If the Iranians choose not to respond to that attack, that will hopefully be the end of it for a while. But if the Iranians respond by firing their highly advanced anti-ship missiles at U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf, the Trump administration would feel forced to use overwhelming force in return, and that would likely spark an all-out war in the region.

And in the event of an all-out war, Iran would almost certainly hit Israel with a massive barrage of missiles. In fact, last month the Iranian Parliament’s vice-speaker Ali Motahhari specifically threatened this sort of an attack

Mr Motahhari told FARS news agency: ‘The US military forces’ deployment in the Persian Gulf is more of the nature of psychological warfare. They are not ready for a war, specially when Israel is within our range.’

Today, Iran possesses a highly sophisticated missile arsenal, and some of those missiles are capable of hitting targets up to 2,500 kilometers away. For an in-depth examination of Iranian missile capabilities, I would commend a National Interest article entitled “Iran Has Amassed the Largest Ballistic Missile Force in the Middle East”.

Of course if Iran starts firing missiles at Israel, it is inevitable that Israel will start firing missiles back at Iran. And in such a scenario it is unthinkable that Iran’s proxy Hezbollah would sit quietly on the sidelines.

At this point Hezbollah has accumulated an absolutely massive rocket arsenal in southern Lebanon. According to the Jerusalem Post, they now possess “more than 150,000 rockets”…

Hezbollah’s massive rocket arsenal of more than 150,000 rockets pose a major threat. These include long-range rockets such as the Zelzal, Fateh 110 and the Fajr, as well as shorter range such as Katyushas. The Fateh 110 has a range of several hundred kilometers.

There is no place in Israel that is out of the range of those rockets. Without a doubt, Israel’s anti-missile systems are extremely advanced, but if thousands of missiles are fired in a very short period of time Israel won’t be able to intercept them all.

In order to stop the rocket fire completely, Israel would have to invade southern Lebanon on very short notice, and it is quite interesting that the IDF actually just wrapped up a major exercise which simulated a future war with Hezbollah. The following comes from ABC News

Israel wrapped up its largest military drill in years on Wednesday, with thousands of troops from the army, navy and air force simulating a future war with the militant Lebanese Hezbollah group amid fears that Iran would draw its Shiite proxy into the recent growing tensions in the Persian Gulf.

This absolutely enormous military drill made headlines all over the world, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was even on hand for the conclusion of the exercise

The exercise, which was focused on the country’s north—not far from contested borders with Lebanon and Syria, two countries which Israel has accused Iran’s allies of firing rockets from—was attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The leader, who also serves as defense minister, spoke with participating troops of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and issued a warning to those threatening his country.

“I am concluding a major, multi-corps IDF exercise in several areas. I am very impressed by the improvement in readiness, by the fighting spirit of the soldiers and commanders, and mainly by the destructive power of the IDF,” Netanyahu said.

It appears to be inevitable that an all-out war between Israel and Hezbollah will happen at some point, and Israel will most definitely win that war.

But the death and destruction caused by tens of thousands of missiles fired by Iran and Hezbollah will be immense, and so we should hope that such a conflict is put off for as long as possible.

Unfortunately, it appears that a full-blown war could begin in the Middle East at any time. Top congressional leaders were summoned to the White House Situation Room on Thursday, and following that briefing the press was told to soon expect a “measured” U.S. response

Top administration officials and lawmakers have left the White House after a classified briefing lasting over an hour, about Iran’s sudden downing of an American surveillance drone in the Middle East — and a “measured” U.S. response, they suggested, is likely coming soon.

Amid mounting tension between the U.S. and Iran, the White House earlier Thursday invited House and Senate leaders and Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate Intelligence and Armed Services Committees to meet with President Trump in the White House’s secure Situation Room.

And we almost got that “measured” response on Thursday night. According to multiple media reports, President Trump approved military strikes against Iran but then pulled back at the last moment…

President Donald Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing a U.S. surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching them Thursday night after a day of escalating tensions.

As late as 7 p.m. Thursday, military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike, after intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president’s top national security officials and congressional leaders, according to multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations.

Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries.

We should be very thankful for President Trump’s restraint, and hopefully it will continue, because at this moment we are literally on the verge of World War 3 erupting in the Middle East.

Right now, a “perfect storm” is developing all over the globe. Events are starting to move at a pace that is breathtaking, and it isn’t going to take much to push the planet into a state of absolute chaos.

Once a military conflict with Iran starts, it will be nearly impossible to stop.

The time to stop it is now, and let us hope that President Trump makes the right choices in the days ahead.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

The Pentagon Asks Trump To Send Thousands Of U.S. Troops To The Middle East As Tensions With Iran Continue To Rise

The more steps that we take toward a war with Iran, the more likely it becomes that somebody will do something really stupid that will actually trigger one. By cutting off Iran’s oil exports, we are threatening to completely wreck their economy, and at this point they feel backed into a corner. And the Iranians have already watched the U.S. invade two countries that they share a border with (Afghanistan and Iraq), and so it is understandable that they are a bit paranoid that it could happen to them too. President Trump keeps saying that he doesn’t want a war with Iran, but the Iranians do not believe a single word any U.S. politician says. Instead, they watch what we actually do very, very closely, and the fact that the Pentagon wants to deploy thousands of new troops to the Middle East is definitely going to freak them out. The following comes from Fox News

The Pentagon is slated to request several thousand more U.S. troops be deployed to the Middle East amid escalating tensions with Iran, a senior U.S. defense official told Fox News on Wednesday.

No decision has been made, and it was not clear if the White House would give its blessing. The deployment could also include Patriot missile batteries and naval ships.

The more military assets that we send to the Middle East, the more anxiety Iranian leaders are going to feel, and the more likely it will become that the Iranians will decide that they must make a move before it is too late.

For the Iranians, their best chance to win a conflict against the United States would be to try to eliminate U.S. ground assets before they even get into Iran. Iranian leadership is absolutely insane, but under normal circumstances they would not have a reason to conduct such a strike. But if they see U.S. forces massing on their borders, they will definitely be evaluating their options.

So sending thousands of new U.S. troops to the region is not a good idea, and hopefully President Trump will realize this.

And what makes all of this even more disturbing is the fact that the Jerusalem Post is reporting that “Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have agreed to a request for a renewed deployment of US forces”…

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have agreed to a request for a renewed deployment of US forces to deter Iran, the London-based daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported on Saturday.

According to the report, the deployment comes as part of the cooperation agreement between Washington and the Arab Gulf states, and will take place both at sea and on land. A Saudi source told the newspaper that “the agreement was aimed at deterring Iran from a military escalation, including attacking American targets… and not with the aim of entering into a war with it.”

It is hard to believe that this is actually happening.

Look, the truth is that if Iran tried anything funny we already have the ability to bomb them back to the stone age in very short order.

We don’t need thousands of troops in the region in order to do that.

But if we wanted to invade Iran, overthrow the regime and set up a new government, we would need an enormous number of troops.

In fact, the former head of the Royal Navy has stated that that U.S. would likely need “at least one million troops” in order to accomplish that goal…

Admiral Lord West – the former First Sea Lord of the Royal navy – gave a dire assessment of the potential conflict as tempers flare in the Middle East.

He told Daily Star Online the US would need at least one million troops to successfully pacify Iran, and a half-baked attack could throw the region further into chaos.

The 50-year Royal Navy veteran warned “idiots” in both the US and Iran are dangerously hyping tensions.

So are you ready to send your sons and daughters off to the Middle East to fight a war against Iran?

If not, then you should make your voice be heard while there is still time.

Another indication that things are heating up is the fact that the U.S. State Department has ordered all non-essential personnel to leave Iraq immediately

The U.S. military put its forces in Iraq on high alert, and the State Department ordered all nonemergency employees Wednesday to leave the country immediately amid escalating tensions with Iran. Some U.S. allies have expressed skepticism about the Trump administration’s claims that Iran poses a growing threat.

Navy Capt. Bill Urban, a spokesman at the U.S. military’s Central Command, said in a statement that there were “possibly imminent threats to U.S. forces in Iraq” as he sought to clarify contradictory remarks by a British commander Tuesday.

That is the kind of move that you make if you believe that a military conflict is imminent.

On the other side, Iran’s president has just decided to seek “expanded, wartime executive powers”

Iran’s president has told a group of clerics that he is seeking expanded, wartime executive powers to better deal with an “economic war” triggered by the Trump administration’s pullout from the nuclear deal and escalating U.S. sanctions.

The state IRNA news agency reported late Monday that President Hassan Rouhani cited the 1980s war with Iraq, when a wartime supreme council was able to bypass other branches to make decisions regarding the economy and the war.

We desperately need someone to cool things down, and instead Trump is surrounded by war hawks like National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and it is being reported that Trump is becoming quite frustrated with them

Trump grew angry last week and over the weekend about what he sees as warlike planning that is getting ahead of his own thinking, said a senior administration official with knowledge of conversations Trump had regarding national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“They are getting way out ahead of themselves, and Trump is annoyed,” the official said. “There was a scramble for Bolton and Pompeo and others to get on the same page.”

Hopefully Trump can find a peaceful way out of this mess, because a war with Iran would be the kind of war that nobody wins.

Sadly, a lot of Americans believe that a war with Iran is inevitable. In fact, one recent survey discovered that 51 percent of all Americans believe that the U.S. and Iran will go to war “within the next few years”…

The survey showed that 51% of adults felt that the United States and Iran would go to war within the next few years, up 8 percentage points from a similar poll published last June. In this year’s poll, Democrats and Republicans were both more likely to see Iran as a threat and to say war was likely.

Let us pray for peace, but without a doubt we live at a time of “wars and rumors of wars”, and many believe that it is just a matter of time before peace is taken from the Earth.

But at this point, it is hard to imagine how anyone can possibly believe that a war with Iran would be a positive thing for the United States.

We have already witnessed the nightmares that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq became, and a war with Iran would be many magnitudes worse.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Brink Of War: Troops And Tanks Head To The Gaza Border After Hundreds Of Missiles Rain Down On Israel

Missiles continue to rain down on Israel at this hour, and even the New York Times is admitting that the region is on the “brink of war”. On Monday, more than 300 rockets and mortar shells were fired from Gaza into Israel, and the Israeli military struck back extremely hard in response. Many observers had been hoping that the barrage coming out of Gaza would slow down on Tuesday, but so far that has not happened. The Times of Israel is reporting that missile alarms were shrieking all over southern Israel as dawn broke on Tuesday, and at least 70 rockets and mortar shells have been fired at Jewish cities since midnight. If the barrage does not stop, there will be war. As you will see below, large numbers of IDF troops and tanks have been spotted heading to the Gaza border.

Fortunately, many of the rockets that have been fired at Israel have been intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, but quite a few were able to get through.

One rocket that penetrated the missile defenses destroyed an Israeli bus

With air-raid sirens wailing from the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea, and after a Palestinian anti-tank missile blew up an Israeli bus, seriously wounding a 19-year-old soldier, Israel retaliated with airstrikes and tank fire that grew steadily more destructive as the night wore on.

Israel hit scores of military posts and weapons caches across Gaza, but also leveled a Hamas television station, radio station and office building, and the group’s military intelligence headquarters. It was the heaviest fighting between Israel and Gaza since their war in 2014.

Many in the Islamic world are attempting to claim that Israel’s response was too harsh.

The destruction of the television station was particularly infuriating for Hamas leadership. The massive fireball that erupted when it was bombed made headlines all over the world

Hours after an Israeli bus was struck by Hamas mortar fire from Gaza, resulting in injuries, which was accompanied by a sustained exchange of fire involving 100 rockets and Iron Dome defense response fire, Israeli jets have bombed the studios of Hamas’s television station in the Gaza Strip.

According to Reuters the huge airstrike was preceded by “warning” phone calls non-exploding missile “taps” from the Israeli military for locals to evacuate the the building housing Al-Aqsa Television the official broadcast station operated by Hamas. News of casualties was not immediately forthcoming, but the strike produced a massive fireball captured through local video and eyewitness reports.

A state of war essentially already exists between Israel and Hamas, but it looks like there is a very real possibility that Israel could shortly conduct a full scale ground invasion of Gaza.

According to the Times of Israel, “large numbers of tanks and other military vehicles” are being transported to the border on heavy trucks…

On Monday evening, large numbers of tanks and other military vehicles were seen being moved down to the Gaza border on the backs of large trucks. Earlier in the day, before the barrages began, the army also ordered extra infantry battalions to the region.

Hamas could prevent this invasion by ending the barrage, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen.

Instead, Hamas leadership says that what has happened so far “is just the beginning”

“The resistance factions’ joint command center is holding a serious conversation about expanding its range of fire. Ashkelon is just the beginning. Approximately one million Zionists will be within the range of our missiles if the Zionist enemy’s decision is to continue its aggression,” said Abu Obeida, a spokesperson for Hamas’s military wing.

If Israel invades Gaza, it will be an extremely bloody conflict.

And it could also spark a much wider regional crisis.

Most people don’t realize this, but Israel and Hezbollah are also on the brink of war. In fact, Israel just gave the Lebanese government a “final warning” regarding Hezbollah factories…

Meanwhile, Israel reportedly sent a “final warning” to the Lebanese government that it will destroy Hezbollah factories that it says will be used to upgrade its missiles unless action is taken to shut them down. The Israeli government claims Iran recently supplied Hezbollah with precision-guidance munitions that will enable the terrorist group’s missiles to strike within 10 meters (33 feet) of their intended target.

The missiles are being upgraded in small factories, similar to those being used by Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, that are scattered throughout Lebanon, but are difficult to target with air strikes or missiles because of their proximity to civilians.

If Israel bombs those factories, Hezbollah will literally unleash hell.

According to one recent report, Hezbollah now has at least 120,000 rockets and missiles. That is more “than all European NATO members combined”

“Changes in the strategic environment in the 12 years since the last Israeli-Hezbollah conflict will translate into unparalleled death and destruction,” the report said, noting that Hezbollah’s recent fighting experience in Syria, its support from Iran and its massive weapons arsenal pose a “quantum leap” in the terror group’s ability to inflict devastation on Israel.

“Today, Hezbollah possesses more firepower than 95 percent of the world’s conventional militaries, and more rockets and missiles than all European NATO members combined,” the report stated.

Various estimates put Hezbollah’s overall rocket and missile stockpiles at between 120,000 to 140,000—up from roughly 10,000 in the last conflict in 2006.

If things go badly, Israel could very easily find itself fighting Hamas in the south and Hezbollah in the north simultaneously.

And needless to say, if that happens we are just a hop, skip and jump away from World War 3.

Because of the times that we live in, it is imperative that we watch Israel very closely. It is one of the smallest nations on the entire planet, but once again it is at the center of attention.

If a major conflict erupts, the entire world will be shocked by the bloodshed, and it could set in motion a series of events that will have very serious implications for all of us.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

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Nation Will Rise Against Nation: Israeli Tanks Mass Along The Border As War Between Israel And Hamas Appears To Be Imminent

Another extremely bloody border protest on Friday has pushed Israel and Hamas to the brink of war. The Egyptians had been urging Hamas to tone down the border protests, but that did not happen. Instead, Hamas is pledging to continue the border protests for as long as it takes to end the Israeli blockade. So Israel has a choice to make. Either it can end the blockade, accept the endless violence that is currently taking place along the border, or invade Gaza. The Israelis have already stated very clearly that the blockade will not end, because everyone understands that weapons and fighters will pour into Gaza if that happens. So it looks like the choice will come down to living with the border violence or invading Gaza, and living with the border violence does not appear to be an acceptable choice either. On Friday, 10,000 Hamas protesters showed up at the border fence, and 130 of them got shot during the violence that erupted

Israeli soldiers shot and wounded 130 Palestinians during protests near the Gaza Strip border on Friday, the enclave’s Health Ministry said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said about 10,000 demonstrators massed at the border and that some threw burning tires, grenades and explosive devices at the troops across the fence.

Friday’s chaos followed more violence earlier in the week. On Wednesday, a rocket that was fired from Gaza obliterated a home in southern Israel, and another rocket landed not too far from Tel Aviv. The Jewish people have been greatly outraged by these attacks, and their patience has worn very thin.

In response to those attacks, the IDF hit targets in Gaza with airstrikes.

In an article just a few days ago, I noted that Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman is now saying that he believes that war between Israel and Hamas is “inevitable”. And on Thursday, Israel made a major move in that direction by massing tanks along the Gaza border

On Thursday Israel had ramped up armored forces along the Gaza border, a day after a rocket fired from the enclave destroyed a home in southern Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, vowed “very strong action” if attacks continued.

In fact, it is being reported that this massing of tanks along the border represents “the largest mustering of forces since the 2014 war”

Reuters has reported some 60 Israeli tanks and armored personnel carriers now stationed at a deployment area along the border as of Thursday, which is the largest reported mustering of forces since the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas.

This would be a war that would not benefit anyone, but it is very difficult to see how it will be avoided at this point.

Hamas could avoid war by simply ending the protests, but they have pledged not to do that.

Israel can keep hammering Gaza with airstrikes, but that definitely will not stop the violence. The only thing that could permanently stop the violence is a full-blown invasion of Gaza with the intention of completely eliminating Hamas.

But that would be an exceedingly bloody mission, and it could potentially spark a much broader Middle East war.

The mainstream media in the United States has been mostly silent about this looming conflict, but the truth is that this is an extremely serious situation. Just check out what Nickolay Mladenov told the UN Security Council on Thursday

Special UN envoy for the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, told the UN Security Council on Thursday thatwe remain on the brink of another potentially devastating conflict, a conflict that nobody claims to want, but a conflict that needs much more than just words to prevent”.

If someone was constantly sending rockets, grenades and incendiary devices across the U.S. border, the American people would be screaming and yelling for the military to do something, and rightly so.

Israel is not going to put up with all of this violence for much longer, but there is one huge problem. If Israel invades Gaza at this point, they will be considered to be the “aggressor” by most of the rest of the world. And in order to eliminate Hamas entirely, Israel would have to be ruthless, and images from the very bloody war would be endlessly broadcast throughout the Islamic world. This could greatly galvanize Israel’s other enemies, and it could very easily spark a broader conflict.

Israel is surrounded by nations that would love to see it wiped off the map, and if the right opportunity arose they would gladly join forces in an all-out attempt to defeat Israel once and for all.

But if that scenario were to unfold while Donald Trump was in the White House, the Trump administration would most certainly intervene militarily on the side of Israel, and that could potentially be the start of World War 3.

It isn’t true at this point, but U.S. relations with Israel will soon once again become one of the most divisive issues in U.S. politics. And a major war in the Middle East would go a long way toward destabilizing the entire globe.

We truly do live in apocalyptic times, and many are anticipating that global events will greatly accelerate during the months ahead.

Throughout much of human history, Israel has been at the center of attention, and now it is happening again.

Watch Israel very carefully, because the things that are happening over there right now are going to have very serious implications for all of us.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots. It is a premium-members only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically. The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

Middle East Braces For Apocalyptic Conflict Between Israel And Hamas As Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman Declares “War Is Inevitable”

It appears that a major war between Israel and Hamas is imminent. For the past six months, Hamas has been staging violent protests along the Israeli border in an attempt to end the Israeli-Egyptian blockade. Those protests have escalated in recent weeks as Egyptian efforts to broker a long-term ceasefire have faltered. During these violent protests, large numbers of incendiary devices have been launched into Israel, and this has resulted in thousands of acres of land being burned on the Israeli side of the border. On Friday, approximately 14,000 Palestinians gathered along the border fence, and it was being reported that they were “throwing rocks, firebombs and grenades” at Israeli soldiers on the other side of the barrier. Needless to say, after six months of such violence Israeli patience is wearing very thin.

And now some members of the Israeli cabinet are openly advocating for war with Hamas. According to the Jerusalem Post, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman believes that a “harsh IDF military strike against Hamas” is the only way to end the violence…

A harsh IDF military strike against Hamas is the only way to halt the continued Palestinian attacks against Israel, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Tuesday morning as he met in the south with some of his top military staff.

Now is the time for decisions. My position is very clear: We must deal a heavy blow against Hamas. This is the only way to return the situation to its previous state and to reduce the level of violence to nearly zero,” Liberman said.

Ultimately the decision whether to strike Hamas or not will be made by the entire cabinet, but in Liberman’s mind it has gotten to the point where “war is inevitable”

Liberman told the Hebrew language Ynet website that “We have reached the moment – we must strike Hamas with the hardest blow. We have made every effort and exhausted every possibility… War is inevitable.”

That is a very powerful statement to make, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stopped just short of essentially saying the same thing on Sunday

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday threatened “very painful blows” against Gaza’s Hamas rulers if they don’t halt protests along the perimeter fence that have led to clashes with Israeli troops.

Netanyahu said Israel is very close to waging a “different kind of activity” against the Islamic militants. He said “if it has any sense, Hamas will cease its fire and violent outbursts — now.”

And here is how another news outlet reported on Netanyahu’s comments…

Speaking at the beginning of the weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday, Netanyahu said that “Hamas has yet to get the message that if it fails to stop its aggression it will be halted through other means and it will be painful, very painful.”

Netanyahu’s comments came after mass protests on Friday, during which several Palestinians breached the border fence and attacked an IDF position. Five Palestinians were killed in the incident and two more were killed during the violent protest along the border fence.

So is there any chance that Hamas will stop the protests?

Absolutely not.

And it will probably just take one of two more extremely violent border protests such as the one that we witnessed on Friday to push Israel into action.

Of course the reality is that both sides are already exchanging fire. On both Monday and Tuesday, the Israeli air force struck targets in Gaza

Earlier Tuesday, Israeli aircraft fired at a Palestinian terror cell as it launched firebomb balloons from the northern Gaza Strip into Israel. No casualties were reported.

The airstrike followed a similar incident on Monday, in which the IAF targeted a Hamas position in southern Gaza after Palestinian terrorists tried to plant explosives along the security fence on the border. One of the explosives exploded on the Gaza side of the fence. No injuries were reported, but the fence sustained some damage.

But what Liberman and Netanyahu are talking about would go far beyond such limited action.

What they are talking about would essentially be an invasion of Gaza with the intention of ending Hamas rule in the area.

Let’s talk about what such a scenario would mean for the Middle East as a whole. Hamas would fight back with everything that they have got, and it would be an extremely bloody conflict. Seeing an opportunity, Hezbollah would likely start striking Israel from the north, and the Israelis could suddenly find themselves fighting a war on two fronts. And since Hezbollah is heavily funded and supplied by Iran, it is easy to imagine Iran getting involved in the conflict as well.

And once missiles start flying back and forth between Israel and Iran, all hell could break loose.

If a major regional war erupts in the Middle East, the Trump administration will not hesitate to intervene. U.S. forces would be used to protect Israel, and such a move would inevitably unleash chaos and protests all over the globe.

We are just a hop, skip and jump away form World War 3, and most Americans don’t have a clue.

Once again, the eyes of the entire would will soon be glued on a tiny sliver of extremely important land in the Middle East, and we are going to watch a drama play out that will have enormous implications for the entire planet.

War is coming, and once it begins everything is going to change.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots. It is a premium-members only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically. The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

Iran unveils next generation missile

(AFP) Iran’s defence minister unveiled the next generation of Tehran’s Fateh Mobin short-range ballistic missile on Monday, according to conservative news agency Tasnim.

“As promised to our dear people, we will not spare any effort to increase the missile capabilities of the country and we will certainly increase our missile power every day,” the minister, Brigadier General Amir Hatami, said.

On The Brink: Israel Warns That The “Threshold Of War” Will Be Crossed If Hamas Doesn’t Stop Firing Rockets

Over the past 24 hours, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have fired approximately 70 rockets and mortars into Israel, and the IDF has responded by conducting at least 60 airstrikes in Gaza. Even as I write this article, there are reports that the fighting has continued all through the night. If the hostilities continue, we could very well see a full blown war erupt, and such a war could ultimately draw in the Palestinians in the West Bank, Hezbollah and more of Israel’s neighbors as well. To say that things are tense in the region would be a major understatement. On Tuesday, it was reported that there was a full moon over Jerusalem that was “almost red”, and some are taking that as an ominous sign. This is also the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and that certainly adds an extra dimension to the events that are unfolding right in front of our eyes. This is the worst violence that we have seen between the Israelis and Hamas since 2014, and many are extremely concerned about what we may see next.

Randomly firing rockets and mortar shells toward civilian population centers is a great act of cowardice, and these recent attacks by the Palestinians are being condemned all over the world. The following comes from Time Magazine

Palestinian militants bombarded southern Israel with dozens of rockets and mortar shells Tuesday, while Israeli warplanes struck targets throughout the Gaza Strip in the largest flare-up of violence between the sides since a 2014 war.

The Israeli military said most of the projectiles were intercepted, but three soldiers were wounded, raising the chances of further Israeli retaliation. One mortar shell landed near a kindergarten shortly before it opened.

In Israel, this kind of thing is simply accepted as a part of life, and despite the attack the school day continued as scheduled

“We are lucky the children weren’t in the kindergarten yet, and that they didn’t hear the explosion. It was just a stroke of luck that nobody was injured,” said Gadi Yarkoni, head of the Eshkol Regional Council.

Danny Cohen, community coordinator at the kibbutz, said that despite the incident, nearly all of the 20 students in the kindergarten came to school as scheduled.

“The parents are used to these kind of events. We’ve experienced them in the past,” Cohen told TPS. “The parents know that the building of the kindergarten is reinforced and that the staff knows how to handle this kind of situation.”

Needless to say, Israel was going to have a very strong response to these attacks. According to Fox News, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believed that Hamas was responsible from the very beginning…

“Israel will exact a heavy price from those who seek to harm it and we see Hamas as responsible for preventing such attacks,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said following the barrage.

And later on we did get word that Hamas and Islamic Jihad had issued a joint statement in which they both took responsibility for the rocket and mortar attacks.

Not since the 2014 Gaza war has Hamas claimed responsibility for rocket attacks into Israel. They had to know that there would be a high price to pay, and so what was their goal?

Do they actually want to start another war?

If both sides keep firing, that is precisely what is going to happen. In fact, Israel’s defense minister is warning that “the threshold of war” is about to be crossed…

Israel Katz, the Israeli intelligence minister, said: ‘We are the closest to the threshold of war since Operation Protective Edge.

‘We don’t want it, and the other side doesn’t either, but we have our red lines.’

If we do see a war, the only way that Hamas can hope for any sort of a victory is to draw in as many of Israel’s neighbors as possible. The last time that Hamas and Israel went head to head, Hamas was handed a crushing defeat

The last war in 2014 was especially devastating, with over 2,000 Palestinians killed, including hundreds of civilians, and widespread damage inflicted on Gaza’s infrastructure in 50 days of fighting. Seventy-two people were killed on the Israeli side.

Hamas cannot win a war against Israel by themselves.

So what do they possibly hope to achieve?

Today, the unemployment rate in Gaza is close to 50 percent and communities there are plagued by constant power outages. These people desperately need to rebuild their communities, and a new war with Israel would be absolutely crippling.

Hopefully cooler heads will prevail. The United States has called for an emergency session of the Security Council, and outside parties are trying to negotiate an end to the violence.

Meanwhile, hostilities between Israel and Syria continue to heat up as well. Let us pray for peace, because we are closer to a major war in the region than we have been in a very long time.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Donald Trump Has Become Such A Hero In Israel That He Is Going To Have A Train Station Named After Him

When Donald Trump decided to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, everyone knew that he was going to get a tremendous amount of criticism from the rest of the world. In fact, things got so crazy that even the Pope was criticizing him. But in Israel, Trump is now regarded as a national hero. Large signs with the message “God Bless Trump” have gone up all around Jerusalem, and now we have learned that a new train station that will be constructed very close to the Western Wall will actually be named after Trump. The following comes from the Jerusalem Post

A train station that will be built next to the Western Wall will be named after US President Donald Trump.

The decision was made by Transportation Minister Israel Katz, who said: “The Western Wall is the holiest place for the Jewish people, and I decided to name the train station that leads to it after president Trump – following his historic and brave decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

That is truly a tremendous honor. Normally, you would expect permanent landmarks to only be named after great national leaders. Here in the United States, there are a few landmarks and monuments named after foreign leaders, but not too many. So for Trump to get this kind of recognition in such a historic area of Jerusalem just shows how much his recent decision meant to the Jewish people.

Of course it is going to take quite a bit of time before this train station is actually built. Current plans call for a 3 kilometer tunnel to be built under Jerusalem, and any sort of construction that takes place underneath the holy city inevitably ends up being quite complicated. Here is more from the Jerusalem Post

Yediot Aharonot reported on Tuesday that Katz approved the construction plans for the train, that will include a 3 km. tunnel from the Umma (nation) station at the entrance to the city to the Cardo in the Jewish Quarter.

Katz said that he sees the project of extending the length of the railway from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as the most important national project, and ordered officials in the Transportation Ministry to define it as a top priority mission.

As I wrote about yesterday, the UN General Assembly recently voted 128 to 9 against Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Of course that vote has no sort of legal significance, and the Trump administration is warning that the countries that voted against the U.S. may see their foreign aid reduced.

But another thing that Trump’s decision has done is to embolden other nations that would also like to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Guatemala has already followed suit, and there are reports that “at least 10 other countries” may do so very soon…

Following Guatemala’s announcement Monday that it would move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, at least 10 other countries are in talks to move their own missions, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said.

In an interview with Israel Radio, she declined to say which states Israel was speaking with, but Channel 10 reported that the next country likely to announce an embassy move was Honduras.

Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was one of the most historic things to happen in the Middle East in decades, and Trump’s popularity in the land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is now off the charts. In fact, it is being reported that “God Bless Trump” signs have been going up in major cities all across the country. For example, someone posted a photo of one of these signs in a neighborhood in Jerusalem on Twitter

And other historic events have been taking place in Israel lately as well. Just check out what Breaking Israel News is reporting…

A scene straight from the Temple of Solomon was recreated on Tuesday evening when Kohanim lit the menorah, but even more wondrous than this sight was the fragrance that accompanied the event: for the first time in 2,000 years, incense was burned in the Biblically prescribed manner.

The Temple reenactment took place in the Gan Tekuma park adjacent to the Jewish Quarter inside of Jerusalem’s old city walls at 5:00 PM, just after sunset. The Kohanim (Jewish men of priestly descent) were dressed in priestly garments as described in the Bible.

We are seeing things happen in the land of Israel that a whole lot of people never thought that we would see, and many believe that the pace of significant events will pick up even more as we head into 2018.

But as jubilant as people are right now, they need to understand that conflict is on the horizon and that war could erupt in the Middle East at literally any moment.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

The Mainstream Media Is Talking About A Coming Middle East War That Could Involve Saudi Arabia, Iran, The U.S. And Israel

People better start waking up and paying attention to what is happening in the Middle East, because the situation is becoming quite serious. If things go badly, we could be facing a major regional war which would involve not only Saudi Arabia and Iran, but also potentially the United States and Israel. Yesterday, I quoted an article in the New York Times that warned that tensions between the Saudis and the Iranians were raising “the threat of a direct military clash between the two regional heavyweights”. And now Jake Novak of CNBC is saying that a “direct conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran, as opposed to the proxy war they’re fighting in Yemen, looks inevitable.”

I put those last two words in bold so that there wouldn’t be any confusion. In fact, Novak is warning that the Saudis “are marching ever closer towards a wider regional war”. Novak understands the dynamics of the Middle East, and he realizes where things could be headed if cooler heads do not prevail.

Saudi Arabia and Iran have already been fighting proxy wars against one another in Syria and Iran for quite a while, but a direct military conflict between the two could literally be a nightmare scenario.

One of the primary characters in this ongoing drama is Saudi Arabia’s extremely hawkish crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. He hates Iran with a passion, and he has already said that he believes that a peace dialogue with Iran is impossible.

And over the past several days, events in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon have moved talk of war to the front burner

First, the kingdom squarely blamed Iran for a missile attack on Riyadh from Yemen that was thwarted by the U.S.-made Patriot anti-missile system. The Saudis called that attack “direct military aggression by the Iranian regime and may be considered an act of war.”

Second, the Saudis accused Lebanon of — figuratively at least — declaring “war” against it because of aggression from Hezbollah. That statement spurred even Saudi ally and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to publicly urge for calm.

In an article yesterday, I discussed the “purge” that is currently taking place in Saudi Arabia. Many believe that this purge is all about removing any potential obstacles to a war with Iran. Mohammed bin Salman and his father have made dealing with Iran their number one strategic priority, and they have even enlisted the Israelis as allies in their cause…

As is already well-known, the Saudi and Israeli common cause against perceived Iranian influence and expansion in places like Syria, Lebanon and Iraq of late has led the historic bitter enemies down a pragmatic path of unspoken cooperation as both seem to have placed the break up of the so-called “Shia crescent” as their primary policy goal in the region. For Israel, Hezbollah has long been its greatest foe, which Israeli leaders see as an extension of Iran’s territorial presence right up against the Jewish state’s northern border.

If Saudi Arabia and Iran go to war, it is probably inevitable that Hezbollah will strike Israel at the same time, thus getting the Israelis directly involved in the conflict.

Not only that, if a major regional war does erupt in the Middle East it would almost certainly mean that the U.S. would have to get involved as well. Here is more from Jake Novak of CNBC

But if full blown war breaks out directly between the two countries, it’s hard to see the U.S. being able to sit it out without at least some form increased weapons support and other aid. Then it will be up to Iran’s possible allies, like Russia and China to make the next move.

If you are thinking that this sounds like the type of scenario that could cause World War III to erupt, you would be correct.

The Iranians and the Saudis both have weapons of mass destruction, and so a direct conflict between the two would seem to be unthinkable.

But rational thinking does not always prevail in the Middle East. The conflict between Sunni Islam and Shia Islam has a long and bitter history, and the bad blood between the Saudis and the Iranians is never going to subside until one side or the other ultimately prevails.

Let us hope that a “hot war” between Saudi Arabia and Iran does not erupt any time soon, because such a war would not be good for the United States whatsoever. Pretty much every scenario that you can imagine ends with enormous numbers of innocent people dead, and such a conflict could ultimately be the spark that sets off World War III.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

Is Saudi Arabia Heading For War With Iran?

Is a major war in the Middle East looming on the horizon? Most of us living in the western world simply do not realize how much Saudi Arabia and Iran truly hate one another. Saudi Arabia is the global center for Sunni Islam, and Iran is the global center for Shia Islam, and the two major sects of Islam have a history of bad blood that literally goes back for over a thousand years. The Saudis and the Iranians are already engaged in “proxy wars” in Syria and in Yemen, and now a missile that was fired at Riyadh’s international airport threatens to turn the conflict between the two regional powers into a hot war.

If you are tempted to think that I am exaggerating one bit, just consider what the New York Times is saying about this…

Saudi Arabia charged Monday that Iran had committed “a blatant act of military aggression” by providing its Yemeni allies with a missile fired at the Saudi capital over the weekend, raising the threat of a direct military clash between the two regional heavyweights.

The accusations represent a new peak in tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran at a time when they are already fighting proxy wars in Yemen and Syria, as well as battles for political power in Iraq and Lebanon.

And Yahoo is reporting that the Saudis are saying that this missile attack “may amount to an act of war”…

On Monday, a Saudi-led military coalition battling Tehran-backed rebels in Yemen said it reserved the “right to respond” to the missile attack on Riyadh at the weekend, calling it a “blatant military aggression by the Iranian regime which may amount to an act of war”.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir also warned Tehran.

“Iranian interventions in the region are detrimental to the security of neighbouring countries and affect international peace and security. We will not allow any infringement on our national security,” Jubeir tweeted.

For those that have not grasped the implications of what I am saying yet, let me break this down very simply for you.

If Saudi Arabia and Iran go to war, the United States will be involved in that war on the side of the Saudis.

It would be a war unlike anything we have ever seen in the history of the Middle East, and it is almost a certainty that weapons of mass destruction would be used in such a war.

Essentially, what we are talking about is the potential for World War III to erupt in the Middle East.

And all of this comes at a time when the biggest “purge” in the modern history of Saudi Arabia is taking place

A campaign of mass arrests of Saudi Arabian royals, ministers and businessmen expanded on Monday after a top entrepreneur was reportedly detained in the biggest anti-corruption purge of the kingdom’s affluent elite in its modern history.

The reported arrest of Nasser bin Aqeel al-Tayyar followed the detention of dozens of top Saudis including billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal in a crackdown that the attorney general described as “phase one”.

The purge is the latest in a series of dramatic steps by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to assert Saudi influence internationally and amass more power for himself at home.

Some would say that the Saudis are “cracking down on corruption”, while others would say that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is “consolidating power” prior to going to war.

In any event, this situation deserves our full attention, because it could ultimately result in a major regional war in which the United States is directly involved.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

War With Russia? The Russians Announce Any U.S. Warplanes Flying Over Syria Will Be Treated As ‘Targets’

Is the escalating conflict in Syria setting the stage for World War III with Russia?  On Sunday, a U.S. Navy F-18 shot down a Syrian Army SU-22 near Raqqa.  This represents a major escalation by U.S. forces, because this is the very first time that the U.S. military has shot down a Syrian warplane since the civil war began back in 2011.  Needless to say, the Russians were not pleased by this at all.  In fact, according to the Independent the Russians have just announced that all U.S. warplanes flying over Syria will now be treated as “targets” by the Russian military…

Russia has said it will treat US warplanes operating in parts of Syria where its air forces are also present as “targets” amid a diplomatic row caused by the downing of a Syrian jet.

The country’s defence ministry said it would track US-led coalition aircraft with missile systems and military aircraft, but stopped short of saying it would shoot them down.

A hotline set up between Russia and the US to prevent mid-air collisions will also be suspended.

The Russians have some of the very best anti-aircraft systems on the entire planet, and they would be more than capable of shooting down our jets.

So let us hope that the Russians don’t cross that line, because the anti-Russian hysteria in Washington would go to an entirely new level if footage of U.S. jets being blown out of the sky started running 24 hours a day on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.

But if U.S. forces keep striking the Syrian military, at some point the Russians are not going to hold back any longer.  According to the Washington Post, Sunday’s incident was “the fourth time within a month that the U.S. military has attacked pro-Syrian government forces”…

The Pentagon said the downing of the aircraft came hours after Syrian loyalist forces attacked U.S.-backed fighters, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, in the village of Ja’Din, southwest of Raqqa. The rare attack was the first time a U.S. jet has shot down a manned hostile aircraft in more than a decade, and it signaled the United States’ sharply intensifying role in Syria’s war.

The incident is the fourth time within a month that the U.S. military has attacked pro-Syrian government forces.

Most Americans have absolutely no idea how close to war we are in Syria.  One wrong move and we could easily find ourselves in another war in the Middle East which would be far more serious than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ever were.

That is because we probably wouldn’t just be fighting the Syrian government.  We would also likely be fighting both Russia and Iran.

On Sunday, Iran escalated the conflict themselves by firing a number of missiles into eastern Syria

Iran’s military said Sunday that it has launched several missiles into eastern Syria, targeting Islamic State fighters in retaliation for the twin attacks that rocked Tehran on June 7.

The strikes are the first time Iran has fired missiles at another country in three decades and represent a major escalation of Iran’s role in the war in Syria.

For the United States, there is nothing to be gained by getting involved in the civil war in Syria.  President Assad is definitely a bad guy, but so are the radical jihadist groups that are trying to overthrow him.

We say that we are conducting operations in Syria in order to fight ISIS, but ISIS forces in Syria are on their last legs at this point.  If we allowed the Russians and the Iranians to focus on finishing off ISIS in Syria, that would free up U.S. resources to focus on ISIS strongholds in Iraq and elsewhere.

And once ISIS is completely vanquished, what will our policy in Syria be?  Will we be dragged into a conflict that the Trump administration has always said that it wanted to avoid?  The following comes from CNN

And yet now, as the Trump administration enters its sixth month, the US is being drawn into the very conflict its inaction had been intended to avoid. And as forces the US supports face danger from forces supporting the Syrian regime, the questions will get louder: What is US policy in Syria? And will the fight against ISIS lead the US into a war against Assad?

I will try to explain why things have gotten so complicated in the region.

In 2011, the “Arab Spring” was raging all over the Middle East.  Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their Sunni allies in the region wanted to use that “opportunity” to overthrow President Assad in Syria, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her team decided that would be a wonderful idea.  So massive protests against the Syrian government were organized, and money and arms were funneled to anti-Assad groups.

Pretty soon a horrible civil war broke out, and it has now raged on for six long years.  The Syrian refugee crisis that we are dealing with today is the direct result of this civil war that Hillary Clinton had a hand in starting.

And everything was going according to plan at first.  The radical jihadist groups that Saudi Arabia and Turkey were backing were winning, and it looked like Assad was going to lose.

But then Russia, Iran and Hezbollah intervened, and that totally turned the tide of the war.

Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies are still absolutely determined to find a way to win the war in Syria, and they see the U.S. as the key.  They would love to get the U.S. into the war, but so far the U.S. has been hesitant to get fully involved in another quagmire in the Middle East.

But the Trump administration is unlikely to completely stop operations in Syria either, because Trump very much wants to have a positive relationship with the Saudis.

As ISIS continues to lose more territory, U.S. forces will increasingly find themselves operating in very close proximity to Syrian, Russian and Iranian forces.

We have already had four incidents of conflict between the two sides within the last month, and if we are not very careful we could end up in a major regional war in the Middle East.

So let us hope that cooler heads prevail, because we definitely don’t need another pointless war on our hands.

White House breaks with decades of Middle East policy saying Israel-Palestine crisis might NOT end up with two separate states

The Trump administration has broken with decades of Middle East policy by suggesting that that peace between the Israelis and Palestinians may not come in the form of a two-state solution.

The position could represent a dramatic shift from what has been US policy for more than 20 years.

Many attempts have been made to broker a two-state solution between the two countries, involving the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel, which was established in 1948.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

This Is Not How You Reverse The Curse: Trump Administration Set To Announce Support For A ‘Two State Solution’

Many had believed that the “two state solution” would be “dead” under a Trump administration, but that is turning out not to be the case at all.  According to an Israeli news source, the Trump administration is about to publicly declare support for a “two state solution”, and officials have reportedly been in contact with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office regarding “ideas to promote the two state solution.”  This is extremely alarming, because I have previously written about how those that bless Israel will be blessed and those that curse Israel will be cursed.  UN Security Council Resolution 2334 was a major step toward dividing the land of Israel, and when Barack Obama refused to veto that resolution in December he put the United States on the wrong side of that equation.  In an article back in January, I listed 10 things that Trump could do to try to reverse the curse that Obama had brought on America, but instead it appears that Trump is also being seduced by the idea that a “two state solution” will bring lasting peace to the Middle East.

According to Ynet News, the decision has already been made.  It is going to be the position of the Trump administration that a “two state solution” is needed in the Middle East, and there have already been discussions between Israeli officials and Trump administration officials about how to move the process forward…

The Trump administration clarified in recent days to the Prime Minister’s bureau that it intended to support the ‘two-state solution’ as the base for negotiations in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The clarifications were part of the preparations currently underway for the first meeting between Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump since the latter assumed the American presidency. That meeting is to take place next week in the US capital.

American officials have been in communication with Jerusalem, and they have sent a series of messages for the prime minister with ideas to promote the two-state solution. This would lay the groundwork for a joint statement from both the heads of government supporting this step.

And to be honest, this shouldn’t exactly be a huge surprise.

Shortly after being elected, Trump told the Wall Street Journal that he wanted to get the Israelis and the Palestinians to agree to “the ultimate deal”, and that he wanted to do so “for humanity’s sake”…

President elect-Donald Trump wasted no time placing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict high on his foreign policy agenda, telling The Wall Street Journal on Friday that he hopes to end the conflict after taking office in January.

“That’s the ultimate deal,” said Trump. “As a deal maker, I’d like to do … the deal that can’t be made. And to do it for humanity’s sake. He referred to the conflict as the “war that never ends.”

Of course Trump knew when he made that statement that the Palestinians would never agree to a deal that does not give them their own state.

So the truth is that Trump has been thinking about a Palestinian state for a long time, but now he is going to publicly come out and back one.

All of those pundits on the right and the left that were suggesting that the “two state solution” was now dead were completely wrong.  Sadly, Trump is a lot more like his predecessors when it comes to foreign policy than many were anticipating, and so far he is not nearly as pro-Israel as many supporters of Israel were hoping.

In fact, just a few days ago the Trump administration released a statement denouncing any new Israeli settlements or the expansion of any existing settlements in the West Bank.  The following comes from the official White House website

“While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal. As the President has expressed many times, he hopes to achieve peace throughout the Middle East region.”

And the Trump administration was not happy about a new Israeli law that was just passed that retroactively legalized about 4,000 “settler outposts” in Judea and Samaria.  So far Trump is not loudly denouncing this new law, but much of the rest of the world is definitely doing so

France called the bill a “new attack on the two-state solution”, while Britain said it “damages Israel’s standing with its international partners”.

Turkey “strongly condemned” the law and Israel’s “unacceptable” settlement policy, and the Arab League accused Israel of “stealing the land and appropriating the property of Palestinians”.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres boldly proclaimed that this new law “is in contravention of international law and will have far reaching legal consequences for Israel”, and another UN official says that Israel has crossed “a very thick red line”

The law crossed a “thick red line” toward annexation of the West Bank, the United Nations said earlier Tuesday.

UN envoy for the Middle East peace process Nickolay Mladenov said the bill set a “very dangerous precedent.”

“This is the first time the Israeli Knesset legislates in the occupied Palestinian lands and particularly on property issues,” he told AFP.

“That crosses a very thick red line.”

Tensions in the Middle East are on the rise again, and we could literally see missiles start flying back and forth at any minute.

There is going to be a tremendous amount of pressure on Trump to try to bring peace to the Middle East, and Trump is already making it clear that he believes that a “two state solution” is the “ultimate deal”.

But if Donald Trump were to broker a deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians that would permanently divide the land of Israel into two states, he would greatly curse this nation, and so many of the things that I talk about in my new book would begin to happen.

It wouldn’t matter that Donald Trump is a conservative Republican that was backed by more than 80 percent of all evangelical Christians that voted in the last election.  If Donald Trump is successful in dividing the land of Israel, we will be greatly cursed, and there will be disastrous consequences for the United States, for the Middle East, and for the entire planet.

So some of Donald Trump’s new evangelical Christian buddies need to start talking some sense to him before he does something that will be absolutely catastrophic for all of us.

Scores Of Muslims Are Turning To Christ In The Middle East – Churches Are Expecting ‘Millions’ Of Converts

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“There are thousands upon thousands coming to Christ,” VOMC revealed. “We are in regular contact with our FM stations in Iraq and have talked with many people who have family in the Middle East.”

“Some of our Middle Eastern broadcasters have shared testimonies [about many turning to Christ] with us, which they hear directly from listeners when visiting there …”

In Iran, Christian house churches are regularly targeted and shut down by the nation’s Islamic government. Despite this persecution, mission group Elam Ministries revealed that Christians have been growing in terms of numbers, and today estimates suggest there are 360,000 believers in Iran – up from only 500 in 1979.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

World War 3 Imminent? Tanks Roll Across The Border As Turkish Invasion Of Syria Begins

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The invasion of Syria that so many people have been warning about is now happening. On Wednesday, Turkish tanks rolled across the Syrian border, and they were accompanied by radical Islamic Syrian rebels that want to ultimately overthrow the Assad regime. This invasion was conducted under the code name “Euphrates Shield”, and it was supported by airstrikes from A-10s and F-16s that are part of the U.S.-led coalition that has been conducting airstrikes against ISIS targets in the region. The mainstream media in the United States has been very quiet about this escalation of the conflict in Syria, but things are much different in the rest of the world. For example, a major Israeli news source announced the attack this way: “Turkey invades Syria“. And without a doubt, that is precisely what is taking place. The Syrian government denounced this move by Turkey as a “blatant breach to its sovereignty”, and the Russians are deeply alarmed. The farther Turkish forces push into northern Syria, the more likely they will be to encounter Syrian or Russian forces, and one bad move could result in the outbreak of World War 3 in the Middle East.

The fact that the U.S. media is treating this invasion of Syria as if it is of little importance is deeply disturbing. These days, the big news channels are obsessed with feeding us propaganda about how “healthy” Hillary Clinton is, or about how “racist” Donald Trump is, and they spend exceedingly little time on the things that really matter all over the globe.

Fortunately, it is not the same way around much of the rest of the planet. Here is an excerpt from a British news source about the Turkish attack…

It is hard to anticipate whether Turkey’s unprecedented military incursion into Syria this week will change the dynamics of the multiple wars that have ravaged the region and put civilians through hell. If things already seemed complicated in the Middle East, they may have just become even more so. What started on Wednesday ranks as the largest Turkish military operation inside Syrian territory since the civil war began five years ago. A dozen tanks, reportedly followed by a bus transporting Syrian rebels, rolled into northern Syria to drive Islamic State forces from the town of Jarablus, one of their last footholds on the Turkish-Syrian border. Today Turkey sent more tanks in and told the YPG Kurdish armed group it had one week to retreat from the border areas.

We are being told that the primary purpose of this Turkish invasion is “to fight ISIS”, but that is just for western consumption. The truth is that Turkey has actually been supporting ISIS and other terror groups in Syria for a very long time. In fact, it has been heavily documented that ISIS sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stolen oil through Turkey until the Russians put a stop to it.

No, the real motivation for this assault is to stop the advance of Kurdish forces. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu recently promised that Turkey would “do what is necessary” to keep Kurdish fighters east of the Euphrates River, and even President Erdogan is admitting that the Kurds are primary targets in this operation

“(Wednesday’s operation) started in the north of Syria against terror groups which constantly threaten our country, like (ISIS) and the PYD,” Erdogan said, referring to a Syrian Kurdish opposition political party.

And U.S. officials know exactly what Erdogan is doing. Just check out what one of them told CNN

Another senior US official told CNN’s Barbara Starr the US assessment is that Turkey’s cross-border action is largely about trying to stop Kurdish action. “The Turks never cared about Jarablus until the Kurds wanted to get there,” the official said.

So now the Turks have declared open season on the Kurds in northern Syria, and the Syrian Kurds are treating this move as “a declaration of war”

Spokesman for the YPG Kurdish militia, Redur Xelil, called Turkey’s move “blatant aggression in Syrian internal affairs.” Aldar Xelil, another influential Kurdish politician, accused Turkey of initiating an occupation of Syria, saying the operation amounted to “a declaration of war” on the autonomous administration set up by Kurdish groups in northern Syria in 2011.

According to the Turkish government, Operation Euphrates Shield will “create a safe zone” that will be 90 kilometers long and 40 kilometers wide that stretches roughly from the town of Jarablus to the town of Marea.

That is a massive amount of territory, and this basically shows that the Turks plan to set up shop there permanently.

President Erdogan and his supporters have always dreamed of recreating the old Ottoman Empire, and they already have military forces occupying portions of northern Iraq. This move into northern Syria is yet another bold move in the direction of their ultimate goal.

But will the Russians just stand by and allow the Turks to do whatever they want?

So far the Russians are not saying much, but Vladimir Putin has ordered snap military drills

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered snap military drills as German Chancellor Angela Merkel accused him of breaking international law in Ukraine and said NATO will defend member states against attack.

Combat readiness exercises are taking place “to defend the interests of the Russian Federation amid increasing threats to its security,” Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Thursday in a statement on the ministry’s website. Troops in Russia’s southern, central and western military districts, naval deployments in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, and airborne forces are involved, he said.

The Russians don’t want to fight Turkish forces in Syria, but as they have shown in Crimea, in Ukraine and elsewhere, they are definitely not afraid to take military action when their interests require it.

And if Russia and Turkey do start fighting, that would threaten to drag the rest of NATO (including the United States) into the conflict.

Turkey has been chomping at the bit to start grabbing chunks of territory in northern Syria for quite some time now, but this invasion is going to turn out to be a tragic mistake.

President Erdogan has definitely overplayed his hand this time, and let us just hope that it doesn’t result in World War 3 erupting in the Middle East.

*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and End Of The American Dream. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

End Time Persecution Is Here: Russia Just Banned Evangelism And China Has Torn Down 1000s Of Crosses

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We always knew that this was coming. For years, the horrifying persecution of Christians in the Middle East has made headlines all over the globe, but now we are seeing very disturbing examples of government-sanctioned persecution literally all over the planet. As you will read about below, Russia just banned virtually all types of evangelism outside of a church or religious site. And China has been tearing down thousands of crosses and has been demolishing dozens of churches in a renewed crackdown on the growth of Christianity in that nation. Overall, there are 53 countries that now have laws that restrict the Christian faith according to one recent report. When are we going to wake up and realize what is happening?

When I heard about the new law that was just passed in Russia, I was absolutely stunned. I was in Moscow just a few years after the Berlin Wall fell, and the people were very eager to hear about the Christian faith which had been brutally repressed under the Soviet regime for decades.

Sadly, Russia has now decided to revert back to the old Soviet ways. This new law, which Vladimir Putin wanted, represents almost a complete and total ban on sharing the gospel

The law, which will come into force on July 20, will prohibit evangelism anywhere outside a church or religious site – including private homes and online – and those in breach of it will be fined. Only named members of religious organisations will be able to share their faith, and even informal witnessing between individuals is forbidden.

According to the New York Times, this ban also includes “preaching and praying” that is done outside the boundaries of “officially recognized” religious institutions.

In recent years, I have defended Russia in many of my articles. But there is no defending this.

This new law is the single worst thing that Russia has done since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and they should be utterly ashamed of themselves.

Meanwhile, government officials in China have launched a renewed crackdown on Christians as the underground church continues to grow like wildfire.

According to some reports, the government has torn down more than 2,000 crosses in Zhejiang Province alone in recent months…

More than two thousand crosses have now been forcefully removed from churches as part of a government campaign to regulate “excessive religious sites”.

The nation’s leadership launched the crusade to eradicate Christianity in the coastal province of Zhejiang almost two years ago.

Several members of the public have since been arrested for attempting to halt the government’s crude attempt to suppress the Christian faith.

But sometimes government officials don’t stop there and decide to tear down an entire church. In fact, since the beginning of this year at least 49 churches have been destroyed in Zhejiang Province. Just recently, one group of believers defied the government and returned to their destroyed church to hold a worship service…

Christian worshipers gather to worship among the ruins of their demolished church, defying the Communist Chinese government anti-Christian drive. These congregants in China’ Wenzhou, Zhejiang province conducted a prayer service despite their church building demolished by the government officials.

Zhuyang Church, which was a government-sanctioned church, was routed as a part of an unprecedented church demolition drive. On May 20, the church was demolished by about 100 government officers took down the church building authorized despite the fact that it had the government authorization to operate.

The church member said that the only reason the official could provide for church’ demolition was that the church was “transforming the villages in the city.”

But even the churches that have been left standing in Zhejiang Province are also feeling the pain of the crackdown. According to China Aid, there is a new law that is forcing many churches “to turn over all of their tithes and donations to state authorities“…

The communist government of China’s Zhejiang Province is enforcing a new law that demands numerous churches to turn over all of their tithes and donations to state authorities.

According to a nonprofit Christian organization dedicated to serving the persecuted Church in China, the officials of Pingyang County in Wenzhou are compelling members to give all of their churches’ income to state authorities.

“The government officials will interfere with church affairs, managing our donations and some large-scale projects,” a source told China Aid.

For so long, most Americans have considered the Chinese government to be our friend. But that is not true at all. The communist Chinese are a corrupt, wicked regime that has always been deeply anti-Christian. Anyone that believes otherwise has simply been deluded.

Meanwhile, the persecution of Christians continues to intensify in many parts of Africa. Just recently, a mother of seven children was “hacked to death” by Islamic radicals in Nigeria for openly preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ…

A Christian mother of seven was hacked to death by suspected Muslim radicals in Nigeria and her mutilated body was discovered in a pool of blood along with a Bible and megaphone she used to preach every morning.

According to local reports, 41-year-old Eunice Olawale, a pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of Nigeria and an evangelist, was murdered in the early morning hours on Saturday while she was out evangelizing near Nigeria’s capital of Abuja.

Olawale’s husband, Olawale Elisha, told local media that his wife had left their home around 5 a.m. Saturday morning to preach in the neighborhood but she never returned home.

Ever since the first century, Christians have been martyred for publicly preaching the gospel, and we were warned that this kind of terrible persecution was coming in the last days.

Of course Christians in the Middle East don’t exactly need to hear about “the coming persecution” because they have been living it for many years. Christians are being tortured, beheaded and crucified by radical terror groups such as ISIS, and in other areas of the Middle East the persecution is being imposed on a national level by the government. For instance, just check out what is happening right now in Pakistan

The government of Pakistan has announced plans to force Islam on young people by making Quranic study compulsory for all school and college students, which is contrary to the country’s constitution and the Islamic precept that there should be no compulsion in religion. This is the latest escalation of the country’s bias against Christians, other minority faiths and non-believers,” said Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

“Pakistani Christians, including children, are at risk of kidnapping, forced marriage and forced religious conversion to Islam. Some are also victims of blasphemy charges, which carry the death penalty. There are regular violent assaults on Christian families, homes, shops and churches.

The persecution of the end times is here.

All over the planet, the Christian faith is under assault. In the western world we may not have to face much violent persecution just yet, but our faith is relentlessly mocked, ridiculed and demonized on television, in the movies and on the Internet. Laws that are anti-Christian in tone and substance are regularly being passed, and many of our top politicians are not even pretending to be fair to us any longer.

Just like in much of the rest of the world, we are starting to discover that there is a great price to be paid for following Jesus Christ.

In Matthew 16, Jesus told us that if anyone would choose to follow Him, that individual should “deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

Are you ready to take up your cross?

The persecution of Christians is only going to get worse in the years ahead, and in order to make it through what is coming we need to be ready to give up everything for Him.

*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and End Of The American Dream. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

UN Rejects Israel’s Claim To The Golan Heights As Top Rabbis Await The Messiah’s Imminent Arrival

Golan Heights - Photo by Escla

The UN Security Council has unanimously rejected Israel’s claim to sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and this is likely to cause tensions in the Middle East to rise even higher. On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boldly declared “that the Golan Heights will remain under Israel’s sovereignty permanently.” After close to 50 years of control over the Golan Heights, this should not have been much of a shock. But the Arab world immediately went into an uproar, and the UN Security Council has taken action. In a unanimous decision, the UN Security Council has announced that Israel’s claims to the Golan Heights are “null and void and without international legal effect.”

So once again the United Nations and the nation of Israel are directly at odds with one another, because the truth is that Israel is never going to leave the Golan Heights as long as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in power. The following comes from CNN

Israel’s Prime Minister has declared that the Golan Heights will remain permanently under the country’s control, during Israel’s first Cabinet meeting held in the territory.

“The time has come for the international community to recognize reality, especially two basic facts,” said Benjamin Netanyahu during a Cabinet meeting Sunday.

“One, whatever is beyond the border, the boundary itself will not change. Two, after 50 years, the time has come for the international community to finally recognize that the Golan Heights will remain under Israel’s sovereignty permanently.”

Asking Israel to give the Golan Heights back to Syria is kind of like asking the United States to give Texas back to Mexico.

It just isn’t going to happen.

But thanks in large part to pressure from the Islamic world, the UN Security Council remains bound and determined to take that strategically important sliver of land away from Israel.

On Tuesday, the UN Security Council expressed “deep concern” that the Israeli government is claiming permanent sovereignty over the Golan Heights…

“Council members expressed their deep concern over recent Israeli statements about the Golan, and stressed that the status of the Golan remains unchanged,” China’s U.N. Ambassador Liu Jieyi, president of the 15-nation Security Council this month, told reporters after a closed-door meeting.

He added that council resolution 497 of 1981 made clear that Israel’s decision at the time to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the Golan was “null and void and without international legal effect.

Council statements are adopted by consensus, which means all its members, including Israel’s ally the United States, backed it.

Of course the Obama administration was definitely going to go along with this UN Security Council statement, because it has consistently proven to be the most anti-Israel administration in modern U.S. history.

Late last year, there was a lot of talk about a potential UN Security Council resolution which would have permanently divided the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem and that would have set the parameters for a Palestinian state. At that time, the Obama administration was not quite ready to pull the trigger.

However, now that the end of Obama’s second term is rapidly approaching, it appears that things have changed. There has been a lot of talk in the mainstream media about how such a resolution is now “on the table”, and members of Congress were so alarmed that 388 of them sent a letter to Obama urging him not to do this. The following comes from the Wall Street Journal

Several hundred Democratic and Republican lawmakers are urging the White House not to back any resolution at the United Nations that sets parameters for Israeli-Palestinian talks, a move President Barack Obama has been considering.

In a letter to Mr. Obama, 388 members of the House, including Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California, said U.S. support for a U.N. Security Council resolution would “dangerously hinder” the prospects of resuming direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.

“We are deeply troubled by reports that one-sided initiatives may arise at the U.N. in the coming months concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the letter says.

As you can see, even Nancy Pelosi is opposing Obama on this.

But will that stop him?

Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, top rabbis over in Israel are convinced that the arrival of the Messiah is imminent. Two extremely prominent figures in the Jewish faith recently got together for a very important conversation, and this made headlines all over the world

Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch,Vice-President of the Rabbinical Court and the Head of the Edah HaChareidis in Jerusalem, paid a rare visit to Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky at his home in Bnei Barak. They are two of the most prominent Torah figures alive today. Conversations between such great men have enormous significance and the Hebrew-language website Kikar Shabbat recorded the dialogue between these two great rabbis.

Much of their conversation centered on expectations regarding the coming of the Messiah. As you can see, they clearly believe that it could happen at literally any time…

Rabbi Kanievsky said that troubles were to be expected. “It is the days before Messiah,” he explained.

Rabbi Sternbuch agreed. “In the End of Days, those who fear God will despair and their hands will loosen from fighting God’s war against the sinners, and there will be no one to rely upon except God,” he said, adding, “We have to bring the Messiah.”

Rabbi Kanievsky answered that the Messiah should be arriving in the very near future. He quoted the Talmud (Megillah 17b) again, saying, “In the year after shmittah the Son of David will come.”

The year after the Shemitah on the Jewish calendar ends this October, so until then messianic expectations will be running high in Israel.

But at the same time, a geopolitical drama is playing out on the world stage which may eventually result in a great war coming to the land. If the UN Security Council does decide to pass a resolution permanently dividing the land, that is going to cause tensions in the region to go through the roof.

In the Bible, we are told that Israel will be playing a central role in the events of the last days, and this is definitely shaping up to be the case. In a recent episode of our television show, my wife and I discussed this extensively. Even though the land of Israel is only about the size of New Jersey, and even though only a tiny fraction of the global population lives there, the attention of the rest of the planet is constantly focused on it.

Unfortunately for the United States, the Obama administration has chosen a path that is radically anti-Israel, and that is going to end up having very serious implications for all of us.

*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of End Of The American Dream. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

ISIS Sex Slaves Reveal The True Horror Of What Is Going On Over In The Middle East

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Could you imagine being kidnapped, being auctioned off like a piece of meat, and being endlessly gang-raped every day by some of the most evil men on the entire planet for months on end? This is what ISIS is doing to thousands upon thousands of women in Iraq and Syria, and some of their victims are as young as nine. The things that I am about to share with you are almost too nightmarish for words, but it is imperative that we understand what is going on. When ISIS conquers an area that is not Muslim, they believe that they can do whatever they want to the women because they are “infidels”. So innocent young women are being treated in some of the most horrible ways imaginable, and most of the rest of the world looks on with indifference. But of course what ISIS is doing is just the tip of a very big global iceberg. As you will see below, there are tens of millions of slaves in our world today, and sexual exploitation is involved in approximately 80 percent of those cases.

I came across a Daily Mail article earlier today that detailed what ISIS did to a young Yazidi woman named Khalida. When she was captured, she was brought to one of those infamous “auctions” where members of ISIS buy and sell women like trading cards…

A Yazidi woman sold as a sex-slave eight times by an ISIS jihadi says she was put on parade like she was being picked out in a ‘car showroom’.

Khalida, 20, was kidnapped and taken to Raqqa where she was put on display in a ‘meat market’ where women are purchased for as little as a mobile phone, or simply given away as ‘gifts’.

The most beautiful women are put into a separate ‘VIP’ room where leaders can take their time choosing their favourite three or four girls each.

Khalida and her sister were purchased initially by a very sick old man with a white beard that kept them locked away in a small room. From time to time he would rape them, and then afterwards his wife would beat them for “tempting” her husband.

Later she was sold to other owners, and she was gang-raped by ISIS fighters multiple times. Here is more of her story from the Daily Mail

Raped up to three times a day her ‘slave master’ or gang-raped by groups of ISIS fighters, this quiet young woman was bought and sold by eight different men – each more brutal, callous and perverted than the last.

She told MailOnline she was force-fed contraceptive pills and once taken to hospital for a contraceptive injection after she was rendered unconscious by one particularly brutal gang rape.

‘They [ISIS] did not want me get pregnant, especially if there was more than one man because they would not know who the father of the baby was,’ she said.

This is going on day after day in the Middle East, and yet it doesn’t make a lot of headlines in the western world.

Perhaps we think that if we can ignore what is happening to them that we are justified in not doing anything about it.

Next, let me share with you the story of Nadia Murad. She was just 19 when ISIS conquered her town, and she saw ISIS kill all of the males in her family right in front of her eyes

Murad and her mother and sisters watched out of the window, along with hundreds of other women and children from the Yazidi village of Kocho, as ISIS slaughtered their men and boys. “We could see outside—they were shooting the men and they were beheading them as well. They were also taking them away in buses.

“My six brothers were killed in this way.”

In the western world, we tend to think that such things could never happen to us. But in my new book I discuss how Christians all over the globe are eventually going to be facing this kind of persecution.

If you are under the illusion that you are somehow going to be exempt from all this, then you are going to be in for one heck of a wake up call.

After Nadia Murad watched ISIS butcher her family members, she was sold 13 different times, and her various “owners” were incredibly brutal

I first met Murad in July last year, four months after she managed to escape from her captors in Mosul. She visited the UK with two other former captives and former Iraqi MP Ameena Hasan Saeed, who helped to smuggle her out of the Islamic State. Speaking anonymously, she described in blistering detail how she was abused, raped, and sold through the ranks of ISIS troops, enduring a total of eight months in captivity and 13 owners who kept her locked up, starved and disorientated.

At the time, she showed me scars from cigarette butts burnt into her skin by the fighters who worked for her first owner, a commander called Salman. He had his men gang rape her after her first disastrous attempt at escaping. “I found a small window so I climbed out and jumped from the second story, but one of Salman’s guards found me and brought be back to him. I could have died jumping, and after that I wished I had.”

I don’t know how anyone can read these stories without having an emotional reaction.

Just imagine if this was happening to your wife or your daughter. How would you feel?

Unfortunately, even if ISIS could somehow be wiped off the face of the planet tomorrow, that would only put a very, very tiny dent in the overall problem of sex slavery in our world. The following are 11 facts about human trafficking that come from dosomething.org

1. Globally, the average cost of a slave is $90.

2. Trafficking primarily involves exploitation which comes in many forms, including: forcing victims into prostitution, subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude and compelling victims to commit sex acts for the purpose of creating pornography.

3. According to some estimates, approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation.

4. There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today.

5. According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children.

6. The average age a teen enters the sex trade in the U.S. is 12 to 14-year-old. Many victims are runaway girls who were sexually abused as children.

7. California harbors 3 of the FBI’s 13 highest child sex trafficking areas on the nation: Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.

8. The National Human Trafficking Hotline receives more calls from Texas than any other state in the US. 15% of those calls are from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

9. Between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year.

10. Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry (behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking). It reportedly generates a profit of $32 billion every year. Of that number, $15.5 billion is made in industrialized countries.

11. The International Labour Organization estimates that women and girls represent the largest share of forced labor victims with 11.4 million trafficked victims (55%) compared to 9.5 million (45%) men.

To me, those numbers are absolutely staggering.

Most people tend to think of slavery as something that happened in less civilized times, but the truth is that it has been estimated that there are more slaves in our world today than ever before in human history.

We live in a world that is absolutely brimming with evil. This is something that those that believe that people are “generally good” and that humanity has a “bright future” really struggle with.

If humans are “generally good” and we really have advanced so dramatically over their centuries, then why are there more slaves in the world today than ever before and why do we see so much evil all around us?

The answer to that question reveals a lot more about someone than you might think.

If you would like to take a shot at that question, please feel free to share what you think by leaving a comment below…

*About the author: Michael Snyder is the founder and publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog. Michael’s controversial new book about Bible prophecy entitled “The Rapture Verdict” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.*

49 Countries Met In Brussels Earlier This Month To Discuss A Ground Invasion Of Syria

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Have the U.S government, Saudi Arabia and their allies been secretly plotting a massive ground invasion of Syria? Earlier this month, defense ministers from 49 countries gathered at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium to talk about what to do in Syria. As you will see below, Saudi Arabia’s defense minister is now admitting that a ground invasion was discussed at this meeting. Of course the goal of any invasion would be regime change in Syria, and that is something that the Syrian army, Iran, Hezbollah and Russia are simply not going to allow. So what the U.S. government, Saudi Arabia and their allies are contemplating could literally be the spark that sets off World War III.

I was stunned earlier today when I came across the following quote from Saudi Arabia’s defense minister. Saudi Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri told Reuters that the 49 defense ministers that had gathered in Brussels a couple of weeks ago had openly discussed the need to conduct a large scale ground invasion of Syria…

An aide to Saudi Arabia’s defense minister said on Monday, meanwhile, that defense ministers from the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State had discussed the possibility of a Syrian ground incursion two weeks ago in Brussels.

“It was discussed at the political level but it wasn’t discussed as a military mission,” Saudi Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri told Reuters. “Once this is organized, and decided how many troops and how they will go and where they will go, we will participate in that.”

When this meeting took place in Brussels earlier this month, it got next to no attention from the U.S. media, but it did get some attention in the international media. The following is an excerpt from an article about this meeting which appeared in the Guardian

The US defence secretary has refused to rule out Saudi Arabia sending ground troops into Syria, but added that it was just one option and there were other ways the Saudis could contribute to the fight against Islamic State.

Ash Carter was speaking on the eve of a meeting of defence ministers from 49 countries at Nato headquarters to discuss how to step up efforts against Isis in Syria and Iraq.

He said the meeting was important “because we do need to accelerate the campaign and we have a very clear operational picture of how to do it. Now we just need the resources and the forces to fall in behind it.”

It is certainly extremely unusual for so many defense ministers to gather in one place like that. Needless to say, they weren’t just getting together for tea and cookies.

A few days after this meeting, Saudi Arabia announced the largest military exercise in the history of the Middle East. This exercise has been dubbed “Northern Thunder”, and military units from 20 different nations are participating.

The Syrians, the Iranians and the Russians are concerned that this looks very much like an “invasion force”, but the Saudis are denying this even though we know now that this is precisely what the “coalition partners” have been discussing.

And most Americans don’t realize this, but the U.S. already has a limited number of troops on the ground inside Syria right now, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is saying that up to 30,000 U.S. troops may be needed to create a “safe zone” in northern Syria.

In addition, fighters from Turkey continue to pour over the border, and mercenaries from Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region have been funneling into Syria for years.

So how in the world did we get to this point?

Well, back in 2011 the “Arab Spring” was overthrowing governments all over the Middle East. At that time, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies in conjunction with the U.S. government decided that it would be a wonderful opportunity to overthrow President Assad of Syria too. This move was spearheaded by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and it was hoped that by removing Assad the balance of power in the Middle East would be fundamentally transformed.

You see, President Assad is Alawite (a form of Shia Islam), and his government is allied with Iran. Syria is part of the “Shiite crescent” that stretches across the Middle East, but 74 percent of the population of Syria is actually Sunni. So the goal was to get rid of Assad, transform Syria into a full-blown Sunni nation, and cut off Iran from their Hezbollah allies in Lebanon.

The U.S. government, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies began organizing huge protests against Assad in Syria, and those protests rapidly became violent. The freedom fighters were armed, and civil war broke out.

And at first the plan was working. ISIS and other radical Sunni groups took large amounts of territory, including the largest city in all of Syria (Aleppo). It looked like they were going to be able to eventually conquer all of Syria and take down Assad. In the aftermath, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies would have come in and helped set up an appropriately submissive Sunni puppet government.

But now the tide of the war has completely turned. President Assad has enlisted the help of Iran, Hezbollah and Shiite militias from Iraq. But most important of all, the Russians came to his aid, and Russian air power is absolutely decimating the Sunni jihadists that are trying to overthrow Assad. With the help of his allies, Assad has been rapidly reconquering Syria, and this has Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies in a panic.

If the war ended today, things would be far worse for Saudi Arabia and Turkey than if they had never even attempted to overthrow Assad in the first place. The Iranians would have far more influence in Syria than they did before, Hezbollah now has a major presence in Syria, and Russian aircraft would likely be permanently stationed at air bases inside the country. And of course Saudi Arabia and Turkey would have to deal with a neighboring government that now hates their guts because Assad knows that they have been trying to overthrow him for the past five years.

Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies have invested massive amounts of money and resources in this attempt to overthrow Assad. Now that their Sunni militias are being routed, either they have to walk away or they have to go in and do the job themselves.

Unfortunately, as I wrote about earlier today, Saudi Arabia and Turkey still appear to be quite determined to get rid of Assad.

So we should not expect this current “ceasefire” to last for long. In the coming days we should expect the western powers to accuse Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and the Syrian government of repeatedly violating the ceasefire, and these “violations” will be used as justification for whatever “the coalition” has planned next.

Sadly, whatever they have planned next could be the spark that plunges our planet into World War III.

WW3: Fighters From Turkey Are Pouring Into Syria And Attacking Targets Despite The Ceasefire

Middle East Map

The ceasefire in Syria is a joke. Turkish military units continue to mass along the border, and militants are pouring across the border to attack targets in northern Syria. The Prime Minister of Turkey is now openly admitting that his government is supporting the militants that are trying to overthrow the Syrian government, and the Turkish government has also made it abundantly clear that they have no plans to stop shelling the Kurds on the other side of the border. So despite the “ceasefire”, the truth is that the threat of World War 3 breaking out in the Middle East is greater than ever.

At times it is difficult to see the dividing line between the Turkish military and the radical jihadists that are hopping back and forth across the border with the full support of the Turkish government. Over the weekend, militants from Turkey that crossed over into northern Syria were supported by artillery fire from the Turkish military as they attacked a key Kurdish town

In the Raqqa province, a group of some 100 fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey. The group later joined forces with other militants and attacked the Kurdish town of Tell Abyad.

The 250-strong group was supported by artillery fire from the Turkish territory, a fact that Russia said the US should explain. The Kurdish YPG militia fended off the attack, the report said.

This is an act of war, and yet the Obama administration does not seem to mind.

If Turkey will not even honor the ceasefire, what hope is there that anything will be able to stop them from acting so aggressively?

At this point, the Turks are not even pretending anymore. Just the other day, Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu openly admitted that his nation is backing the militants that are trying to overthrow the Assad regime…

How would they be able to defend themselves if there was no Turkish support of the Syrian people? … If there’s today a real moderate Syrian opposition, it’s because of the Turkish support. If today the [Assad] regime isn’t able to control all the territories [it’s] because of Turkish and some other countries’ support,” he told Al-Jazeera earlier this week.

Obviously this ceasefire is not going to work. Turkey has not even pressed pause in their relentless campaign against the Assad regime and the Kurds.

The Turkish government has become absolutely obsessed with their neighbor to the south, and that is a very dangerous thing for the rest of the planet. The only way that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and their allies are going to be able to win the war now is to conduct a massive ground invasion of Syria. Such a move would lead to direct conflict with Iran, Hezbollah and the Russians, and since Turkey is a member of the NATO alliance, that could threaten to drag the U.S. and western Europe into the war as well. The following comes from the International Business Times

The wider consequences of any disagreement between Ankara and Moscow could lead to a standoff between Russia and NATO. Jen Stoltenberg, secretary general of the Brussels-based organization, said in late 2015 that it would be prepared to defend the member state of Turkey if it were attacked by Russia.

“NATO will defend you, NATO is on the ground, NATO is ready,” Stoltenberg said in the aftermath of repeated breaches of Turkish airspace by Russian jets and just one month before Ankara shot down a Russian jet in November.

The 28-country alliance is bound by Article 5 of its treaty to collectively defend its members. “Collective defense means that an attack against one ally is considered as an attack against all allies,” the article states.

Saudi Arabia does not appear ready to back down either.

The Saudis continue to reiterate their position that either Assad must go peacefully or he will be removed by force

Saudi Arabia is prepared to send troops to Syria if President Bashar Assad doesn’t resign and leave his war-torn nation peacefully. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir warned Sunday that his country will take military action if Syria violates the terms of a ceasefire agreement.

“I believe that abiding by the truce would be an important indicator of the seriousness to reach a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis that would include setting up a transitional council and the transfer of power from Bashar to this council,” he said during a joint press conference with his Danish counterpart Kristian Jensen in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

Al-Jubeir warned that Saudi Arabia has prepared a “Plan B.” If “the coalition decided to send ground troops into Syria, Saudi Arabia is ready to contribute,” he said.

The goal since 2011 has been to get rid of Assad so that Syria could become a full-fledged Sunni nation with a Sunni government.

Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies have poured enormous amounts of money and resources into this conflict, and they don’t appear to be willing to walk away now that the tide of the war has turned. In fact, how the Saudis have been behaving lately has been causing a tremendous amount of anxiety in the Middle East…

Saudi Arabia’s recent actions have caused a great deal of anxiety within its region. On February 4, a military spokesman suggested that Saudi Arabia was ready to send troops ground troops to fight ISIS in Syria. A week later Saudi Arabia announced that it will send combat aircraft and soldiers to Turkey to participate in the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.

Three days later the Saudis launched “Northern Thunder,” described as the “largest military exercise in the history of the Middle East.” Participants from 20 countries sent troops to the maneuvers run over three weeks in Hafar al Batin in northern Saudi Arabia, not far from the Iraqi and Kuwaiti border. According to a Saudi media outlet, some 350,000 troops were expected to participate in the maneuvers.

So if Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies are preparing for war, then what is the purpose of the ceasefire?

Well, first of all the goal was to stop the bleeding. The Sunni militants were losing ground steadily, and this pause will enable them to regroup and get resupplied.

Secondly, this pause in the action gives “the coalition” time to move forces into position for a potential ground invasion of Syria.

But more than anything else, this ceasefire seems to be a trap. It appears to be inevitable that the U.S. and other western powers will accuse Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and the Syrian government of breaking the ceasefire, thus providing “legal justification” for “the coalition” to militarily intervene.

Watch developments in Syria very closely. Many had hoped that this ceasefire would bring the five year civil war to an end, but the truth is that it could just be setting the stage for something far, far bigger.

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

World War 3 Could Very Easily Turn Into The Very First Nuclear War In The Middle East

Nuclear War - Public Domain

Saudi Arabia already has nukes, Iran probably does, and the Russians are one of the two great nuclear powers on the entire planet. So if Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their Sunni allies do decide to conduct a full-blown ground invasion of Syria, could someone ultimately decide to use nuclear weapons when their backs get pushed up against a wall? As you read this article, there are thousands of military vehicles and hundreds of thousands of troops massed along the southern border of Turkey and the northern border of Saudi Arabia. If the command is given and those forces start streaming toward Damascus, it is inevitable that the Syrians, the Iranians, Hezbollah and the Russians would fight back. It would literally be the start of World War 3, and the Saudis and the Turks are trying very hard to convince the United States to be involved. But the truth is that we don’t want any part of this conflict, because it could very easily become the very first nuclear war in the history of the Middle East.

Perhaps you didn’t know that the Saudis already have nukes. Of course the official position is that they don’t, but it is a fact that they were the ones that funded the development of Pakistan’s nuclear program. It is an open secret that the Saudis have the bomb, but nobody is really supposed to talk about it.

That is why it was so alarming what Saudi political analyst Dahham Al-‘Anzi told RT just recently

Earlier this week a Saudi political analyst told RT’s Arab network the kingdom has a nuclear weapon.

Dahham Al-‘Anzi made the claim while saying Saudi Arabia is engaged in an effort to “minimize the Iranian threat in the Levant and Syria.”

Although Saudi Arabia has officially denied it has a nuclear weapons program and has publicly stated it opposes nuclear weapons in the Middle East, it has funded a military nuclear program and received scientific assistance from the United States and Pakistan.

You can watch video of this exchange right here

If you don’t want to believe him, perhaps you will believe the former director of the CIA counter-terrorism operations center. He told Fox Business that everyone in the intelligence world knows the Saudis have nukes

If the fur started flying in Syria and Russia and Iran decided to start bombing Saudi airbases, would Saudi Arabia resort to using their nukes?

Let’s hope not.

In the event of a massive ground invasion by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies, it is actually more likely that Russia may decide to be the first one to use nukes. An invasion force of hundreds of thousands of troops would vastly outnumber the relatively small Russian force that is already inside Syria, and so the Russians may feel that the only way that they can keep the Sunni powers out of Damascus is to use tactical nukes.

Russia has more tactical nukes that anyone else in the world by far, and there are some reports that indicate that Russia may be prepared to use them in Syria. For example, former Associated Press reporter Robert Parry, the author of America’s Stolen Narrative, says that a source has told him that the Russians have already warned Turkey that this could potentially happen

If Turkey (with hundreds of thousands of troops massed near the Syrian border) and Saudi Arabia (with its sophisticated air force) follow through on threats and intervene militarily to save their rebel clients, who include Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, from a powerful Russian-backed Syrian government offensive, then Russia will have to decide what to do to protect its 20,000 or so military personnel inside Syria.

A source close to Russian President Vladimir Putin told me that the Russians have warned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Moscow is prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons if necessary to save their troops in the face of a Turkish-Saudi onslaught. Since Turkey is a member of NATO, any such conflict could quickly escalate into a full-scale nuclear confrontation.

Given Erdogan’s megalomania or mental instability and the aggressiveness and inexperience of Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman (defense minister and son of King Salman), the only person who probably can stop a Turkish-Saudi invasion is President Obama. But I’m told that he has been unwilling to flatly prohibit such an intervention, though he has sought to calm Erdogan down and made clear that the U.S. military would not join the invasion.

Are you starting to understand how serious this is?

With all of the talk of a potential invasion in recent days, the Russians are on high alert and are rapidly preparing for a direct conflict with both Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The following comes from Infowars

Still, the Russians are taking no chances and they have put all their forces into high alert. They have very publicly dispatched a Tu-214r – her most advanced ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) aircraft. You can think of the Tu-214R as an “AWACS for the ground”, the kind of aircraft you use to monitor a major ground battle (the regular Russian A-50Ms are already monitoring the Syrian airspace). In southern Russia, the Aerospace forces have organized large-scale exercises involving a large number of aircraft which would be used in a war against Turkey: SU-34s. The Airborne Forces are ready. The naval task forces off the Syrian coast is being augmented. The delivery of weapons has accelerated. The bottom line is simple and obvious: the Russians are not making any threats – they are preparing for war. In fact, by now they are ready.

In addition, it is important to remember that it is quite likely that the Iranians have nuclear weapons as well.

Of course the U.S. government and the Iranian government both insist that Iran does not have nukes, but many of those in the know insist otherwise.

For instance, you may want to consider what retired U.S. Army Major General Paul Vallely and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Dennis B. Haney are saying. The following comes from an article that was authored by Jerome Corsi of WND

In a joint statement, Vallely and Haney say an accumulation of available evidence shows a coalition of Russia, China and North Korea have assisted Iran since 1979 in achieving a nuclear weapon, despite sanctions, under the guise of a domestic nuclear energy program.

Vallely explained to WND that he and Haney have taken a systematic approach to evaluating each component needed to deliver a nuclear weapon, from the development and testing of a ballistic missile system, to the design of a nuclear weapons warhead, to the development of the weapons-grade uranium needed to produce a bomb.

“To come to our conclusion that Iran is a nuclear weapons power right now, we supplemented publicly available research, plus information from intelligence sources, including Iranian resistance groups such as the National Council of Resistance of IRAN, NCRI,” Vallely explained.

I happen to agree with Vallely and Haney. I cannot prove it, but all of the intel that I have received indicates that Iran already has nukes.

Hopefully I will not be proven accurate any time soon.

It had been hoped that a cease-fire could be negotiated that would at least temporarily defuse tensions in Syria. Unfortunately, it does not look like the shooting is going to stop, and this is going to put immense pressure on both Saudi Arabia and Turkey to do something to rescue the radical Sunni militants that are on the verge of defeat. The Saudis, the Turks and their allies have poured enormous amounts of money and resources into this war over the past five years, and now they are faced with the choice of either accepting defeat or directly intervening in this conflict themselves.

But in order to conduct a full-fledged ground invasion, they are going to need justification for doing so. There are some that are suggesting that we could soon see a false flag attack that would provide that justification, so that is something to watch out for.

I can’t remember a time when our planet has been so close to World War 3 potentially beginning.

And if it does break out, I believe that it is quite likely that nuclear weapons will be used.

So what do you think?

Do you agree with me?

Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

World War III Approaches: Saudi Arabia And Turkey Drop Hints That An Invasion Of Syria Is Imminent

War - Public Domain

As you read this article, Turkish forces are massing along the border with Syria, and the largest “military exercises” in the history of the Middle East are being held in northern Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are publicly warning that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “will be removed by force” if a political solution cannot be found, and Turkey is claiming that it may have to establish a “safe zone” in northern Syria “for humanitarian purposes”. Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their Sunni allies have poured massive amounts of money and arms into the conflict in Syria, and now that their Sunni insurgents are on the verge of total defeat, they are trying to come up with a way to justify going in there and doing the job themselves.

For the Saudis, their focus is on trying to convince everyone that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is an extremely dangerous dictator that must be removed at all costs. The following comes from the London Independent

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will be removed by force if the peace process fails, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister has said.

Bashar al-Assad will leave – have no doubt about it,” Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told CNN. “He will either leave by a political process or he will be removed by force.”

Saudi Arabia has sent troops and fighter jets to a Turkish military base ahead of a possible ground invasion of Syria.

So precisely who will be doing the “removing” if force is necessary?

Are the Saudis ready to send in ground troops?

Apparently they are. Just consider what Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told CNN

Saudi Foreign Minister Jubeir made clear that his country’s troops would not go it alone.

I can tell you that there is some serious discussion going on with regards to looking at a ground component in Syria, because there has to be a possibility of taking and holding ground, that one cannot do from the air.

“We are saying we will participate within the U.S.-led coalition, should this coalition decide to send ground troops into Syria, that we are prepared to send special forces with those troops.”

But if the Saudis try to take Damascus and remove Assad by force, the Syrians and their allies will certainly fight back. That means that the Saudis will be fighting Hezbollah, the Iranians and the Russians.

Needless to say, Saudi Arabia is going to need a lot of help to do that.

So that may explain why Saudi Arabia has organized the largest “military exercise” in the history of the Middle East. CNN finally reported on this gigantic gathering of military forces in northern Saudi Arabia earlier today

Saudi Arabia launched a massive military exercise that will include troops from 20 nations, state media reported Monday.

The drill, dubbed North Thunder, involves Arab and Muslim countries, according to the Saudi Press Agency. It’s taking place in King Khalid Military City in northeastern Saudi Arabia.

The news agency did not provide much information on what the exercise entails but called it “the largest in the region’s history.” The agency said it will involve air, sea and land forces.

This is the list of nations that are reportedly participating in these “exercises” so far…

-Saudi Arabia

-Jordan

-Bahrain

-Senegal

-Oman

-Qatar

-United Arab Emirates

-Sudan

-Kuwait

-the Maldives

-Morocco

-Pakistan

-Chad

-Tunisia

-Comoro Islands

-Djibouti

-Malaysia

-Egypt

-Mauritania

-Mauritius

As I discussed yesterday, 350,000 soldiers, 20,000 tanks, 2,450 warplanes and 460 military helicopters are reportedly gathering for these “military exercises”.

To me, that seems to be a great deal of overkill if the goal is just “training”.

Here is more about these “exercises” from RT

The Saudi state agency made the announcement on Sunday, adding that participating troops will begin arriving in “the next few hours.”

The oil-rich nation described the exercises as “the largest and most important” military drills in the region’s history.

The so-called “Northern Thunder” exercise will take place in the north of the country and will include air, sea and land forces. SPA said that it will show that Riyadh and its allies “stand united in confronting all challenges and preserving peace and stability in the region.”

So are these forces massing for a ground invasion of Syria?

We shall see.

In the end, we probably won’t have to wait too long before we find out the answer.

Meanwhile, Turkish officials continue to assert that they may have to establish a “safe zone” for refugees in northern Syria. Since thousands of refugees are continually pouring their direction, they claim that they have no other choice but to go in and take control of the situation.

In fact, Turkey has already established several very large refugee camps on the Syrian side of the border

Some 100,000 Syrian refugees are being looked after in camps inside Syria close to the Turkish border, including 35,000 who this month fled a Russian-backed regime offensive in northern Aleppo province, a top Turkish official said Friday.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan, whose country has come under increasing pressure to open its border to people fleeing the violence, said the refugees were being accommodated in nine camps just across the border with Syria.

But make no mistake – this is not just about helping refugees.

The truth is that ISIS has been using Turkey as a home base for years, and hundreds of millions of dollars of ISIS oil has been shipped into Turkey where it has then been sold to the rest of the world. Barack Obama knows about all of this, and yet he has refused to do anything to stop it.

At this point the cooperation between ISIS and Turkey has become so obvious that even CNN is admitting that ISIS militants are being resupplied from Turkey…

To the east of Aleppo, Kurdish forces are, with American support, eyeing the remaining ISIS strongholds along the Turkish border — Jarablus and Manbij. The U.S. wants ISIS out, to remove its access to resupply of materiel and fighters from Turkey.

Meanwhile, Turkey, America’s NATO ally that is engaged in a brutal but often unseen war with the Kurds’ allies in Turkey’s southeast, doesn’t want the Kurds to advance, and may stop at nothing to prevent that.

Fortunately, the Russian bombing campaign has pretty much put an end to the endless parade of ISIS oil trucks that were entering Turkey, and now the primary supply line to Sunni militants in the strategically important city of Aleppo is about to be cut off.

The corridor that runs through the city of Azaz is vitally important, and the Prime Minister of Turkey recently insisted that the Turkish government “will not allow Azaz to fall”

Turkey shelled YPG positions for a third straight day on Monday to try to stop its fighters seizing Azaz, just 8 km from the border. Ankara fears the Kurdish militia, backed by Russia, is trying to secure the last stretch of around 100 km along the Syrian border not already under its control.

We will not allow Azaz to fall,” Davutoglu told reporters on his plane on the way to Ukraine. “If they approach again they will see the harshest reaction,” he said.

Unfortunately for the Turkish government, it appears that Azaz is already slipping away from the militants. The following was reported by an Iranian news source

Ankara is likely to take action to counter the Syrian military and allied groups on choking up a supply link on which militants relied to get weapons and logistics.

Syrian troops and Lebanon’s Hezbollah fighters have retaken the town of Azaz, located to the northwest of Aleppo, prompting Saudi Arabia and Turkey to hint at deployment of ground forces to the region.

Asked if Ankara might act to reverse the gains, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (seen below) said on Friday, “Wait for the next few days and you will have the answer,” Turkish paper Hurriyet reported.

Wait for the next few days and you will have the answer?

That sounds rather ominous.

Like I said yesterday, I don’t think that I have ever seen a scenario which was more likely to lead to World War III than the one that we are watching play out right now.

Do Saudi Arabia and Turkey actually expect to waltz into Syria and start taking territory without a response from the Syrians, Hezbollah, the Iranians and the Russians?

And if fighting does break out, how is the United States possibly going to stay out of it?

The truth is that Saudi Arabia and Turkey would never invade Syria in the first place without the express approval of the Obama administration.

The next couple of weeks are key. If we can get into early March without an invasion, by that time Saudi Arabia and Turkey may have missed their window. The troops gathered for the massive military exercise in northern Saudi Arabia will start to go home, and by then the Sunni militants remaining in Aleppo will probably be pretty much completely defeated.

But will Saudi Arabia and Turkey really be willing to walk away after pouring so much time, effort and money into the conflict in Syria? They had dreamed of turning Syria into a full-blown Sunni nation, and if they give up now Syria will end up being dominated by Iran and Hezbollah. It will be a result that is far worse than if they never tried to overthrow Assad in the first place.

So my gut feeling is telling me that Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their Sunni allies are not done in Syria. But their obsession with that country threatens to plunge us into World War III, and if that happens the consequences will be felt by every man, woman and child on the entire planet.

(Originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog)

World War III Starts In The Middle East? Saudi Arabia And Turkey Consider A Ground Invasion Of Syria

Skull War - Public Domain

Are Saudi Arabia and Turkey about to send ground troops into Syria? If so, how will Russia, Iran and the Syrian government respond? In 2016, Syria has become ground zero for a conflict that has been raging for centuries. For more than a thousand years, the Sunnis and the Shiites have been wrestling with one another for control of the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other Sunni nations had hoped to turn Syria into a Sunni nation, and for years they have been funding and arming ISIS and other Sunni insurgent groups in an attempt to overthrow the Assad regime. Initially the Assad regime was losing quite a bit of ground, but the tide turned once the Syrians invited the Russians and the Iranians to help them. Of course the Iranians have their own long-term goals. Once Assad leaves power, the Iranians hope to turn Syria into a truly Shiite nation that is run and dominated by Hezbollah. At this moment, the Sunnis and losing and the Shiites are winning. Relentless Russian airstrikes have enabled Syrian, Iranian and Hezbollah ground forces to advance, and now they have surrounded Aleppo. Before the war Aleppo was the largest city in Syria, and if it falls, the war will be very close to over.

Thousands of refugees are currently flooding out of Aleppo as the Russians bombard the surrounding area continually. There is little hope that the Sunni forces that once were so optimistic about overthrowing Assad can hold out much longer without help.

As the situation becomes increasingly desperate, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are now considering what was once unthinkable – a full-blown ground invasion of Syria.

Of course this could very well set off World War III in the Middle East, but Saudi Arabia and Turkey have already invested so much in this conflict, and they don’t appear to be willing to throw up their hands and walk away now.

Just consider what Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters this past weekend

What’s going on in Syria can only go on for so long. At some point it has to change,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on a plane back to Turkey from Latin America over the weekend.

As we’ve documented extensively over the past several days, Ankara, Riyadh, and Doha have their backs against the wall when it comes to the effort to oust Bashar al-Assad and perpetuate Sunni hegemony in the Arabian Peninsula.

Hezbollah has surrounded Aleppo and their advance is backed by what’s been described as an unrelenting Russian air campaign. The rebels’ supply lines to Turkey have been cut and without a direct intervention by either the US or the Gulf states, the battle for Syria will have been lost for the opposition which pulled out of peace talks in Geneva citing the ongoing aerial bombardment by Moscow.

And according to Bloomberg, he added the following ominous statement…

You don’t talk about these things. When necessary, you do what’s needed. Right now our security forces are prepared for all possibilities.

The Saudis are being less vague. They are now publicly saying that they would definitely be willing to commit ground troops to the conflict in Syria…

Ahmed Asseri, a spokesman for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting Yemen, said Saudis would also be willing to contribute ground troops as part of a wider campaign against Islamic State in Syria, Al-Arabiya television reported Friday.

And consider what one of their top generals told Al Jazeera

“Today, the Saudi kingdom announced its readiness to participate with ground troops with the US-led coalition against ISIL, because we now have the experience in Yemen,” Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri told Al Jazeera.

We know that air strikes cannot be enough and that a ground operation is needed. We need to combine both to achieve better results on the ground.”

In addition to Saudi Arabia, the government of the United Arab Emirates is also indicating that it is ready to send ground forces into Syria. The following comes from the Express

On Sunday, the UAE, a federation of seven states and one the Middle East’s most important economic centres, said it stands ready to supply ground troops to support and train international coalition soldiers in the war-ravaged country.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said boots on the ground are the most effective way to fight ISIS, also known as Daesh.

Mr Gargash said: “I think that this has been our position throughout, that a real campaign against Daesh has to include ground elements.”

All of that stuff that the UAE and the Saudis are saying about fighting ISIS is complete nonsense.

Thanks to the Russians, the Iranians and Hezbollah, ISIS and other Sunni insurgent groups are already on their last legs in Syria.

No, the truth is that the only reason the UAE, the Saudis and Turkey would go in would be to help the Sunni insurgency win the war.

And of course they would absolutely love the assistance of the United States in this venture. Unfortunately for them, the Obama administration does not seem very eager to commit troops in large numbers to this fight.

I think that the Obama administration realizes that a full-blown invasion of Syria at this point could easily bring us to the brink of war with Russia. The following is what U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly said to a Syrian aid worker on the sidelines of a recent international conference on Syria…

Two Syrian aid workers said they approached Kerry at a donor conference drinks reception and told him that he had not done enough to protect Syrian civilians. He then said they should blame the opposition.

“He said that basically, it was the opposition that didn’t want to negotiate and didn’t want a ceasefire, and they walked away,” the second of the aid workers told MEE in a separate conversation and also on the basis of anonymity.

“‘What do you want me to do? Go to war with Russia? Is that what you want?’” the aid worker said Kerry told her.

For once, John Kerry has it right.

If a Sunni coalition spearheaded by the United States were to conduct a full-blown invasion of Syria, it would force the Russians to respond.

And once Americans and Russians start killing one another, World War III is only a hop, skip and jump away.

But even if the U.S. is not involved, joint military action by Saudi Arabia and Turkey in Syria definitely would have the potential to spark a major regional war in the Middle East. From there, who knows how far it could spread.

Our world is becoming increasingly unstable, and Syria has become a crucible for rising global tensions that could explode at any moment.

Hopefully Saudi Arabia and Turkey will listen to common sense. If they choose to go in, there is very little to be gained and so much that could be lost. They will never be able to defeat the combined forces of the Russians, the Iranians and Hezbollah, and they could very easily end up starting a war that nobody wants to see.

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