Tag Archives: Iraq

New US Navy carrier strike group now in Persian Gulf to help obliterate what’s left of ISIS

New carrier strike group arrives in Persian Gulf to get rid of ISIS

After about two months of the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier sitting off Syria’s coast to support ground operations against ISIS, the USS Nimitz has arrived in the Persian Gulf to hammer whatever is left of the terror group.

“For the Nimitz Strike Group, today is game day,” said Rear Adm. Bill Byrne, commander of Nimitz’s carrier strike group said in a US Navy statement sent to Business Insider. “When you hear the roar of the jets today it is for real; it’s game on.”

The Nimitz and its accompanying carrier strike group, which the US Naval Institute reports includes a guided-missile cruiser and four destroyers, will support the US-led effort to eliminate ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Though ISIS continues to coordinate attacks abroad, the terror group has suffered incredible defeats in the territory it once declared as its “caliphate.” In Iraq, ISIS’s foundational city, Mosul, has been liberated by Iraqi security forces with the help of carrier-launched aircraft.

CLICK HERE for US Navy video

In Syria, more than half of ISIS’s last remaining stronghold, Raqqa, has been liberated. In late July, Army Gen. Raymond Thomas, head of US Special Operations Command, said that the US-led fight against ISIS had killed 60,000 to 70,000 militants.

“The enemy is very worn out,” Maj. Gen. Najm al-Jabouri of the Iraqi Security Forces told Reuters on Monday. “I know from the intelligence reports that their morale is low,” the general added.

Meanwhile, a fresh carrier air wing aboard the Nimitz began operations against ISIS on Monday as US-backed forces on the ground continue to make progress.

However, the F-18 squadrons aboard the Nimitz face an increased risk, as the pilots aboard the George H.W. Bush saw the first air-to-air combat since 1999 .

 

[From an article published by BUSINESS INSIDER]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
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The winds of war are blowing on Israel’s borders

Winds of war surround Israel

On Sunday, an Israeli fighter jet entered Syrian airspace and reportedly bombed a vehicle traveling from Damascus to Quneitra, a town situated in the Golan Heights near the border with Israel. One person was killed.

According to Al-Mayadeen, a Lebanese news media service, the attack killed Yasser Hussein Asayeed, a member of a militia group allied with the Syrian government. Sunday’s air strike was the second military incursion into Syrian territory in three days and is evidence of the mounting tension between Israel and its northern neighbor.

On Friday, Israeli jets entered Syria and carried out an attack on a convoy transporting weapons to Hezbollah. During the attack, Syria launched surface-to-air rockets at the Israeli jets. Israel responded by firing its Arrow interceptor missile at the rockets.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, Israel’s Air Force struck two separate Hamas strongholds in the Gaza Strip. The strikes were in response to a Hamas rocket attack on Ashkelon earlier in the day. Another rocket attack from Gaza occurred on Thursday.

These attacks have many in Israel worried that war is imminent. “The winds of war are blowing on Israel’s borders,” wrote Alex Fishman earlier this week. He continued:

The Israeli strike in Syria, the Russian and Syrian responses, and the flare-up in Gaza are bringing Israel one step closer to a military collision. The relative calm along the borders in recent years, which has become a symbol of security stability and deterrence, is gradually wearing out.

The recent attacks are a sign of two important developments. First, as Fishman noted, Israel is establishing red lines with Russia, which in recent years has significantly improved its strategic position in the region.

The weekend events in the north indicate that Israel is striking in Syria not only to curb the Iranian arms convoys to Hezbollah, but also to demonstrate its presence in Syria and make it clear, especially to the Russians, that there will be no agreement in Syria without Israel’s input.

Second, some believe this level of aggression from Israel is a sure sign that it is concerned about the presence of Iran in Syria and Lebanon, and that Tehran via its proxies might even be close to launching an attack. There is evidence, as this article from the Jewish Press explained, that Iran’s strategic and military position in Syria and Lebanon has improved in recent weeks and months.

First, the Iran-sponsored Shia fighters in Syria, who 10 days ago announced the formation of a “Golan Liberation Brigade,” have done more than merely talk. Additional Iraqi Shia fighters have reportedly been deployed to Damascus (never a haunt of the Iran-sponsored force; they’ve been in Aleppo and Idlib Province) and have made public shows of military power there.

Meanwhile, in Lebanon, “Hezbollah has reportedly made a separate threat to begin raining ‘long-range missiles’ down on Israel from the Qalamoun Mountains north of Damascus.” There are also signs that cooperation is increasing between Hezbollah and the Lebanese Armed Forces. On February 12, Lebanese President Michael Aoun implied during a visit to Egypt that Lebanon needs Hezbollah and its weapons as a “complement” to Lebanon’s military. “The resistance’s [Hezbollah] arms are not contrary to the state project; otherwise we could have not tolerated it. It is an essential part of Lebanon’s defense,” he stated (emphasis added).

This statement would not have come as a surprise to Israel. Nevertheless, together with the other developments, it was a timely reminder that Lebanon, like Syria, is essentially a hostile state with little interest in protecting the Jewish state from Iran and its terrorist proxies.

It is impossible to know if Israel is about to go to war in Syria, Lebanon, or anywhere else. But in the larger sense, these events are troubling indicators of an approaching conflict of greater intensity.

Watch Jerusalem closely watches events in this part of the world because of the biblical prophecies describing how conflict here, especially in Jerusalem, will trigger a wider conflagration.

 

[From an article by Brad MacDonald for WATCH JERUSALEM]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
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Evidence that the oil glut is really just beginning

First it was the Saudis; then Russia announced another month of record oil production.

And now it is Iraq’s turn. According to the state-run Oil Marketing Co., Iraq increased crude output to a record level in March, ahead of the long-awaited April 17 meeting in Qatar where OPEC members and other producers may or may not (they won’t) agree to cap production to curb a global glut.

As Bloomberg reports, crude output in OPEC’s second-biggest producer rose to 4.55 million barrels a day last month from 4.46 million barrels in February, while exports increased to 3.81 million barrels a day in March from 3.23 million the previous month, the company, known as Somo, said in an e-mailed statement. The 500,000 barrel increase in monthly barrels has made up almost entirely for the 600,000 barrel decline in US shale output.

Ahead of the Doha meeting, Iraq – which is clearly pumping at full power – supports an agreement reached in February between Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar to cap output at January levels. Well maybe: this is what the Iraqi Oil Ministry Spokesman Asim Jihad said on March 23, without confirming if the country agrees to freeze its own production.

Iraq’s unprecedented oil production has been duly documented here.  Recall just on Friday we showed a line of oil tankers caught in a traffic jam near the Iraqi port of Basra, causing delays in loading. The culprit is high oil production in Iraq. The port at Basra is struggling to load up all the oil tankers fast enough, forcing some to sit and wait. Iraq exported about 3.26 million barrels per day (mb/d) in March from its southern coast, which is up from just 2.5 mb/d in 2010.

Charles0704A_0

Furthermore, we already know that Iran and Libya have refused to cap output putting any Doha agreement in jeopardy because as the Saudis made all too clear two weeks ago, they won’t limit their own production without Iran joining, but for now the market has hope.

Just like Iran, Iraq is boosting output and exports after decades of economic sanctions and war. The country pumped a then-record 4.43 million barrels a day in January, the International Energy Agency said in a report published last month. Iraq holds the world’s fifth-biggest crude oil reserves. Iran on the other hand, has said it won’t limit production until it reaches the roughly 4+ million barrell output it had before US sanctions crippled its production.

As Bloomberg reminds us, Iraq’s Oil Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi suspended his participation in the cabinet last month, citing disarray in government ministries. Nizar Saleem Numan, who was nominated to replace him, withdrew his candidacy earlier this month, citing a lack of agreement over the make-up of the proposed cabinet.

In short: any attempts to rein in Iraq’s oil production will face an uphill climb.

As for Iran, the WSJ warns that the the upshot from the country’s slow return to peak output is that it may have given false comfort to the rebounding oil market. “Some analysts think that the amount of Iranian crude stored on supertankers has even increased. Betting that those barrels won’t show up at a refinery soon or that Iran will willingly cut short its return to the oil market would be naive.”

For Kuwait and the U.A.E., the goals are even higher. Kuwait plans to raise production capacity by 5 percent from 3 million barrels a day by the third quarter, and to reach 4 million barrels by 2020. Abu Dhabi means to lift production capacity to 3.5 million barrels a day by 2017 from about 3 million.For Saudi Arabia the expansion is as much about gas as oil. The number of rigs drilling for gas there has jumped from about 20 in early 2013 to 60 last month, as the country tries to develop its own resources to support a growing petrochemicals industry and free up oil for export.

The first part of Saudi Arabia’s “market share” strategy saw it refuse to continue cutting output to prop up high-cost producers elsewhere. As a result, U.S. production has fallen by about 600,000 barrels a day from its recent peak and other high-cost areas are following.The Saudis may not have announced part two of the strategy yet, but it’s well underway.

But what may be most concerning for oil bulls, especially in a world in which demand refuses to pick up to “balance” the massively oversupplied market, is another Bloomberg report that in what would be the second phase of the kingdom’s strategy to defend its market share against rival producers (most visibly U.S. shale), Gulf states are planning to raise output capacity to fill the hole left by the lack of investment in new projects elsewhere.

The details:

The number of rigs drilling for oil in three Arab countries has more than doubled since 2010.

oil rigs_0

All three saw drilling reach at least 20-year records in 2015 and activity remains close to that peak. An expansion at Saudi Arabia’s Shaybah field should add 250,000 barrels a day as early as June, while the Khurais field could contribute another 300,000 barrels by the end of 2017. State-owned Saudi Aramco says this will let it ease pumping from older fields yet maintain a production capacity of more than 12 million barrels per day, 2 million barrels above its current rate.

For Kuwait and the U.A.E., the goals are even higher.

Kuwait plans to raise production capacity by 5 percent from 3 million barrels a day by the third quarter, and to reach 4 million barrels by 2020. Abu Dhabi means to lift production capacity to 3.5 million barrels a day by 2017 from about 3 million.

So in an environment in which not only the Saudis but Kuwait and the UAW are all planning to unleash millions more barrels of oil, the market somehow believes that next Sunday OPEC will agree – and actually comply – with a production freeze? Some folks may be stupid enough to believe that, but we hope any carbon-based traders can see the writing on the wall.

 

[Reprinted in David Stockman’s Contra Corner]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

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“ISIS is not an existential threat” but “we will destroy it” anyway…more nonsense from our non-leader

ObamaIn the wake of the horrible bombings in Brussels, Barack Obama is insisting that there is no need to change our approach in the fight against ISIS.  He believes that Islamic terror is not a fundamental threat to our way of life, and he wants all of us to be convinced that the way that he is handling ISIS right now is just fine.  Well, in this article you are going to learn some very shocking things about Obama and ISIS that are likely to make you very angry.  It turns out that our allies Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been arming, funding and aiding ISIS and other radical jihadist groups such as the al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda in Syria), and Obama has known about it all along.  The goal was to take down the Assad regime in Syria, and the American people were never supposed to find out the truth.

Earlier today, Barack Obama told reporters that ISIS is not “an existential threat to us” during a news conference down in Argentina.  You can see video of him making these remarks right here.  But at the same time, he is promising “to continue to go after” ISIS until they are “finally destroyed”

The United States will “continue to go after ISIL aggressively until it’s removed from Syria and from Iraq and finally destroyed,” Obama said, using another name for ISIS.

“The world has to be united against terrorism,” Obama said, adding that “that’s a top priority of ours.” He added that “we can and we will” defeat terrorism.

So what precisely is Obama actually doing to pursue this “top priority”?

We are told that the U.S. military is bombing ISIS targets, but in all the months that this has been happening, U.S. aircraft never targeted the endless convoys of ISIS oil trucks that were transporting stolen oil into Turkey.  It has been estimated that ISIS sold 800 million dollars worth of oil in Turkey, and Obama knew about it the entire time.

Why didn’t Obama say anything about this or do anything to stop it?

When the Russians came in, they showed satellite evidence of what was happening to the entire world and they immediately began bombing those oil convoys into oblivion.

But why hadn’t the U.S. already done that?

Massive convoys of oil trucks that stretched as far as the eye could see would go back and forth over the Turkish border completely unmolested and Obama did nothing.

In fact, if the Russians had not come in and bombed the living daylights out of those convoys it would still be happening.

This should be the biggest Obama scandal of them all, and yet nobody is talking about it.  Sometimes I think that I must be going crazy because what Obama did was so obviously wrong and yet nobody wants to touch this.  For much more on all of this, please see my previous article entitled “The Biggest Obama Scandal? He Knows That Turkey Is Buying Oil From ISIS And He Is Doing Nothing To Stop It“.

In addition, Obama knows that both Saudi Arabia and Turkey continue to provide advanced weaponry to ISIS and the al-Nusra Front.

He also knows that ISIS fighters use Turkey as a home base, and that when they are injured fighting in Syria they hop back over the border where they are treated at hospitals inside Turkish territory.

But have you heard Obama say anything about these things?

Has he done anything to stop any of this from happening?

No.

The reason why Obama hasn’t done or said anything is because ISIS and the other radical jihadist groups were supposed to win in Syria.  Once they had overthrown Assad, then the U.S., the Saudis and the Turks were going to come in and set up a Sunni puppet government.  Of course Russian intervention has completely changed the game, and so now the Sunni militants are losing.  That is why Saudi Arabia and Turkey are in such a panic about what is going on in Syria right now.

And we are also learning that western intelligence agencies had advance knowledge of the attacks in Brussels.  The following comes from a Haaretz report

The Belgian security services, as well as other Western intelligence agencies, had advance and precise intelligence warnings regarding the terrorist attacks in Belgium on Tuesday, Haaretz has learned.

The security services knew, with a high degree of certainty, that attacks were planned in the very near future for the airport and, apparently, for the subway as well.

Despite the advance warning, the intelligence and security preparedness in Brussels, where most of the European Union agencies are located, was limited in its scope and insufficient for the severity and immediacy of the alert.

So what are we to make of this?

Was this terror attack allowed to happen?

Could it be possible that someone out there helped make it happen?

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want to minimize the threat of Islamic terror one bit.  I just wonder sometimes which side our government is actually on.

And ISIS is warning of more attacks in the near future.  In fact, they are telling us that what is coming “will be more devastating and bitter”…

ISIS Statement

Even if we were somehow able to completely wipe out ISIS, the threat of Islamic terror would be far from over.

All over the planet, radical Islam is on the rise.  These jihadists have a fanatical hatred for Christians and for Jews, and their ultimate goal is world conquest.

And an act of terror does not have to result in mass casualties.

Examples of what I am talking about are all over the place.  Earlier today, I came across a Christian Post article that talked about how two radical Muslims hacked a 68-year-old Christian convert to death with machetes in the nation of Bangladesh…

Unidentified attackers hacked a Christian convert to death this week in northern Bangladesh in the latest attack in the Muslim-majority country.

The incident occurred Tuesday morning in the northern city of Kurigram, where 68-year-old Hossain Ali was hacked to death by two assailants wielding machetes.

Tobarak Ullah, the police chief of Kurigram, told the AFP that the militants were able to carry out the heinous crime by using distractions and a getaway vehicle.

Many in the western world may dismiss a story like this because it was the death of only one man.

But what happens when these radical jihadists start getting their hands on bigger weapons?

Former president Ronald Reagan once made the following statement…

“I don’t think you can overstate the importance that the rise of Islamic fundamentalism will have to the rest of the world in the century ahead-especially if, as seems possible, its most fanatical elements get their hands on nuclear and chemical weapons and the means to deliver them against their enemies.”

The use of a single chemical, biological or nuclear weapon in a major western city would set off panic on a scale that would be unlike anything we have ever seen before.

Even something as basic as sarin gas could accomplish what I am talking about.  Sarin gas has been used in both Syria and Iraq in the past, and it is exceedingly deadly.  The following comes from the Huffington Post

Inhaled or absorbed through the skin, the gas kills by crippling the respiratory center of the central nervous system and paralyzes the muscles around the lungs.

The combination results in death by suffocation, and sarin can contaminate food or water supplies, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which notes that antidotes exist.

“Sarin is 26 times more deadly than cyanide gas. Just a pinprick-sized droplet will kill a human,” according to the World Health Organization.

Of course there are other chemical weapons that are many, many times more lethal than sarin gas, and it is inevitable that terrorists will get their hands on biological and nuclear weapons at some point as well.

Yes, terror organizations such as ISIS most definitely do represent “an existential threat” to our way of life.

 

[by Michael Snyder, writing for THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE BLOG]

 

NORM ‘n’ AL Note:  While our non-leader is dilly-dallying, dithering, and non-leading, the people who are not a threat are doing all they can to prove they are exactly that. Now that you’ve seen what a non-leader is, America, you will have the chance in a few months to put a leader in the White House again. (And the candidate named Clinton is NOT the one we’re referring to.)

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
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A little heart-lifting story to end your week…

This was sent to us by one of our readers:

Last week I was in Atlanta , Georgia attending a conference. While I was in the airport returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer.
I immediately turned around and witnessed one of the greatest acts of patriotism I have ever seen.

Moving through the terminal was a group of soldiers in their camos. As they began heading to their gate, everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly to their feet with their hands waving and cheering.

When I saw the soldiers, probably 30 – 40 of them, being applauded and cheered for, it hit me. I’m not alone. I’m not the only red-blooded American who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families.

Of course, I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work and home without fear or reprisal.

Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our service men and women, a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old, ran up to one of the male soldiers. He kneeled down and said ‘hi.’

The little girl then asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her.

The young soldier, who didn’t look any older than maybe 22 himself, said he would try and asked what she wanted to give to her Daddy. Then suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek.

The mother of the little girl, who said her daughter’s name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Marine and had been in Iraq for 11 months now. As the mom was explaining how much her daughter Courtney missed her father, the young soldier began to tear up.

When this temporarily single mom was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second. Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military-looking walkie-talkie. They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it..

After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, ‘I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you.’ He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He finished by saying ‘your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon.’

The mom at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood to his feet, he saluted Courtney and her mom. I was standing no more than ten or twelve feet away from this entire event.

As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause. As I stood there applauding and looked around, there were very few dry eyes, including my own. That young soldier in one last act of selflessness, turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek.

We need to remember everyday all of our soldiers and their families and thank God for them and their sacrifices. At the end of the day, it’s good to be an American.

RED FRIDAYS —– Very soon you will see a great many people wearing red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the Silent Majority. We are no longer going to be silent, and we are also going to voice our love for God, country, and home in record-breaking numbers.

We are not organized, boisterous or over-bearing. We get no liberal media coverage on TV, to reflect our message or our opinions. Many American, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize the vast majority of Americans who support our troops.

Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar will wear something red.

By word of mouth, press, TV — let’s make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game with a crowd of red-clothed fans in the bleachers.

If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family. It will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once ‘silent’ majority is on their side more than ever; certainly more than the media lets on.

The first thing a soldier says when asked ‘What can we do to make things better for you?’ is…We need your support and your prayers.

Let’s get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example: WEAR SOMETHING RED EVERY FRIDAY!

WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE ONLY BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE. THEIR BLOOD RUNS RED…SO WEAR RED AS A REMINDER TO SUPPORT AND PRAY FOR THEM!  MAY GOD HELP AMERICA TO BECOME ONE NATION UNDER GOD AGAIN.

 

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
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World War III ready to begin: 350,000 soldiers in Saudi Arabia stand ready to invade Syria

350,000 soldiers, 20,000 tanks, 2,450 warplanes and 460 military helicopters are massing in northern Saudi Arabia for a military exercise that is being called “Northern Thunder”.  According to the official announcement, forces are being contributed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Sudan, Kuwait, Morocco, Pakistan, Tunisia, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia and several other nations.  This exercise will reportedly last for 18 days, and during that time the airspace over northern Saudi Arabia will be closed to air traffic.  This will be the largest military exercise in the history of the region, and it comes amid rumors that Saudi Arabia and Turkey are preparing for a massive ground invasion of Syria.

If you were going to gather forces for an invasion, this is precisely how you would do it.  Governments never come out and publicly admit that forces are moving into position for an invasion ahead of time, so “military exercises” are a common excuse that gets used for this sort of thing.

If these exercises are actually being used as an excuse to mass forces near the northern Saudi border, then we should expect an invasion to begin within the next couple of weeks.  If it happens, we should expect to see the Saudi coalition storm through western Iraq and into Syria from the south, and it is likely that Turkey will come in from the north.

The goal would be to take out the Assad regime before Russia, Iran and Hezbollah could react.  For the past couple of years, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies have been funding the Sunni insurgency in Syria, and they were counting on those insurgents to be able to take down the Assad regime by themselves.

You see, the truth is that ISIS was never supposed to lose in Syria.  Saudi Arabia and her allies have been funneling massive amounts of money to ISIS, and hundreds of millions of dollars of ISIS oil has been shipped into Turkey where it is sold to the rest of the world.

The major Sunni nations wanted ISIS and the other Sunni insurgent groups to take down Assad.  In the aftermath, Saudi Arabia and her allies intended to transform Syria into a full-blown Sunni nation.

But then Russia, Iran and Hezbollah stepped forward to assist the Assad regime.  Russian air support completely turned the tide of the war, and now the Sunni insurgents are on the brink of losing.

Aleppo was once the largest city in Syria, and Sunni insurgents have controlled it since 2012.  But now relentless Russian airstrikes have made it possible for Syrian, Iranian and Hezbollah ground forces to surround the city, and it is about to fall back into the hands of the Syrian government.

If this happens, the war will essentially be over.

Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies have invested massive amounts of time, money and effort into overthrowing Assad, and they aren’t about to walk away now.

If the war was to end right at this moment, a weakened Assad regime would remain in power, and Iran and Hezbollah would be the dominant powers in the country for years to come.  And once Assad died, it would be inevitable that Iran and Hezbollah would attempt to transform Syria into a full-blown Shiite nation.  This is something that Saudi Arabia and Turkey want to avoid at all costs.

So they are actually considering what was once absolutely unthinkable – a massive ground invasion of Syria.

But if Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies go in, they run the risk of a full-blown war with Russia, Iran and Hezbollah.  Just consider some of the comments that we have seen in recent days

Reacting to a potential troop deployment, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said Saturday, “Let no one think they can attack Syria or violate its sovereignty because I assure you any aggressor will return to their country in a wooden coffin.”

Pavel Krasheninnikov, a deputy of Russia’s State Duma, has warned Saudi Arabia that any military ground operation in Syria without Damascus’ consent would amount to a declaration of war, Press TV reported.

We could literally be looking at the spark that sets off World War 3.  I can’t believe that Saudi Arabia and Turkey are actually considering this.

And if it does happen, you can rest assured that Barack Obama gave them the green light to go in.

Unfortunately, it sounds like the decision may have already been made.  Just consider what Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is saying

“If we have such a strategy, then Turkey and Saudi Arabia may launch a ground operation,” he added, fueling concerns that a foreign troop invasion may soon further complicate the already turbulent situation in the war-torn country.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE voiced their readiness to contribute troops for a ground operation in Syria on the condition that the US would lead the intervention. Damascus and its key regional ally, Iran, warned that such a foreign force would face strong resistance.

And in addition to all of the forces massing in northern Saudi Arabia, the London Independent is reporting that the Saudis have sent troops and aircraft to a military base in Turkey…

Saudi Arabia is sending troops and fighter jets to Turkey’s Incirlik military base ahead of a possible ground invasion of Syria.

The Turkish foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, confirmed the deployment in a statement to the Yeni Şafak newspaper on Saturday, days before a temporary ceasefire is due to come into force.

There are reports that Saudi officials are saying that the decision to send in ground troops is “irreversible”, and Reuters is reporting that the Syrian government claims that some Turkish troops have already entered the country…

The Syrian government says Turkish forces were believed to be among 100 gunmen it said entered Syria on Saturday accompanied by 12 pick-up trucks mounted with heavy machine guns, in an ongoing supply operation to insurgents fighting Damascus.

“The operation of supplying ammunition and weapons is continuing via the Bab al-Salama crossing to the Syrian area of Azaz,” the Syrian foreign ministry said in a letter to the U.N. Security Council published by state news agency SANA.

Of course the Turkish government is not going to confirm that report, but what we do know is that Turkey is shelling Kurdish forces on the Syrian side of the border.  The funny thing is that these Kurdish forces are actually being supported and supplied by the U.S. government.

So the Turks are not supposed to be doing this, but according to Reuters they have been doing it for two days in a row anyway…

The Turkish army shelled positions held by Kurdish-backed militia in northern Syria for a second day on Sunday, killing two fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

Turkey on Saturday demanded the powerful Syrian Kurdish YPG militia withdraw from areas that it had captured in the northern Aleppo region in recent days from insurgents in Syria, including the Menagh air base. The shelling has targeted those areas.

The hostility between Turkey and the Kurds goes back a long, long way.  The Syrian Kurds are not threatening Turkey in any way right now, but Turkey is using the instability in the region as an excuse to lob artillery shells at a hated enemy.  It is an act of naked aggression that the Obama administration should be loudly denouncing.

In addition, it is being reported that Syrian government forces have also been getting shelled by the Turkish military

Anatolia news agency reported that the Turkish military hit Syrian government forces on Saturday, adding that the shelling had been in response to fire inflicted on a Turkish military guard post in Turkey’s southern Hatay region.

Turkish artillery targeted Syrian forces again late on Saturday, according to a military source quoted by RIA Novosti. The attack targeted the town of Deir Jamal in the Aleppo Governorate.

Needless to say, the Russians are quite alarmed by all of this.

In fact, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is warning about what could happen if things spiral out of control

In the wake of Saudi Arabia’s proposal to send in ground troops on Thursday, the Russian Prime Minister claimed the move could spark a new world war.

“A ground operation draws everyone taking part in it into a war,” he told the Handelsblatt newspaper.

“The Americans and our Arab partners must consider whether or not they want a permanent war.”

If Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies launch an invasion and make a mad dash to take out the Assad regime in Damascus, the Russians will inevitably respond.

And if tactical nuclear weapons are necessary to keep the invading forces out of Damascus, the Russians will not be shy about using them.

I don’t know if I have ever seen a scenario which was more likely to initiate World War 3 than the one that we are watching unfold right now.

So what has the mainstream media been saying about all of this?

Incredibly, they have been almost entirely silent.  When he went looking for news about these events, James Bailey could find almost nothing on either Fox News or CNN…

I just visited the home page for Foxnews.com and found not one single mention of the insane events now unfolding in the Middle East. I could not believe it, so I used my Find tool to search for Syria and Saudi Arabia. Not one mention!

Of course that could change at any moment, but nothing there when I checked. Their stories were all about the meaningless Presidential election, which has already been decided regardless of what we think about it, and other stories about entertainment, sports, Congressional political theater, etc.

So I went to CNN and found just about the same thing with one news story about the Syrian cease fire, but when I read it there was no mention of any of the big events that have developed this week. This is truly an amazing media blackout!

But Fox News does have space to run headlines like these…

Spanish man skipped work for 6 years, still got paid

48 people rescued from stuck tram cars at New Hampshire ski resort

Lovelorn elephant takes out his rage on more than a dozen cars

And CNN apparently thinks that these news stories are more important than the potential beginning of World War 3…

Kanye West drops album, says he’s $53 million in debt

Dutch cops train eagles to hunt drones

Teen hands out 900 flowers to girls at school

If Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies are going to conduct an invasion of Syria, the most likely time for this to happen will be by the end of this month during these military exercises.

If we can get to March 1st and no invasion has happened yet, perhaps we can breathe a little sigh of relief.

But if it does happen, and the Russians and the Iranians decide to shoot back, it really could be the start of World War 3.

 

[by Michael Snyder, writing for The Economic Collapse Blog]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

 

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A few thoughts on Islam at the start of a new year…

“Our experience has been that Islam creates dark habitations of cultural cruelty and that Christianity brings the light for an abundant life to cultures. We want to do all we can to educate people about the advantages that faith in God’s Word will bring. We want people to have faith to see Christian culture established in societies that have been Islamic for the last eleven centuries or more.

“Why? It is because Christianity has positive effects on societies and paves the way for advancement in every meaningful aspect of life. There is a residual blessing effect with faith in Christ that lives on for centuries, whether or not citizens are active in church participation.

“Islam has no blessed residual effects. Once Islam thoroughly grips a nation, it has paralyzing effects. This smothers creativity in the arts, medicine, science, business, technology, education, and in harmonious human relationships.

“Wars and adverse economic or climatic conditions are not viable excuses. Countless other nations have gone through all these and more, and have picked up where they left off and continued to make advancements. Not so with Islamic stronghold nations. In many ways they have gone backward rather than forward. Were it not for the technological innovations, creativity, and medical advancements adopted from Christianized countries, the Muslim nations would still be sitting in the dust of 7th century Arab culture.

“Islam’s quenching powers have been easily verified comparing France, Germany, Italy, and Spain on the one hand with Egypt, Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia on the other. The areas of specific comparison were in average household income, literacy rates, male life expectancy, and infant mortality rates per thousand live births. Here is what the comparison showed (using the 2013 World Almanac):  On average, household incomes were 230% higher in the Christian nations. The literacy rate was 15.5% higher. The men of Christian nations live 7.2 years longer. And infants born in the above Muslim nations have a mortality rate that is 750% higher than in the Christian nations. The superiority of life in these Christian nations was astonishing!”

 

A converted Muslim, now a Christian, has offered the following testimony:

“The first time I was arrested for questioning it was because of what I had written on a sign board saying “Jesus is Lord.” While being questioned my captors just started beating and kicking me, trying to inflict as much pain as they possibly could. I soon discovered that my own father had come to join the police in punishing me. I remained in my faith and was not scared of them. The more they beat me, the stronger my resolve became to grow in my faith. There are many other young people now working with me to help reach Muslims with the truth of the Bible.”

 

Another testimony: 

“Not long ago I was caught with 85 copies of the New Testament in my bag. The Iranian police handcuffed me and put me in their car headed directly to the horrible Evin Prison. [Located in Tehran, Iran.] I was frightened because I was on probation, having a long arrest record for Christian activities. I had already spent two years in prison. My name on the police records states ‘Employed by Jesus.’ I was more frightened now because of the evidence of 85 New Testaments.

“From the moment I was tossed into the police car I started praying. I was sure if I went to the prison again, I would never come out alive. I have lived with miracles and believe in them strongly. Sitting in the police car I only said to Jesus that I have done nothing but serve You. Help me. Please do not let me die.

“The word ‘die’ was hardly out of my mouth when the policeman told his driver to pull over so he could purchase something for him. Then I heard the voice of the Iranian policeman turning his face to me and saying, ‘You’re dumb, why are you carrying 85 Bibles in one bag?’ I could not believe what I was hearing. His voice had a different tone from the voices I had heard previously in prison cursing Christians. Then I looked in his eyes. There was something different in his eyes. He was putting the few Bibles he had taken out of my bag back into it. He said, ‘Okay, now quickly, get out of this car. Right now!’ I said, ‘Are you one of us?’ He said, ‘Yes, I believe in Him, too.’ I reached out to touch his hand and literally cried. I said, ‘What will you tell the driver?’ He only said, ‘Go, quickly!’ The next thing I knew, I was in the street running to get a taxi and get as far away as I could. I felt a longing to be somewhere to worship and to thank God for the miracle that had just happened. We are so thankful for the believers who are working in governmental positions and who can be a blessing when one is sorely needed.”

 

NORM ‘n’ AL Note:  Because of the constant oppression and persecution endured by Christians in Islamic countries, we cannot provide any more details about the source of the above report. We trust our readers will understand.

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

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