|USAF F-22 Raptor stealth fighter|
UPDATED 20 May 2017: Confirmed. American strike aircraft (F-22 Raptors) struck a convoy of mixed Iranian IRGC-led militia from Iraq and Lebanese Hezbollah forces on Highway 2 as they approached the important Operation Inherent Resolve cross-border base at al-Tanf, Syria and Al-Walid, Iraq. Some media have incorrectly reported the convoy was pro-Assad Syrian military. However, audio and video reports from the region as well as intercepted communications from the convoy indicated the distinctive Iraqi Arabic dialect of the Shi'a Kataib Imam Ali militia who are led by IRGC officers.
The IRGC-led Iraqi militia and Hezbollah forces (both Shi'a) were warned repeatedly by US-led Coalition forces to halt their advance at the Zarqa-Al Shalighm crossroad. When the convoy passed this crossroad they were immediately struck by American aircraft. According to an IHS James report, "the coalition carried out an airstrike at the Zarka road junction 37 km from Al-Tanf, destroying four tanks, a ZSU-23-4 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun, and 12 other military vehicles. It said the airstrike was carried out in co-ordination with the Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawrah (Revolution Commandos Army) rebel group."
|Location of the Al-Tanf,Syria and/Al-Walid, Iraq border crossing|
The US also informed Russia that its allies were not to cross the crossroad and enter into the previously established Al-Tanf de-confliction zone where Coalition military operations against Islamic State forces were in progress. According to multiple international reports, about 3,000 Hezbollah troops were pulled from their positions on the Lebanese-Syrian border to participate in a push to re-take eastern Syria to the Iraqi border. These troops are integrated into the larger force approaching al-Tanf which reportedly numbers close to 10,000 troops.
Both British and US special forces have been deployed at the Al-Tanf base of the Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawra (Revolutionary Commandos Army) (RCA) and New Syrian Forces (NSF) since August 2016. The NSF are former Sunni members of the Syrian Arab Army's 30th Division who defected to anti-Assad opposition forces at the start of the civil war. The NSF were organized as a component of the Free Syrian Army by the US-led Coalition in October 2015.
17 May 2017: Looking forward a few days, we have President Trump leaving the country for a visit with Saudi Arabian leaders (Sheba and Dedan), then to Israel for a meeting with Netanyahu, a visit to the Western Wall of Temple Mount, a potential joint IS-Israel announcement stating that now is not the right time to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. The the itinerary takes President Trump to a NATO meeting that will be immediately followed by another "Ezekiel Summit" (see: Part III). In all of this, the walk-back on the embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is one of the more serious issues. This is because it could cause almost irreparable damage among Trump's Conservative-Evangelical political base at a time he can least afford to lose any support much less this core constituency. Nevertheless, the LORD's will is being done, and we can expect the unexpected to occur.
15 May 2017: The two nuclear-armed (US and Russia) opposing armed force coalitions in Syria now appear to be engaged in operations designed to seize and hold territory. This is conventional warfare as we have known it for millennia. The real danger here is the allies with each coalition could engage each other in combat, either deliberately or by accident and particularly in southern and western Syria. In the skies overhead a free-for-all dogfight could also occur between the two sides combat aircraft. And then there's the continuing Iranian-Hezbollah drive to seize the Syrian side of the Golan. This is all stage-setting for the major conflagration this series on the Syrian Situation has been highlighting according to Bible prophecy (Isaiah 17; Jeremiah 49:23-27).
Going further back, Eschatology Today noted years ago in its interpretation that the region of northwest Jordan, were many of the US-led coalition are based, equates to "The cities of Aroer" found in Isaiah 17:2. This entire region is to be abandoned from human habitation, either by radioactive fallout or chemical-biological warfare. Not much else could cause such wholesale desolation of human life - or military forces. This is tied to the "woe" which leads off the two verses of Isaiah 17:12-13, where the nations have rushed in like mighty waters, only to have God rebuke them all and they are forced to flee far away. Isaiah 17:14 tells us this (ballahah) dreadful event will occur between a single evening ('eth 'ereb) and daybreak (boqer) of the following day. Yet this is nothing new to those who've been studying Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49:23-27 since the interpretation of these prophecies were brought to your attention on Eschatology Today.
|Golan Heights, Israel Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon border region|
6 May 2017: Here's how Eschatology Today assesses the current situation in Syria.