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The USA, the United Kingdom and France recently hit Syrian government facilities with a salvo of over 100 cruise missiles fired from warships and warplanes. Based on some internet links I’ve seen, some are fearing that World War III is about to erupt because Syria is a puppet state of Russia–which threatened retaliation if Syria was hit. It is my opinion that a large World War between Russia and its allies vs. the USA and its allies is not about to erupt; however, the odds of a major regional war between these two global alliances are steadily rising. While the Mideast confrontation offers the most likely immediate threat of such a regional war occurring, there are also risks of a major conflict erupting in either the South China Sea or on the Korean Peninsula.The low-level war between Russia and the Ukraine is another possible trip-wire for major NATO-Russian conflict, but that is not likely at present.
Let’s take a quick look at the American-British-French air strike in Syria and consider both what it accomplished publicly and what was accomplished behind-the-scenes. I truly think the latter is the more important consequence. The first link offers a synopsis of the case for the strike. The second link contains a live, “on the ground” video of Syrian air defenses launching missiles at the incoming allied missiles and the numerous explosions on the ground as the allied missiles hit their targets. The third link relates that over 100 missiles were fired at Syrian targets and that “no resistance” was encountered. I think what was meant was that no effective resistance was encountered as the second link clearly show many Syrian air-defense missiles being launched on upward trajectories at incoming missiles. As of this writing, there seems to be no solid evidence that any incoming allied missiles were shot down. It is still possible that some missile losses were experienced.
It is clear from public statements from US, British and French government officials that this strike was very much targeted at ending or degrading the ability of Syria to make, store or use chemical weapons in warfare. I support that action, and I applaud the British and French for joining the Americans in taking this military action. Having said that, it is also clear that the allies carefully targeted their missiles to avoid harming Russian personnel or weapons platforms located within Syria. This was stressed by the allies to ensure that the strike was seen by all as the limited strike it was so that a war with Russia was not provoked. Russia has not yet reacted with any military action of its own, but what can it target? Since the allies hit no Russian targets, Russia would be provoking a greater war if it attacked any allied targets. For now, this crisis is being contained within Syria’s borders.
What are other consequences of this air strike that are not being mentioned in allied statements or in media reports? They are many. To begin with, as the raid was occurring, I watched FOX News which reported that the Israelis had contributed their services to help the Americans, British and French target their missiles within Syria. It is my opinion that Israel identified key Syrian chemical weapons facilities so they could be eliminated without Israel having to take direct action. This shows how close a major war is within the Mideast as Israel would obviously want to eliminate Syrian chemical weapons stocks so they could not be used against Israel in a war started by Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. If the Mossad helped with the targeting choices, there may have been facilities and stockpiles hit inside Syria which Russia, Iran and Syria thought were unknown to the Israelis or the NATO allies. It is also not clear to me how many targets were struck and eliminated. Most media sources are reporting that three sites were hit and destroyed but graphics of Syria shown on FOX News as the attacks were being carried out showed as many as eight red map markers showing targets hit inside Syria during the strike. Since many missiles hit targets far from any cameras, we cannot know how many targets were actually hit. FOX News also reported that in addition to chemical weapons facilities being hit, a variety of Syrian air defense systems were targeted and destroyed. This is logical as such action would ensure more missiles hit their targets, but it also significantly degrades Syrian air defenses so they will be much less effective against any Israeli or allied air attacks during any future Mideast war. This action may also have been intended as a warning to Syria, Hezbollah and Iran that their weapons platforms are far more vulnerable to Israeli/allied/Western weapons technologies than they realized. This could help deter military adventurism by those nations and entities.
It is also worth noting that the Syrian air defense system was Russian-made, as are the air defense systems installed in Iran. This should make the Iranians realize their air defense systems are quite likely not as reliable as they supposed. Combined with reports that Israeli F-35s penetrated Iranian air space and conducted mock attacks vs. Iranian nuclear and missile (a recent post), this should make the Iranians feel more vulnerable than they did before the strike. There is one other audience for this strike, in my judgment. That audience is Turkey, which is in the process of forsaking NATO by investing billions in a Russian-made air defense system. This strike may have sent an unspoken message to Turkey that it is not only wasting money by buying a Russian air-defense system but it is also backing the wrong alliance. Another unspoken benefit of this strike is that the nation of Qatar has moved closer to the USA and its allies and away from Iran and its allies. Qatar had been moving into an alliance with Iran and Turkey, but that action conflicted with the fact that a large US air base is already located in Qatar. Qatar permitted the USA to launch warplanes from its base in Qatar to participate in the air strike vs. Syria. Alliances can change quickly in the Mideast.
I also have a few comments about other parts of the world.
Important developments in the South China Sea confrontation zone, where China is attempting to seize sovereignty over a vitally-important maritime trade route. China recently conducted its most massive naval exercise ever in the South China Sea. It involved 48 warships and 76 warplanes, and was personally presided over by Chinese President-for-Life Xi Jinping (fourth link). It featured new ballistic missile submarines with missiles capable of hitting the USA or its major allies. Not to be out-done, the USA (which recently had a carrier task force dock in a Vietnamese port as a sign of deepening ties with Vietnam–see recent post), sent a carrier task force through the South China Sea in another “freedom of navigation” mission and docked the US warships in the Philippines (fifth link). This confrontation zone is getting more dangerous as the rival alliances send threatening military messages to each other via military displays. Which lead us to…Taiwan.
Taiwan has been a relative backwater in recent years as the “One China Policy” of Presidents Bush and Obama tacitly acknowledged that China would eventually take over Taiwan. President Trump has reversed that status, and he is rapidly warming up Taiwanese-American relations. In a major policy reversal, the sixth link reports that Trump has given the green light for US officials at all levels to renew ties and visits with their Taiwanese counterparts. He has also given the green light to allow Taiwan to use US technology in building new submarines to defend itself vs. China (seventh link). The fifth link also reports that the US is now selling hundreds of stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Taiwan, with 250 in the first order. The stinger is a known effective anti-aircraft and anti-helicopter missile, and it can shoot down Chinese warplanes and helicopters if China attempts an invasion of Taiwan. They are man-portable as well, which makes them virtually impossible to track and target. However, the biggest pro-Taiwanese action may yet be in our immediate future.
The Korean confrontation, which was the gravest threat to peace not long ago, went on the back-burner during North Korea’s charm-offensive during the Olympics and during a run-up to a possible summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un in May. However, if North Korea agrees to disarm itself of its nukes with international verification, it will want something in return. One possible item is the removal of US troops from South Korea and/or the removal of the US THAAD air defense system from South Korea. China fears the THAAD system as its radars can “see” far into Chinese airspace. If North Korea makes that demand, you can be sure China will be behind that request. Where might the THAAD system go? Japan? Okinawa? One very realistic possibility is it will be relocated to…[wait for it]… Taiwan! The new US National Security Advisor, John Bolton (whose appointment I cheer!) has in the recent past advocated the USA build military bases on Taiwan (eighth link). The eighth link also describes signs that the USA will increase military ties and its former alliance with Taiwan to counter China’s militarism in the South China Sea. If China can build military bases on islands in the South China Sea, the USA can build any number of military bases on Taiwan. The eighth link is from a World Socialist website article I found in a web-search. This socialist website expressed a real fear of John Bolton, which I think is a great reason to welcome his appointment!
If the USA agrees to remove its troops and THAAD air defense system from South Korea and relocates them all to Taiwan–they will be far more threatening to China there than in South Korea. In Taiwan, the THAAD air defense system can “see” far deeper into China than it can from South Korea, and major military bases in Taiwan would command the juncture of the South China Sea and the East China sea. Japan, India, Vietnam, Australia and other nations all are threatened by China. Think of the immediate impact it would have in the Asian region if the USA bought a few hundred Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles from India and stationed many of them in Taiwan–all aimed at China? I wonder if supersonic cruise missiles based in Taiwan could reach China’s Three Gorges Dam in any future war? A recent post cited reports that Vietnam is buying these supersonic cruise missiles from India. Why shouldn’t all the other nations threatened by China’s militarism do the same thing?
Long-time readers of my blog know that when I refer to the “Gog-Magog” alliance, I am referring to the modern alliance of Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and their allies and proxies. This alliance was foretold to come into existence in the “latter days” of our age in the biblical prophecy of Ezekiel 38-39. That alliance has come into existence exactly as prophesied. This Gog-Magog alliance will eventually attack the entire Western alliance in a surprise attack at the very end of our latter-day age, according to Ezekiel 38-39. The alliance it will attack is led by the modern ten tribes of Israel and their modern allies. This prophecy does not even mention the Jews–which are called “Judah” in biblical latter-day prophecies such as Genesis 49, Zechariah 12 and 14 and Zephaniah 2. Judah is nowhere mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39’s prophecy. Judah (the Israelis) will be part of the attacked western alliance, but their role is foretold in Zechariah 12 and 14, not in Ezekiel 38-39. These identifications will sound strange to new readers, but that is only because the accuracy of biblical prophecies is never discussed in today’s “PC” world.
For in-depth examinations of the biblical prophecies being fulfilled in our modern world, please read my free articles, Are We Living in the Biblical Latter Days?, What Ezekiel 38-39 Reveal about a Future World War III, The USA in Bible Prophecy, Four Reasons the Jews are Judah, and Japan’s Role in Biblical Prophecy. For a very thorough and well-documented revelation about the actual histories of the so-called “lost ten tribes of Israel” from the time of their ancient exile until today, I invite you to obtain my e-book on the subject and/or my four-book printed set on this topic. All are available at my website’s homepage, and all have full bibliographies of the cited secular historical sources and copious chapter endnotes. If you read them, you will see their conclusions are irrefutable, and the facts affirm the Bible really is the Word of a Divine Creator..who the world has forgotten and ignored.