The Watchman On The Wall

The Watchman On The Wall
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Verse 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Middle East Report Nov. 27,2015 WR15-401

Above, the USS Harry Truman with part of its strike force. On Wednesday, Nov. 25, Obama, in a conversation with Turkish President Erdogan, said Turkey has the right to defend its territory just like any other country. He also said that the Russian Su-24 plane crossed the border and stayed in Turkey for 17 seconds. In other words, it was 1.6 km inside Turkish territory. However, when it was hit by an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile fired by the Turkish F-16, it was either right on the border or already inside Syrian territory. The pilots apparently landed on the Syrian side of the border and Moscow announced Wednesday that both were "in safe hands."
No matter how the incident is interpreted, it has generated five points that could lead to an aerial or naval clash between US and Russian forces in the Syrian theater.
1. It was the first time in 65 years, since 1950, that an American-made warplane from a NATO member state shot down a Russian warplane with an American-made air-to-air missile. This ramifications of this incident were no doubt seriously pondered at the NATO session called after the event.
2. Obama did not only come out in support of the Turkish version of the incident, but asserted that Putin did not speak the truth when he said that the plane was 1 km inside Syrian territory when it was shot down. The Russian president has not yet answered the charge, but there is no doubt that he will.
3. The military clash between Russia and Turkey has now become part of the personal contest between Obama and Putin over the future of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Obama says that as long as Assad remains in power, not only will there be no agreement on how to end the war in Syria, but it will be impossible to defeat ISIS.
Putin says, the exact opposite: that it is impossible to end the war, or to defeat ISIS, without Assad as president. After those goals are achieved, he says, Assad’s future may be discussed.

4. On Tuesday night, Nov. 24, Putin made his next move in the ramped-up chess match between the US and Russia in Syria.
The Russian general staff announced that the missile cruiser Moskva, pictured above, one of the largest warships in the world, was ordered to move closer to the Syrian coast opposite the port of Latakia, near the Turkish border, and to “destroy any target posing danger.”
The Moskva serves as a floating missile base with a complement of advanced S-300 ground-to-air missiles.
This was a message for Ankara that any Turkish warplane nearing Syria, or flying in the Hatay province of southern Turkey - where the Su-24 incident occurred - was exposed to being shot down by Russian missiles. The Russian general command also announced that Russian warplanes would henceforth escort all Russian flights operating in Syrian airspace, including bombers.
5. Although he backed Erdogan verbally, Obama has not resorted to any military steps against Russia. But he does have a card up his sleeve. The USS Harry S. Truman carrier with strike force is on its way to the Mediterranean, having sailed from the US on Nov.16.
The Truman will join the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, whose planes started bombing ISIS targets in Iraq on Nov. 23.
If Obama orders the Truman to enter the Syrian theater, there will be two warships from NATO member states facing Russian naval forces off the Syrian coast, led by the missile carrier Moskva.   

Videos leaked by Moscow reveal the presence of Iranian F-14 and MiG-29 fighters in Syrian skies for the first time, no more than 159 km from Israel's border defenses. The Italian magazine “The Aviationist,” showed them escorting heavy Russian bombers, including the Tupolev TU-160, as protection against the Israeli Air Force.

Above, Baghdadi stands behind John McCain. 

When French President Francois Hollande declared war on ISIS and called the attack in Paris an “act of war,” he gave the terrorist organization’s leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi an unexpected boost: respect as a head of state. Obama was more cautious, declaring at the G-20 summit in Antalya that his country and France would fight together against terror, without specifying how. That is because no ruler of any Muslim country has dared declare total war on ISIS, or wants to do so, and no Arab army is able or willing to undertake this war.

Image result for French President Francois Hollande target of Paris attacks

The geography of the six Paris locations targeted by terrorists Friday night points to precise advance planning in support of a primary target, namely, French President Francois Hollande, while at the same time sowing bloody havoc in the French capital, frightening tourists away and shaking the French governing system to the core. The outrage which took an estimated toll of 127 to 153 lives took place without warning from any French intelligence agency. Saturday, the French president accused ISIS of an act of war against his country.

Russia's Foreign MInistry has urged the country's citizens to defer all travel to Turkey and advised all Russians currently in Turkey to depart as soon as possible. In a statement on Thursday, the ministry said, "Due to continuing terrorist threats in Turkey, we reiterate our recommendation that Russian citizens refrain from visiting the Republic of Turkey, and we recommend that Russians staying there for personal reasons return home."    

Image result for barak 8 missile test

Israel conducted the first successful test of its 'Barak 8' missile, including the targeting and destruction of another missile, on Thursday afternoon off the coast of the central part of the country. The Barak 8, which contains some systems developed jointly with the Indian military, is intended to shoot down targets such as missiles, planes and drones, as well as defend offshore facilities such as oil or gas platforms. The 4.5-meter-long, 275-kg weapon has a maximum speed of Mach 2 and an effective range of 70 kilometers. Its radar, developed by Israel's ELTA Systems, can function in any weather. The latest test was the sixth in a series of previously-reported full tests since 2010.

Image result for barak 8 missile test

Four developments on Thursday are seen as a clear Israeli signal to Hizbollah that the IDF, especially its air force and navy, will not hesitate to act against the terrorist organization's infrastructure, facilities, and its weaponry defined by the Israeli defense establishment as advanced weapons, both now and in the near future, even though Hizbollah is seemingly being protected by Moscow.  
The four developments were 1. Russian President Vladimir Putin's unusually long personal conversation with new Israeli ambassador to Moscow Zvi Hefetz immediately after the envoy's presentation of credentials; 2. a statement by senior Israeli Air Force officers that Israel will not ask Russia for permission to fly in Syrian airspace; 3. a report on an Israeli military exercise in which warplanes and attack helicopers carried out hundreds of sorties simultaneously; and 4. the successful test of the Barak-8 missile.
Image result for Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan, no apology

Referring to the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkish jets this week, Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday that "I think if there is a party that needs to apologize, it is not us." "Those who violated our airspace are the ones who need to apologize. Our pilots and our armed forces, they simply fulfilled their duties" by shooting down the Sukhoi Su-24, he said. Meanwhile, during a visit to Cyprus, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said "We don’t need to apologize on an occasion in which we are right,” adding, “But we said on the phone that we are sorry,” referring to a conversation with his Russian counterpart. 

A Biblical discovery, above, puts to rest one of the largest archaeological riddles concerning Jerusalem, namely, the location of the Greek Seleucid imperial fortress that Antiochus Epiphanes (215-164 BC) It is was built to rule the city and oversee Jewish activities on the Temple Mount. The fortress was eventually destroyed by the Hasmonean Maccabees as they overthrew the Greek occupation. Excavations at the Givati Parking Lot dig site, located in the City of David national park, have been ongoing for a decade. The Elad Foundation manages the national park and funds the digs, which have revealed numerous finds that are on display to the public at the site. But the location of Antiochus's fortress, which is mentioned in the Book of the Maccabees and the writings of Josephus, has remained elusive. However, according to researchers, in recent months decisive evidence locating the fortress has been found in the form of a section of ancient wall that is estimated to be the base of a tower four meters (13 feet) wide and 20 meters (65 feet) long, replete with a glacis artificial slope. The glacis, built adjacent to the wall, is a defensive element made out of layers of dust, stone and pitch, and meant to keep away attackers. This slope reached as far as the Tyropoeon Valley that crossed the ancient city of Jerusalem, and served as an additional defense.

Ballista rocks, bronze arrow heads and lead sling stones were found at the site with the sign of the trident on them, the symbol of Antiochus Epiphanes's rule, bearing testimony to the battles in which the Hasmoneans triumphed and routed the Greeks. Historical records indicate the fortress was manned by salaried Greek soldiers as well as Jewish Hellenists who betrayed their people, and further detail how the forces in the fortress caused great suffering to the Jewish residents of Jerusalem. However, in 141 BC after a long siege to starve out the Greeks, Shimon the Hasmonean was able to conquer the fortress and force the Greeks into surrender. According to archaeologists Dr. Doron Ben-Ami, Yana Tchekhanovets and Salome Cohen, who are directing the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), the new discovery gives a new understanding of the history. "This sensational discovery allows us for the first time to reconstruct the layout of the settlement in the city, on the eve of the Maccabean uprising in 167 BC," said the researchers. "The new archaeological finds indicate the establishment of a well-fortified stronghold that was constructed on the high bedrock cliff overlooking the steep slopes of the City of David hill." "This stronghold controlled all means of approach to the Temple atop the Temple Mount, and cut the Temple off from the southern parts of the city. The numerous coins ranging in date from the reign of Antiochus IV (Antiochus Epiphanes) to that of Antiochus VII and the large number of wine jars (amphorae) that were imported from the Aegean region to Jerusalem, which were discovered at the site, provide evidence of the citadel’s chronology, as well as the non-Jewish identity of its inhabitants."
Image result for Greek Seleucid imperial fortress of Antiochus Epiphanes in Jerusalem

No comments: