As I write, in 8 hours time, a millennium of history is about to be reversed.
For the first time since the Great Schism in 1054, the Pope is about to meet with the Russian Orthodox Patriarch. (Click here to see the latest)
‘So what?’ you say.
I’m glad you asked, because we are now witnessing the beginning of an incredible fulfilment of prophecy – something that everyone should know about.
To understand why it is so important, we need to go back to Nebuchadnezzar image in Daniel chapter 2.
The image of Daniel 2 (seen in the centre of the image above) represents the successive kingdoms of men that existed synonymously with the nation of Israel.
The legs of Iron represented the Roman Empire which eventually had an Eastern and Western component seen in the two legs. Daniel 2:42 describes the latter day component of the image, the feet, which also contain Iron and therefore the Roman element.
Revelation also draws on Daniel to give us more detail about this latter day entity – this is explained briefly here. Both prophecies require that the Roman Empire be re-formed in the latter days, around the time that Israel is re-established as a nation in their own land.
Bro. Thomas goes on to explain a little more about how his might begin to come to pass:
“The time is not far off, when the Latin Bishop (The Pope) may have to seek again to the Constantinopolitan Imperial Autocracy (Russia in Constantinople) for protection.”
While Russia is not yet in Constantinople (currently under the control of Turkey) it increasingly looks as though Russia and Turkey are about to have an armed conflict which could well see Russia taking the ancient city.
Today’s meeting will set the tone for further unification between East and West, between the two feet that will form the latter day representation of the Kingdom of Men.
Putin is on the verge of fulfilling the ancient Russian dream of reviving the ancient Roman/Byzantine empire in Constantinople and completing the image.
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
Putin puts military on HIGH ALERT in South West (near Turkey)
European leaders meet in Rome to discuss their problems
Russia is ‘trying to draw Turkey into a fight’
Vladimir Putin puts Russian troops on high alert as part of massive military drills
Large-scale military drills across south-west Russia intended to test the troops’ readiness amid continuing tensions with the West
President Vladimir Putin has scrambled thousands of troops and hundreds of warplanes across southwestern Russia for large-scale military drills intended to test the troops’ readiness amid continuing tensions with the West.
Shoigu said the manoeuvres will also engage airborne troops and military transport aviation, as well as the navy. He noted that the drills are intended to check the troops’ ability to respond to extremist threats and other challenges.
According to Shoigu, who spoke at a meeting with the top military brass, the war games would include redeployment of air force units to advance air bases and bombing runs at shooting ranges. The manoeuvres will test the troops’ mobility, with some being deployed to areas up to 3,000 kilometres (1,860 miles) away, the military said.
Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov said in a statement that up to 8,500 troops, 900 ground weapons, 200 warplanes and about 50 warships will be involved in the drills.
The exercises are the latest in a series of major drills intended to strengthen the military’s readiness. They have continued despite the nation’s economic downturn.
Even though a drop in global oil prices has drained the government’s coffers and helped drive the economy into recessions, the Kremlin has continued to spend big on the military, funding the purchase of hundreds of new aircraft, tanks and missiles.
ROME – The European Union faces “critical times” and all its members should set aside selfish interests to tackle problems such as immigration and terrorism, the bloc’s six founding nations said on Tuesday.
A week after the EU accepted that some members may never go further in sharing sovereignty, as part of the price for keeping Britain in the club, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg pledged to pursue “ever closer union” at a meeting in Rome, where they founded the bloc in 1957.
“We are concerned about the state of the European project,” the foreign ministers of the Six said in a statement after their talks. “Indeed, it appears to be facing very challenging times. It is in these critical times that we, as founding members, feel particularly called upon.”
The meeting was held against the backdrop of deep division in the 28-nation bloc over how to handle the flows of hundreds of thousands of migrants arriving in Europe fleeing war and failing states in the Middle East and North Africa.
It also came a week after Brussels agreed a draft deal with Britain Prime Minister David Cameron that, among other things, reaffirmed the limitations of a treaty commitment to pursue the “ever closer union” of the peoples of Europe, part of a package to help Cameron campaign before a referendum that the EU’s second biggest economy should continue its 43-year membership.
While acknowledging that the Union “allows for different paths of integration”, the original signatories of the Treaty of Rome declared: “We remain resolved to continue the process of creating an ever closer union among the people of Europe.”
Meeting in Italy, which has been in the frontline of a wave of migration to Europe across the Mediterranean, the ministers also stressed the need to overcome divisions on the EU response.
Hungary and Austria this week called for fences on the Macedonian and Bulgarian borders with Greece and between Austria and Slovenia, and several states have called into question the Schengen accord on free circulation inside the EU.
The statement called for better management of the Union’s external borders in order to make them more secure while preserving Schengen and not hampering freedom of movement.
It contained no concrete policy proposals, but said Europe “is successful when we overcome narrow self-interest in the spirit of solidarity”.
The Russian Ministry of Defence warned Turkey against launching a military incursion into Syria last week, announcing on Thursday that it had seen “growing signs” that Turkish forces were preparing to intervene to bolster rebel forces battling pro-regime troops in the north.
Some experts say, however, that Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be trying to bait Turkey into entering the Syrian battlefield in order to retaliate for Ankara’s decision to down a Russian warplane in November.
“Russia is trying to draw Turkey into a fight to avenge the downing of its jet. Putin is confident he can win,” retired Brig. Gen. Naim Baburoglu, an adviser to the Ankara-based National Security and Foreign Policy Research Center, told al-Monitor last week.
“He also needs this to counter domestic difficulties. Downing one or two Turkish F-16s will make him a hero at home,” Baburoglu added. “It will also be a serious embarrassment to Turkey and the Turkish air force.”
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan initially denied reports that Turkish forces were preparing to cross the border. But on Sunday, Erdogan signalled that Turkey would be prepared to intervene in Syria if asked by its coalition partners.
“We don’t want to fall into the same mistake in Syria as in Iraq,” Erdogan told reporters on Sunday, according to the Turkish daily newspaper Hurriyet. “If … Turkey was present in Iraq, the country would have never have fallen into its current situation.”
He added: “It’s important to see the horizon. What’s going on in Syria can only go on for so long. At some point it has to change.”
Erdogan, a staunch opponent of the Russian-backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, was at least partly referring to the Syrian Kurds’ sustained expansion westward along the Turkish-Syrian border. That push has largely been facilitated by Russian airstrikes targeting Syrian rebel groups backed by Turkey, the US, and Saudi Arabia.
Signs of growing coordination between Moscow and the Kurds came to a head last week when Syria’s main Kurdish militia, the YPG, helped Russia and the Syrian army isolate Azaz — a strategically important city long used by Turkey to funnel aid and supplies to rebels in the city of Aleppo.
“I don’t think there is any doubt that the YPG and Russia are coordinating in the Azaz corridor,” Aaron Stein, an expert on Turkish affairs and Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, told Business Insider on Monday.
He added: “The YPG have taken advantage of the airstrikes to advance in areas south of Azaz, in what looks like a strategy to connect the Efrin canton with Kobane and Jazira. The PYD have consistently made clear, both in private and in public, that they can reach a common understanding with local groups in the area, and install a governing council inside the city.”
As Turkish-Russian relations continue to deteriorate, Russia’s military and political ties to the Kurds are getting stronger. Russia is reportedly looking to open a second air field in the Kurdish-held Syrian city of Qamishli, and the Kurds have said they will open their first “representation office” in Moscow later this week.
“The PYD’s office in Moscow has been months in the making,” Stein said. “The PYD — and by extension, the PKK — are eager to escape from international isolation. Any country willing to de-facto recognise them as a legitimate political group, and not a foreign terrorist organisation, is a net positive for the group.”
Fabrice Balanche, a leading expert on Syria and visiting fellow at the Washington Institute, broached the limits of the US’ political support for the Kurds in an analysis last week.
“Unlike the United States, Russia does not want to antagonize the Kurds by prohibiting their deeply held goal of territorial unification,” he wrote.
“Vladimir Putin wants to put pressure on Turkey’s entire frontier with Syria,” Balanche added. Indeed, “it is one of the main regional goals of the Russian intervention.”
That the Kurds are now closer than ever to linking their territories east of the Euphrates with the Kurdish-controlled city of Efrin in the west — a move that would cross Turkey’s “red line” and allow the Kurds to consolidate their de-facto state of Rojava along Turkey’s southern border — may be enough to draw Turkey into the war.
“The Turkish army is very conservative and risk averse,” Jeff White, a defence analyst focusing on the security fairs of the Levant at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told Business Insider in an email.
“So while willing to protect its borders, I doubt we will see any large scale operations in Syria — with one possible exception: unification of the Kurdish enclaves/Rojava.”
If the Kurds were to unify their cantons, Turkey might be compelled to intervene to prevent them from forming a statelet along the Turkish border, White noted. And that would be a game-changer.
“The Turkish army could defeat any opponents in its chosen areas of operation,” White said. “Direct Turkish intervention, if on a substantial scale, could dramatically change the situation.”
Incidentally, rumours of a Turkish military intervention began circulating days after Saudi Arabia declared that it would be prepared to send ground troops to Syria to fight the Islamic State “if asked” by its allies.
As such, “Turkey is no longer acting alone,” Middle East analyst Elijah Magnier noted on Twitter last week. Though it remains “highly unlikely” that Turkey will invade Syria, Magnier said that if it did, “Russia would celebrate.”
This article is part of a series authored by STRATFOR – a geopolitical intelligence firm that provides strategic analysis and forecasting. For other articles by STRATFOR click here.
A powerful explosion went off in Istanbul near the city’s most prominent tourist attractions on Jan. 12, killing at least 10 people and injuring six foreign tourists. The blast, which took place in front of the ancient Egyptian Obelisk of Theodosius and near the Blue Mosque in the Sultanahmet district, reportedly involved a suicide bomber. Though the Turkish government is currently in conflict with numerous terrorist and non-state militant groups, the location, target and method of attack point to the Islamic State as the primary suspect behind the operation. In comments made after an hour long meeting of the country’s National Security Council, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the suicide bomber was of Syrian origin.
By cracking down on the Islamic State and actively supporting rebel operations against the extremist group in Syria, Turkey has knowingly made itself a target of the many groups loyal to the Islamic State. Furious at the disruption of their vital supply lines through Turkey because of the crackdown, which has steadily intensified since July 2015, Islamic State leaders have repeatedly vowed to launch severe retaliatory attacks. The first serious attack occurred last year on July 20, when the group staged a suicide bombing attack in the Turkish town of Suruc, near the Syrian border. Turkish raids and arrests stopped several other planned attacks, but not all of them; on Oct. 10, the group struck again in Ankara.
The latest attack, which hit in the heart of Istanbul’s oldest quarter, could galvanize an even stronger Turkish response against the Islamic State. Indeed, Ankara has already been pushing its allies to support it in an operation in Syria’s northern Aleppo province that aims to create a buffer zone in the Azaz-Jarablus zone. A successful operation would serve Turkish interests by hurting the Islamic State, strengthening the rebel position in northern Syria, preventing the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from expanding farther westward and — because Turkey does not want to go it alone — drawing the United States deeper into the conflict.
However, Russia’s intervention in Syria has greatly complicated Turkey’s plans for the operation, and in the wake of Turkey shooting down a Russian Su-24 warplane, Moscow continues to frustrate Turkish ambitions in the country. The Russians, for instance, have reinforced their air defense assets in Syria, and in a Dec. 17 interview, Russian President Vladimir Putin dared Turkey to fly over Syrian airspace with the implication that the aircraft would be shot down if it did. Faced with the prospect of a potential war with Russia if it proceeded with an armed incursion into Syria, Ankara has been forced to revise its plans for northern Aleppo.
In spite of the risk that Russia poses, Turkey could increase its involvement in Syria. This latest Islamic State attack on a Turkish city comes at a time when the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces have crossed the Euphrates River in their push westward and Russian- and Iranian-backed loyalist offensives have ratcheted up the pressure on Turkey’s Syrian rebel proxies. The Turks may choose to carry out intensified strikes with long-range missiles from the safety of their own borders, but a greater Turkish incursion into Syria cannot be ruled out.
At this point, the Russian Foreign minister has indicated that Russia “does not want to go to war with Turkey”.
HOWEVER, the crisis is far from over – Russia is beginning to hurt Turkey in other ways:
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.
Russia immediately deployed advanced air defence in Syria, placing herself in a far better defensive position from which to launch an invasion in future.
Instinctively, Russia begun bombarding Turkmen insurgents, who have ethnic ties to Turkey — ignoring demands made by Turkey over the past week to end its military operations close to the Turkish border.
Russia is planning and executing a range of economic sanctions against Turkey.
Russia is denying entry to Turkish citizens.
The Kremlin has arrested a number of Turkish businessmen in Russia.
Russian no longer considers Turkey to be an ally.
Its hard for anyone to see how this situation might de-escalate in the long term especially as this incident seems to be a symptom of a broader historical problem between the Russians and Turks.
Given the trail of prophetic fulfillment over the last few months who knows what might happen next. We await in anticipation!