Update!3/4/23 By Tim Buck
6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
7,700 Earthquakes Have Shaken the Middle East Since February 7
Turkey and northern Syria continue to be ground zero for ground-shaking. Since the first two major quakes occurred on February 7, there have been more than 7,700 aftershocks. The largest, measuring 6.4, struck near the Turkish city of Antakya on Monday, killing six people. It took down dozens more buildings, many in Hatay province near the Syrian border, and was felt in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Egypt. The death toll of the original quake has climbed to more than 45,000 people, with 122,000 more injured.
Israel Targets Iranian Drone Experts in Syria
Israeli fighter jets killed at least 5 and wounded 15 more in a strike on the Kafar Sousah neighborhood of Damascus. Targeted was a meeting of Iranian experts on the development of drones. Some reports indicate that it was actually eight high ranking officials of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who were killed, while others say that a Syrian engineer and an Iranian official were among the dead. The area hit serves as a security zone housing offices and branches of the IRGC’s Quds Force. Per policy, Israel declined to admit its role in the attack. Russia later condemned Israel’s actions, calling it a “flagrant violation” of international law.
Netanyahu’s Justice Reform Bill Clears First Hurdle
Early Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial reform bill passed in its first reading. Heavily attacked by the Left, this bill will limit the expanding power of Israel’s judiciary by reducing the types of laws the High Court can review and taking the power to appoint judges away from other judges and putting it in the hands of the legislature. There are still a second and a third reading of the bill which must pass for the reform to go into effect.
UN Security Council Issues Statement Denying Jewish Right to Live in Historic Homeland
The United States joined other member nations of the UN Security Council in denouncing Israeli settlements in their historic homeland. The statement expressed “deep concern and dismay” over Israel’s decision to expand settlements, while ignoring the recent terrorist attacks against Israel by Palestinian groups and the fact that the Palestinian Authority subsidizes terrorism and pays the families of terrorists. Prime Minister Netanyahu criticized the denouncement, saying, “The statement should not have been made and the United States should not have joined it.”
IRGC Attacks Israeli-Owned Tanker Using Kamikaze Drones
The Campo Square, a Liberian-flagged oil tanker owned by an Israeli, was the victim of an attack by Shahed-136 suicide drones operated by the Iranian IRGC. These are the same drones being shipped by Iran to Russia for use in the conflict with Ukraine. There were no casualties or damages reported.
Sanction Battle Between the EU and Iran
The European Union on Monday expanded their sanctions related to Iran’s violent suppression of those protesting the September 2022 death of Mahsa Amini. Asset freezes and visa bans were imposed on 32 more Iranian officials, bringing the total sanctioned to 196 individuals and 33 entities. In response the next day, Iran issued retaliatory sanctions against 23 people and 13 industries from the EU and the UK. Regarding the protests, after a temporary lull they have once again fired up in earnest.
IAEA Admits 84% Uranium Enrichment by Iran
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) admitted to detecting uranium enriched to 84% at an Iranian nuclear facility. This means that this atomic watchdog agency is one of the few organizations that hasn’t quite realized that Iran has had weapons-grade 90% enriched uranium for a while now.
Iran’s Assassination Plot Against Diaspora Jews
A plot which involved Iran mapping the location of high-target diaspora Jews for assassination has been uncovered. The plan, revealed at a high-level meeting in Tehran, was intended to be implemented should Israel attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is pressuring the UK to refrain from designating this same IRGC as a terrorist group, this despite the fact that the European Parliament has recently made that designation as did the US under the previous administration. Washington is choosing to ignore Tehran’s assassination plots against innocent civilians in the hopes that somehow they can resurrect a failed nuclear deal with Iran.
High-Ranking Israeli Politicians Recommend Military Aid to Ukraine Following Visit
Yuli Edelstein and Ze’ev Elkin, two high level Israeli lawmakers, met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Monday. Both men are originally from Ukraine and lead the Ukrainian parliamentary friendship group in the Knesset. Following the meeting, they issued a joint statement which read, in part, “Israel has provided and will continue to provide extensive humanitarian aid to Ukraine, but, in our opinion, it is not enough.” The statement went on to encourage the Israeli government to provide military technologies to Ukraine to help in the war effort, a sentiment that is sure to get Israel into even deeper water with Russia.
US President Joe Biden Makes Surprise Visit to Ukraine
The day before the one year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Kyiv. In a meeting with Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy, Biden reaffirmed America’s support for the nation and pledged another half-billion dollars in military assistance. Moscow was informed of the visit ahead of time and they extended the courtesy of taking a brief break from their recent favorite pastime of raining down cruise missiles on the capital city.
US Warns China Against Supplying Arms to Russia
After US intelligence indicated that China is considering aiding Russia militarily in their effort against Ukraine, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken made a statement Sunday saying that such an action would not be good. Blinken said, “It was very important for me to share very clearly with [senior Chinese foreign policy official] Wang Yi that this would be a serious problem.” Not surprisingly, Wang Yi didn’t take kindly to Blinken’s statement, responding the next day, “We will not accept American finger-pushing in China-Russian relations.”
Vladimir Putin’s Moralistic Speech Marks Anniversary of Military Operation
Tuesday saw arch-villain Vladimir Putin making a speech to the federal assembly marking the one year anniversary of his “military operation” against Ukraine. In it, he emphasized the military power of Russia, saying that, since they cannot be defeated on the battlefield, the enemy is fighting a war of information. He then defended not only the righteousness of his actions, but the righteousness of the Russian nation.
Taking the moral high ground, he spoke of the decadence of the West, saying, “It is all about the destruction of the family, of cultural and national identity, perversion and abuse of children, including pedophilia, all of which are declared normal in their life. They are forcing the priests to bless same-sex marriages…. But here is what I would like to tell them: look at the holy scripture and the main books of other world religions. They say it all, including that family is the union of a man and a woman, but these sacred texts are now being questioned. Reportedly, the Anglican Church is planning, just planning, to explore the idea of a gender-neutral god. What is there to say? Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
What we see in his words is an attempt to create common ground with Christians, Jews, and Muslims in order to garner their support. But we must not be fooled by holy-sounding rhetoric. Putin is a man who truly believes in his own righteousness. However, it is through his bloody actions that we see him for who he truly is.
Please Pray Against WW3!
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