Monday, September 24, 2018

Global SITREP D2-18: The End-Game in Syria (Part II)

Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city,
and it shall be a ruinous heap.
24 September 2018: The end-game in Syria is no longer about rebels. Now it's all about a big powers (i.e. nuclear powers) face-off: Russia, Syria and Iran versus Israel, the U.S. and our allies.

We've already addressed the details found in Jeremiah 49:23-27 and Isaiah 17 many times over. I went over all of that material again in recent hours, and then it hit me like a brick.

Consider this question: Is Israel alone capable of causing the destruction of Syria as a nation? If you think so, think it over again. Re-read the prophecies, pray over them, ask our Father about them. 

Having done that, and to that end, here's some key info I'm sure needs our re-consideration.

The prophetic text of Isaiah tells us clearly that many nations rush into the war in Syria. They are there today. Russia, Iran, USA, UK, France... and the list goes on. They rushed in and will soon make extremly hasty exits. Damscus destroyed, a ruinous heap of rubble; Syria no longer a nation among the nations of the world.

As important in the coming catastrophe is that Israel will take significant damage. Isaiah says so. Believe it. Why does this happen? Most likely because Israel is still in unbelief; they've not yet returned to Covenant relations with the Lord; He's not yet poured out His Spirit upon them.

[Side bar: It won't be like this for Israel during Ezekiel 38/39. That's when God will intervene directly to save Israel from physical destruction, pour out His Spirit upon them and the Covenant relationship is then rapidly restored. Let me cut this short before getting too far ahead.]

Remember, the Lord knows what is about to happen, and He makes use of this for His sovereign purposes - foremost among them is to bring Israel back into the Covenant relationship, and that leads Israel into eternal salvation in Christ Jesus.

[Another side bar: We just considered recently when the Lord will shake the heavens, thereby moving the earth and stars out of their places. We saw through that study of prophecy that this occurs in the beginning of the latter half of the 70th Week. The Temple is defiled via the Abomination of Desolation; Israel flees into the wilderness for safekeeping. So, there's no one counting the days, no Sanhedrin during those last 42 months sighting the new moon, quite simply because it won't be where it's supposed to be. Nothing will be in the heavens above, as we know them today, where they are supposed to be. There will no longer be any purpose for the sun, moon and stars as the Lord intended in Genesis 1:14 and as Jesus proclaimed in Matthew 24:29. Again, cutting this short.]

It is my belief that the pre-70th Week prophetic flood begins with the disaster in Syria foretold by Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49:23-27. We know it's all downhill from there, but an unbelieving world continues on marrying and giving in marriage. It is not far off, but very, very close at hand. I believe this because very serious ultimatums and threats - even as you read this - are being issued by both sides of this conflict. These are not easily walked back. Very suddenly all pretense of deconfliction of military forces in this arena will evaporate like dew in the morning sun.

Russia, in the aftermath of the IL-22M Coot-A shotdown, and for which it bears sole responsibility, has made blunder upon blunder. A cascade of blunders. Russia seeks to woo Turkey away from NATO as a strategic Russian ally. The Idlib invasion was called off for this reason; Trukey fighting Russia, Syria and Iran in Iblib was a non-starter in Russia's strategicm long-game view. Why would Russia need warm water ports and airfields in Syria when many more of the same might be found on Turkey's southern coastline on the Mediterranean Sea? It's a no-brainer. If it comes down to it Russia would jettison Syria like a bad habit if it could secure a strategic alliance with the Turks.

Push will eventually come to shove, possibly unintentionally, as the fiasco of the IL-22M shootdown has demonstrated. When this happens everything, and that means the billions upon billions of rubles that Russia has invested in Syria will literally go up in smoke and ash. Russia will then seek recompense against Israel in earnest. This will occur shortly after the Psalm 83, Isaiah 11, Ezekiel 28 conflict resolves into its ultimate fulfillment, and the enigmatic Gog has risen to power in Russia. This we know all so well according to the prophet Ezekiel. Consider also, as we have many times previously, there is no Syria in the Psalm 83, Isaiah 11 or Ezekiel 28 prophetic narratives. There's only Lebanon, Jordan, the Sinai, Gaza plus Judea and Samaria (including Jerusalem) involved.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Global SITREP D1-18: The End-Game in Syria?

Russian IL-22M Coot-A ELINT Aircraft (a/k/a IL-18D-36 Bizon)
18 September 2018:  At approximately 11 PM IDT a very large-scale Israeli missile attack from the Mediterranean Sea against Syrian-Iranian targets in the area of Latakia, Syria commenced. Huge fireballs erupted in the area around a technical facility linked to the production of missiles and chemical munitions and storage warehouses used by Iran to transfer war materiel to Lebanese Hezbollah. 

Iran uses this location adjacent to the Russian Hmeimim Air Base and its air defense system in an attempt to cover their preparations for war against Israel. Israel immediately recognized the critical and intolerable nature of what the Iranians were doing with Syrian government acquiescence in the area adjecent to Hmeimim Air Base.

As the IAF strike mission completed and the Israeli F16I Sufa's had recovered back into Israeli airspace, a Russian IL-22M Coot-A ELINT aircraft enroute to recover at Hmeimim Air Base following an intellgence collection mission over Idlib goverorate, was shotdown with 15 crew members on board by "excessive and inaccurate" Syrian air defense fire. 

Initial Russian comments made by Ministry of Defense personnel blamed Israel for the loss of their aircraft, stating that the IAF strike was an "irresponsible action" in that the IAF had deliberately used the IL-22M as cover against Syrian anti-air fire. The Russian MoD spokeperson, Igor Konashenkov, made a threat of retaliation against Israel in what he termed wered "irresponsible actions of the Israeli military," and a "hostile act."

A Russian MoD flight profile map as published by the BBC can be seen below. Subsequent reports say that Russian President Vladimir Putin has characterized the shhotdown as "a chain of tragic and chance circumstances." What it means is that the Syrian anti-aircrat system operators were completely spooked by the intense middile of the night IAF strike and continued to fire wildly at anything in the air off the Syrian coastline. In U.S. military parlance, this was a 'Murphy's Law" event. Tragic, completely avoidable, but the direct result of Iranian war preparations within Syrian territory for which the Syrian government bears full responsibility.

Also concurrent with the aftermath of the IAF strike the Russian media were also reporting that the recently commissioned French FREMM-class frigate, FF-D654 Auvergne, was also launching missiles into Syria. The French Ministry of defense has vehemently denied any role in the downing of the Russian aircraft or that their frigate launched missiles of any kind. The Russian reports have been characterized by the French Ambassador to the United States as Russia having gone mad with their "fake news" reports.

These are the type of events in northwestern Syria and off its coastline that Eschatology Today has for the past three years put forward as a strong potential leading edge in the fulfillment of Jeremiah 49:23-27, and Isaiah 17. From Global SITREP D6-15, posted on 15 September 2015, we have the following excerpt:

"15 September 2015: I believe it would serve us well to look closely at the passage below from Jeremiah 49. Verse 23 is referring directly to that swath of territory in northwestern Syria adjacent to the Eastern Mediterranean seacoast, from the Turkish border to the Lebanese border, and which is currently known as the Governorates of Aleppo, Idlib, Hama, Latakia and Tartus. Hamath is the modern-day the city of Hama, and Arpad is located in the present day city of Tell Rifaat in Aleppo.
Jeremiah 49:23-27

 Against Damascus.
“Hamath and Arpad are shamed,
For they have heard bad news.
They are fainthearted;
There is trouble on the sea;
It cannot be quiet.
24 Damascus has grown feeble;
She turns to flee,
And fear has seized her.
Anguish and sorrows have taken her like a woman in labor.
25 Why is the city of praise not deserted, the city of My joy?
26 Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets,
And all the men of war shall be cut off in that day,” says the Lord of hosts.
27 “I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus,
And it shall consume the palaces of Ben-Hadad.”"

By now virtually all regular readers here are very aware of this. The question now is, have we arrived at the point of no return; the point where the war in Syria, in which many nations are militarily directly involved, makes a turn from an active process to actual fulfillment? Based upon the final words of verse 23, there will be more to come in terms of "trouble on the sea" where two opposing naval armadas may find themselves in recept of legitimate or illegitimate orders to push buttons in hostile or pre-emptive strikes against the other. 

Final Word 19 September 2018: Russia will be looking for retribution. Despite the good cop (Putin) bad cop (Shoigu) PR act of yesterday, Russia will want retribution. Here's our link within this situation to Ezekiel 38/39. This will require a good amount of patience from fellow eschatologists. Several other prophetic events must take place first.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Global SITREP C10-18: The Final Battles for Syria - A Regional War

Screenshot: Syrian Mi-8 'Hip' dropping a barrel bomb on Al-Lataminah town.
UPDATE 10 September 2018: The Wall Street Journal, The Times of Israel and Market Watch are all reporting the same news this morning: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has ignored the US, UK and French warnings and has approved the use of WMD (Chlorine Gas) in offensive operations against Idlib Governorate. Also, Germany is now saying that it will likely join the Western Allies in punitive strikes against the Syrian regime. A third round of punitive strikes by the Western Allies will be a lot more severe than the last.

9 September 2018: The assault upon Idlib has been in full execution since yesterday morning. It began, as all previous pro-regime forces invasions of rebel held towns and cities have begun, with a sustained air assault on hospitals and humanitarian rescue facilities. Struck yesterday were an underground hospital in Hass, Idlib Governorate and the town of Al-Lataminah 20km to the south. 

The screenshot above is from a video recorded by the civilian-run Hala System (a/k/a Sentry Advance Warning System) taken during rebel surrveillance of the barrelbombing attack (object below the chopper) of al-Lataminah town. The Hala System provides early warning the moment any regime or its allies aircraft departs their respective airfields. Deliberately attacking hospitals and rescue centers (i.e. local ambulance and pararescue teams) is a war crime. Regime chemical weapons have long been delivered on civilian targets in Syria by Mi-8 choppers dropping such improvised barrel bombs.

In light of these attacks the U.S. Pentagon has prepared several potential military response options. These existence of these options was made public yesterday by Chairman-Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford. The UMSC has also deploYed OVER 100 additional troops to the CJTF-OIR base at At-Tanf. The Marine landed and immediately engaged in a live fire demonstration designed to give Russian, Syrian and Iranian forces a chance to reconsider striking the At-Tanf base or moving within its extended 35-mile forward perimeter.  The firepower available to CJTF-OIR far exceeds anything the combined Russian, Syrian and Iranian forces have available on land, sea or air.

Map of northwestern Syria 07SEP18

7 September 2018:
  The map above shows the current situation in (south to north) Hama, Idlib and Aleppo governorates in northwestern Syria, and who controls what territory. Within Idlib there are a reported 2.9 million civilians, nearly 1 million of which are young children. 

There are also two new and highly critical developments to report in this update: 

1.) The US, UK and France have seen strong indications that the Syrian government has prepared chemical WMD for use in the coming battle. These allies continue to urgently warn the regime of Bashar al-Assad of a switft and appropriate military response if chemical weapons are used in battle.

2.) The Russians have warned the United States directly on two occasions in the past week that the U.S. CJTF-OIR base at At Tanf could be attacked by Russian forces due to the presence of "insurgent forces" there. Since there are no known Russian ground combat units or Wagner Group mercenaries in the area of At Tanf, such an attack would have to be made against the U.S. base using Kalibr cruise missiles launched by Russian naval combatant ships off the Syrian coast.

Lines of Control in Syria on 3 September 2018
5 September 2018: There are last ditch diplomatic carrot and stick entreaties to the al-Assad government in Damascus today, and they're being put forward under a nothing ventured/nothing gained mindset. Almost everyone involved actually believes the die has been cast for continued war and a humanitarian catastrophe in Idlib. 

The massive Russian investment of rubles in the form of a large military deployment into and off the coast of Syria would be for naught should the Idlib assault be called off. That object in motion will tend to stay in motion. The alleged Russian, Iranian and Turkish 'summit' scheduled for tomorrow in Tehran stands as a very high probability of becoming a grand disappontment for the Turkish government which hopes against hope for the Idlib operation to be called off. Turkey very much stands against the Russian, Iranian and Syrian plan of conquest of the Idlib Governorate. The Turks want a far more precise operation to rid the governorate of select jihadists, much as they accomplished in Afrin earlier this summer. The Russians and Iranians have already rubber-stamped and green-lighted the full-scale operation. That means an ethnic cleansing of Syrian and Turkmen Sunni's from Idlib is certain to inflame the Turkish government which are Sunni Turkmen themselves. Make no mistake, at this point Turkey is no military ally of Syria, Russia or Shi'a Iran. Turkey could well intervene against the Iranian and Syria ground forces in the days to come.

And then, as in Item 4 below, there is Israel. The IAF struck Iranian targets in the Hama and Tartus Governorates (see image above). Again, the IAF strike aircraft were flying high over Lebanon, and they had to have been detected by the Russian S-400 anti-air site just a few miles northwest from the targets in Masyaf that were struck. There isn't a single reliable report of anti-air fire going up against the Israeli jets - not Russian, not Syrian, not Iranian. The IAF struck with impunity. This strike reaffirms that Israel is actively at war against anything belonging to the Iranian military forces in Syria. This is a wild card in the ongoing war in Syria. Russia apparently has no qualms with Israel obliterating Iranian military hardware and facilities in Syria, even right under their own noses.

Even though covered multiple times this year in various SITREPs, a reminder of the prophetic picture would be in order at this point.

"Hamath and Arpad are shamed,
For they have heard bad news.
They are fainthearted;
There is trouble on the sea;
It cannot be quiet." - Jeremiah 49:23

"Woe to the multitude of many people
Who make a noise like the roar of the seas,
And to the rushing of nations
That make a rushing of mighty waters!
The nations will rush like the rushing of many waters;
But God will rebuke them and they will flee far away,
And be chased like the chaff of the mountains before the wind,
Like a rolling thing before the whirlwind." - Isaiah 17:12-13

This impending battle is located in northwestern Syria, between the same two ancient locations named by Jeremiah. There are gathered in the sea of the Syrian coast an array of warships from many nations involved in the conflict, and which stand ready to engage in combat. The literal word here is, well, very literal; it says what it says and it is unique in all of recorded history up to this point. The culmination found in both Jeremiah's and Isaiah's prophecies here is the destruction of Damascus, and of the nation we know as Syria.

4 September 2018: It appears the Idlib offensive has begun. Russian combat aircraft began the operation with airstrikes within the past two hours.  

3 September 2018: The final battles for Syria are a regional war already in-progress, albeit at a slow or no boil from time to time. The SITREP at present goes something like this: 

1.) There are  behind the scenes diplomatic efforts ongoing that have, more or less, postponed the Idlib (northwestern Syria) offensive operations. By the same token there are major powers maneuverings or exercises the Mediterranean Sea which are probably preludes to combat operations.

2.) Within Idlib there are multiple anti-regime forces, each within its own cantonment of influence or control. There are AQ terrorists, Free Syrian forces, Turkomen militias, Kurdish militias, and Turkish Army outposts as well. There are anti-regime forces from all over Syria which have come to Idlib via free passage; Idlib is a dumping ground of opposition forces from the rest of the country. They are not all currently presenting a united front, but will likely act as such when the hammer drops.

3.) The national interests of the Russian Federation (and its allies) and the United States (and its allies) are in conflict, although at present there are norms of communication which have thus far prevented hostile fire. Should Syrian forces use WMD in Idlib the spectre of a Russia-America confrontation in this arena is very real.

4.) And then there is Israel and the United States confrontation with Iran in Syria (and soon possibly in Iraq). This warfront has been smouldering of late with potential sparks (large air strikes) at al-Mazzeh Air Base near Damascus and at At-Tanf in southeastern Syria within the past 24 hours failing to ignite into a more widespread conflict. In both airstrikes it was Iranian proxy forces which were devastated, the former a warehouse, the latter an on-the-move military convoy. Israel has also revealed that it will strike Iranian targets in Syria, or in Iraq, as they present themselves.