Monday, April 27, 2015

Global SITREP C3-15: Israel Commences Air Offensive Against Syrian and Hezbollah forces in Syria

Israel Air Force F-16I Sufa

Update 27 April 2015: Most media in Israel are accurately reporting the additional airstrikes and Hezbollah's feeble attempt at retaliation on the Golan, so there's no need this evening for me to just reiterate what has already been reported. Just be aware that while a larger flare up is possible, Hezbollah is already hard pressed and really feeling the strain of supporting Assad's regime at the present time, especially due to the large combat losses of its soldiers on Syrian soil, and Iranian promises of new equipment and other supplies are easier said than accomplished. 

25 April 2015: If you're like me you've been quietly and patiently waiting for the proverbial "other shoe" to drop in the Middle East. This shoe may have dropped overnight and may even be continuing at present according to multiple MidEast news sources from Lebanon to Qatar to Israeli media also. Those media sources report IAF F-16I Sufa (Storm) and F-15I Ra'am (Thunder) strike aircraft pasting targets to include weapons convoys and the Syrian Army's strategic rocket forces of the 155th (Scud-B) and 65th Brigades deployed along the Qalamoun Mountain range which forms a natural barrier along the Lebanese border.

On the above map you can see along the M5 Highway corridor the three specific sites the IAF is reported to have struck. On the north to south axis of the M5 find the Syrian towns of Qara, Yabroud and Qutayfa. If these reports are accurate, and there is no reason to doubt their veracity at this point, once again these strikes demonstrate total the domination of Syrian skies by the Israeli Air Force. 

Thus far there is zero evidence of Syrian, Iranian or even Hezbollah antiaircraft missiles or gunfire reported to be opposing these IAF strikes. Back in December there was evidence of enemy anti-aircraft missile fire, possibly the Russian-made Buk-M1, against the IAF strikes, but those missiles flew wildly in the air indicating no effective radar control of the weapons as evidenced by published video (screen capture below) recorded from another IAF aircraft inside Syria.

In this screen capture image a pair of IAF F-15I Ra'am strike aircraft contrails are seen at the lower-left and a pair Buk-M1 missile contrails are seen to the right. What is clearly also seen is that the IAF aircraft reversed their direction and the Buk-M1's continued on their harmless flight away from the Israel aircraft.

Updates as they occur.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Global SITREP C2-15: Is the Saudi-Iran War in Yemen a Prelude to Something Bigger?

USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN-71, A/K/A "BigStick"

Update 23 April  2015: The Iranian Naval convoy led by the frigate Alborz (UK-made Vosper Mark V class frigate) arrived yesterday off the southern coast of Yemen. As the lead ship in the Iranian flotilla in the Strait of Bab-al-Mandab war zone, the Alborz is hopelessly out-classed by the immensely larger and more capable American, Saudi and Egyptian naval ships in the area.

Yet even this tremendously lopsided tactical situation has no guarantee of failure for the Iranian attempt to deliver more potent weaponry to its Houthi proxy warriors led by IRGC officers in Yemen.

Remember that the now exiled government of Yemen was a strong counter-terrorist ally of the U.S. for many years in the war against Al Qaeda and its Yemeni branch AQAP. And remember the even more recent and shameful events that occurred concurrently while Obama was capitulating to Iranian demands in the allegedly critical P5+1 talks in Lausanne, Switzerland to achieve the framework for the final deal. 

In a memory refresh, recall that Obama summarily abandoned our Yemeni ally with a flip of his limp wrist; he abandoned the sovereign ground of the American Embassy in Sana'a, and then followed these acts of cowardice up by ordering the elite warriors of the U.S. Special Forces in Yemen to first stand down and then to abandon their weapons and retreat southwards across the Red Sea into Djibouti. For the existential enemy in the Islamic Republic of Iran and a non-starter nuclear agreement that has already been rendered moot, President Barack Hussein Obama did all of this. This is what you should be mindful off in the coming days. This is Obama's legacy; he built this.

Update 6:45 PM: The media reports stating that the Iranian ships turned around because they realized that US ships were tacking them is pure, unadultered Obama Administration cow pie.  The Iranian's turned back to the north not because they feared the assembled fire power of US naval forces, but rather they realized they were no match for the Saudi and Egyptian ships with which they would have to do the dance of death if they tried to offload weapons to the Houthis. This is where Iran finally realized the limitations of its capability in raw military power projection, and they were summarily defeated by the Sunni Arab Navalforces without a single shot being fired. This is big.

20 April 2015: Reportedly an Iranian naval convoy of seven to nine vessels is carrying weapons destined for Shi'a Houthi rebels in Yemen. This Iranian naval convoy is about to sail head-on into an allied naval picket line anchored by the USS Roosevelt, a/k/a "Big Stick," and its carrier strike group of a cruiser and three destroyers which are operating under the authority of a unanimous United Nations Security Council resolution to prevent any arms from reaching the rebels.

The immediate mission of the "Big Stick" and its strike group is to board, inspect and otherwise prevent the delivery of the weapons. It is doubtful the Iranian ships will comply, leaving open the possibility of an armed confrontation in the Arabian Sea. Such a confrontation carries the inherent risk of war that could quickly spread into the Persian Gulf and anywhere else US and Iranian forces are in close proximity to each other. 

The leading question I am currently entertaining is if the now four-week old war being fought by the Saudi-led Arab coalition against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, now very much buttressed by the awesome firepower of US and other allied forces mustered in the Arabian Sea, might not soon find themselves in an all-out war with Iran. Jeremiah 40:34-39 comes immediately to mind as I ponder this possibility. We shall soon see.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Global SITREP C1-15: Brinksmanship as Russia and NATO Edge Closer to Conflict

American RC-135U 'Rivet Joint' ELINT Reconnaissance Aircraft

Update 16 April 2015: The commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific (PACOM), Admiral Samuel Locklear, testified before the House Armed Services Committee yesterday that Russia has returned its conventional and nuclear forces to the same posture against the United Sates of America as they maintained during the so-called Cold War. 

What that means in layman's terms is that Russia could launch into a nuclear war against the United States with very little advance warning. In this type of a posture any one of the simulated long-range nuclear cruise missile attacks by Tu-95 Bear bombers or fully modernized Tu-160 Blackjack supersonic bombers flown in the immediate future against targets on the US east and west coasts could turn out to be the real thing. 

In the face of Obama Administration defense cuts (Obama's new found flexibility, no doubt) the ability of the US defenses are suspect at best. Admiral Locklear testified to a most distressing litany of capability shortcomings and problem areas in US military readiness to include: antisubmarine warfare, surveillance and reconnaissance, space systems, battle management, command and control (C2) as well as cyber-warfare, anti-air and anti-missile defenses, aircraft, airlift and fuel.

Details, once again, come from Bill Gertz' Inside The Ring column at The Washington Times.

12 April 2015: It has been revealed by Bill Gertz via the Washington Free Beacon that during the morning of this past Tuesday, 7 April, a Russian Su-27 Flanker intercepted and nearly caused a mid-air collision with an American RC-135 'Rivet Joint' Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) reconnaissance and collections aircraft, code named "Combat Sent," which was flying its mission in international airspace over the Baltic Sea. 

The Russian fighter missed striking the American aircraft by a mere 20 feet in what U.S. officials protested as "unsafe and unprofessional" conduct by the Russian pilot. Gertz suggests that the mission was directly related to ELINT intelligence collection to confirm Russia's recent deployment of short-range Iskander nuclear-capable missiles to Kaliningrad and recently annexed Crimea.

The Gertz article also reveals:

"A report by the European Leadership Network, “Dangerous Brinksmanship: Close Military Encounters Between Russia and the West in 2014,” states that last year NATO aircraft conducted more than 100 intercepts of Russian aircraft, three times the number of intercepts in 2013. A total of 11 encounters were described as being of a serious and “more aggressive or unusually provocative nature, bringing a higher level risk of escalation.”

“These include harassment of reconnaissance planes, close overflights over warships, and Russian ‘mock bombing raid’ missions,” the report said, noting that the intensity and gravity of the incidents coincided with the Russian annexation of Crimea.

“These events add up to a highly disturbing picture of violations of national airspace, emergency scrambles, narrowly avoided mid-air collisions, close encounters at sea, simulated attack runs, and other dangerous actions happening on a regular basis over a very wide geographical area.”"
The continuing litany of Russian military provocations and near-miss incidents in the past several months on land, in the sea or air reads like the opening chapters of a military science novel written by the late author Tom Clancy. The critical difference here is that none of these incidents are fictional with a larger-than-life hero rushing in to save the day. 

Any one of these types of calculated incidents could result in an miscalculated and unforeseen error involving nuclear-armed opposing forces. Not everything that has occurred in world history has an associated Bible prophecy; World War II and the  44-year long Cold War (World War III) being the recent prime examples. However, these wars and current events most assuredly do serve to shape the real-world that will exist as Bible prophecies come to their fulfillment. 

This is the meaning I take from the angel Gabriel's explaining to the prophet Daniel the future course of events, wherein he stated in the 70 Weeks prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27
"The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined."
Ongoing Russian military provocations may just be ramping up toward yet another desolation of war while most of us are preoccupied with our daily lives. This is the specific purpose of the Eschatology Today blog in observing "current world events seen through the clarifying lens of the LORD's inerrant prophetic word."

Friday, April 10, 2015

Global SITREP B6-15: Gog of Magog On The Move

Update 10 April 2015:  Just a quick update here to note some new odds and ends relative to this SITREP. There have been widespread rumors among ethnic Russian rebels of eastern Ukraine of an offensive being planned by Russian forces. The alleged time frame is between 12 April and 9 May. This is quite interesting due to the fact that Russian forces have also been on-the-move "exercising" in Transnistria, the strip of land wedged between the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine which is populated primarily by ethnic Russians. There would need to be a land bridge across southern Ukraine for Russia to have geographic continuity with Transnistria. A Russian military move here would become a catalyst for Moldova's reunification with NATO member Romania, or full integration as an independent republic into the European Union, or both.

Regarding the original portion of this SITREP posted on 7 March and the mention of South Ossetia (purple area in map above), it has come to my attention that Russia has basically annexed South Ossetia through the vehicle of the "Treaty of Alliance and Integration" between the Russian Federation and South Ossetia. This treaty allows Russia to "absorb" South Ossetia which it conquered from the Republic of Georgia in August 2008.  The green area in the map above is Abkhazia, and it was annexed by Russia on 23 January. This is worth mentioning because, as mentioned in other Eschatology Today posts, this entire region is directly related to the prophecy of Ezekiel 38/39. It's probably just a matter of time before Russia twists the dagger it now has pointed directly at Georgia's capital Tbilisi.

During 2014 Denmark scrambled its F-16s nearly 60 times in defense against incoming Russian strike aircraft. That's an average of 5 simulated nuclear attacks per month for an entire year in which Americans were preoccupied with the Obama Administration's instigated racism in our nations heartland. Let us not be distracted from this threat any further.

2 April 2015: Due to the inherent weakness demonstrated U.S. President Barack Obama in a leadership position within NATO (i.e. his post-election "flexibility" no doubt), Russia is directly threatening nuclear war over is annexation of Crimea, and says the same condition (threat of nuclear war) applies to its claim over NATO member states in the Baltic region: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.  Here is the latest report from The Independent in the UK.

Gog of Magog continues to move in the direction from which the LORD God will place hooks in his jaws to turn him around and draw him to destruction on the mountains of Israel as foretold by the prophet Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39.

22 March 2015: Ezekiel 38/39 foretells of Gog of Magog being turned around by Divine hooks to launch an invasion southwards against Israel. It's looking more and more likely that the direction in which Magog's military forces will be turned away from are the Baltic states, northern NATO, the northern tier of the European Union.

Mikhail Vanin is allegedly a Russian diplomat, the Russian Ambassador to Denmark. He recently informed that small Baltic nation that Russian nuclear weapons will be turned against it if Denmark participates in NATO defensive missile shield. Do you understand this? A Russian diplomat has publicly announced through the Danish Jyllands-Posten newspaper the threat of nuclear blackmail against the peaceful Danish people should its government mount a defense against blatant Russian military aggression. 

This is peaceful diplomacy of the modern Russia? No, this is warmongering by a totalitarian state against all of the nations along its entire periphery in the Baltic Sea region. Denmark, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden. Of these eight Baltic states only Sweden is not part of NATO, but it is a part of the European Union. Russian cannot threaten one of these nations with nuclear war and not threaten all of them. And all of them are American allies. 2016 cannot come soon enough.

1800 15 March 2015: An update I posted to Eschatology Today just over one year ago was confirmed via a BBC report posted one hour ago. In the single paragraph update of 5 March 2014 for "Ukraine Invasion Update: Russian Disposition of Forces with a Nuclear Threat!" I wrote:

"The nuclear warfare message from Russia last night was clear as a bell. It is a message that Vladimir Putin delivered with the launch of a Cold War era, road mobile RT-2PM 'Topol' (NATO Name: SS-25 'Sickle') ICBM. This ICBM is normally armed with a single 550kT nuclear warhead and multiple decoy warheads. Russian Strategic Rocket Forces launched the SS-25 (image below) from their Kapustin Yar site on the Volga River, some 280 miles east of the Ukrainian border, towards a target that was successfully impacted 1,230 miles distant at the Saryshaghan range in eastern Kazakhstan. On a reciprocal bearing this SS-25 would have made impact in the heart of Poland or one of the other newer member NATO nations in Eastern Europe. The message from Putin to the West: Is Ukraine worth fighting a nuclear war over?"
The BBC report was a follow-up on the Russian government documentary that aired today in which Vladimir Putin confirms he placed Russia's nuclear forces on alert as an unmistakeable threat to the US and the NATO alliance over Russian aggression in Crimea and Ukraine. The launch, trajectory and impact point of the SS-25 'Sickle' warhead at that time prove the validity of what was written here about the quickly forgotten threat.  

That Russia would air this particular program with such a blatant admission while Putin is in the midst of a 10-day Missing-In-Action stunt is not lost on this observer because the nuclear threat to the U.S. and NATO remains. Let this current situation be a warning to Israel regarding the Iranian nuclear threat which cannot be allowed to mature further. Fair warning.

0500 15 March 2015: With rumors running amok for the past week, it is now obvious that something unusual is definitely going in inside the Kremlin. Following days of incessant and increasing rumor mongering originating within Russian Federation websites, an official denial came from Alexi Mukhin, Director of the Center for Political Information, regarding the rumored "incapacitation" Vladimir Putin on Friday 13, March. However, along with that denial from Director Mukhin a request for the heads of major media to stay close to Moscow in preparation for a major public announcement was also made, and which was followed thereafter by some rather cryptic statements he made to about Putin's peerless leadership status within the Russian Federation.

Such cloak-and-dagger style goings on hasn't been seen in Russia since the days just prior to the collapse  and dissolving of the Soviet Union almost 24 years ago. Following the very public assassination of Putin critic Boris Nemtsov word leaked from Kremlin sources of a "hit list" of major Russian political, business and media players. Vladimir Putin's own going to ground this past week could well be related to the targeted assassinations.  So we wait for the major public announcement from the Russian President. 

7 March 2015: The Russian Federation has launched large-scale war games throughout its Southern Military District (image above) plus Russia's newly annexed territory of Crimea, as well as its bases in Abkhazia and South Ossetia (formerly the western and northern districts of the Republic of Georgia), and in Armenia.  These military forces consist of two entire land armies, large numbers of Special Forces (Spetsnaz), four brigades of paratroops, a Marine brigade plus several independent Marine battalions, the entire Black Sea Fleet and the 4th Air/Air Defense Forces Command.

These war games are an unambiguous message to NATO and Israel about Russian military forces preparedness to engage in full-scale war at a moments notice. Reinforcing this message is the Russian Defense Ministry announcement of these war games continuing over the course of the next month, which not so coincidentally happens to overlap with the time remaining for the P5+1 nuclear negotiations with Iran to reach an agreement. Also not coincidentally is the geographic fact that the large swath of territory that is the Russia's Southern Military District is directly north and contiguous with the Iranian border. Most important from the biblical eschatological perspective is that this territory fully encompasses the northern territories identified in the prophecy of Ezekiel 38/39.

Related to this is news from the Ukrainian government that Russia is using the current ceasefire not to withdraw its troops from eastern Ukraine, but to instead rotate them with fresh troops from Russia. The Ukrainian government estimates there are now a minimum of 18,000 Russian troops on Ukrainian soil in Donetsk and Luhansk provinces. Gog of Magog is clearly on the move with his military forces.

Updates as they occur.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Global SITREP B10-15: Parah Adumah in Howell, NJ (A Red Heifer)

5 April 2015:  Lakewood, New Jersey is well known as having a very large Jewish community and the Beth Medrash Govoha (BMG), a Haredi Yeshiva founded five years prior to the creation of the State of Israel. With a student population of 6,500 students the BMG is one of the largest Haredi Yeshiva outside of Israel, if not the largest.

As reported by a local newspaper, The Lakewood Scoop, just three months ago, 11 January 2015, a group of the Rabbis from the BMG were called to a farm in nearby Howell, NJ that is run by a Jewish businessman named Herb Celler, the son of Auschwitz survivors, to investigate the possibility that a pure Parah Adumah - Red Heifer - is present on the farm (image above). Upon concluding their close inspection of the red heifer the now extremely impressed and excited Rabbonim sent word via eleven high definition photographs to their brethren in Eretz Israel.

As most of the Bride of Christ has come to be informed over the years, the Haredi expectations of the appearance of a pure Red Heifer has become eschatologically important to us as well.  A living, unblemished (kosher) red heifer within just a very few miles drive of where I live in New Jersey, is almost inexpressible, but I'll try.

For Haredi Jews ever since the restoration of all Jerusalem, the site of the Temple Mount, to the state of Israel in June 1967, there has existed the expectation of the appearance of a pure Parah Adumah is a sure sign to them of the coming of the Moshiach and the rebuilding of the 3rd Temple. For us this red heifer represents a clear signal of the nearness of a specific God-breathed purification rite (in the above linked Numbers 19) for the construction of the 3rd Temple which is a real-world indicator concerning the imminent nearness for fulfillment of the angel Gabriel's prophecy regarding the 70th Week. Talk about chills going up and down one's spine and hairs standing on end! A truly incredible sight is this red cow!

By the way, Mr. Celler turned down an offer that came out of New York of one million dollars for this cow. He said this cow is not for sale and he is sending this gift from God to Israel as a gift.

Now, just to make sure everyone who reads this understands the issue clearly, here is the GotQuestionsDotOrg entry on this subject:

Question: "What is the significance of a red heifer in the Bible? Is a red heifer a sign of the end times?"

According to the Bible, the red heifer—a reddish-brown cow, probably no more than two years old which had never had a yoke on it—was to be sacrificed as part of the purification rites of the Mosaic Law. The slaughtering of a red heifer was a ceremonial ritual in the Old Testament sacrificial system, as described in Numbers 19:1-10. The purpose of the red heifer sacrifice was to provide for the water of cleansing (Numbers 19:9), another term for purification from sin. After the red heifer was sacrificed, her blood was sprinkled at the door of the tabernacle.

The imagery of the blood of the heifer without blemish being sacrificed and its blood cleansing from sin is a foreshadowing of the blood of Christ shed on the cross for believers’ sin. He was “without blemish” just as the red heifer was to be. As the heifer was sacrificed “outside the camp” (Numbers 19:3), in the same way Jesus was crucified outside of Jerusalem: “And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood” (Hebrews 13:11-12).

The Bible does teach that one day there will be again be a temple of God in Jerusalem (Ezekiel chapters 41-45). Jesus prophesied that the antichrist would desecrate the temple (Matthew 24:15), and for that to occur, there obviously would have to be a temple in Jerusalem once again. Many anticipate the birth of a red heifer because in order for a new temple to function according to the Old Testament law, a red heifer would have to be sacrificed for the water of cleansing used in the temple. So, when a red heifer is born (which is quite unusual) it might be a sign that the temple will soon be rebuilt.

Yes, this red heifer born and raised on Herb Celler's farm in Howell, NJ was declared kosher by Haredi Rabbonim on 2 April 2015, the second birthday of this unblemished red heifer. Rabbi's are now coming from Israel to see her.