Judging the nations which have divided God’s land

I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land. (Joel 3:2 ESV)

Joel 3 is a prophecy of the conflict that engulfs Israel at the time of the end when Gog and his allies invade and overpower the Jewish state, only to find themselves overthrown in turn by divine intervention. The prophecy says that “all the nations” will be involved in this judgement.

Zechariah also speaks of how “all nations” will be gathered to Israel for this judgement, and draws attention to the fact that Jerusalem will be central to this conflict: “On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it” (12:3).

Joel 3:2 speaks of “all the nations” incurring the wrath of God for two reasons:

  1. They scattered the Jews among the nations. This has been fulfilled in the nearly 2,000 years that have passed since the Romans destroyed the Jewish state of Judea in AD 70.
  1. They have divided up my land. This is a more modern phenomenon, and may be regarded as having commenced in 1947 when the United Nations voted for the partition of Palestine into two states, one for the Jews and one for the Arabs.

In 1947 the Jews accepted the partition plan for Palestine and went on to establish the independent state of Israel in 1948. The Arabs did not support the partition plan and launched a bitter war hoping to destroy the Jewish state at its birth. They failed in that War of Independence in 1948 and 1949 and in several wars since.

69 years later, the nations of the world in general continue to support the partition of the Holy Land into separate states for Jews and Arabs. Even the Israeli government officially endorses this view.

On 15 January 2017, the French government convened a conference in Paris to discuss the Middle East peace process. Attended by representatives of 70 nations (a significant number in the light of the seventy nations listed in Genesis 10, the number of Israelites in Genesis 46:25 and Exodus 1:5, and the words of Moses in Deuteronomy 32:8), the conference reiterated support for the so-called “two state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The United States was represented by outgoing Secretary of State, John Kerry, known for his animosity towards the Israeli government, but not by anyone associated with the administration of incoming President Trump. The United Kingdom attended as an observer only rather than as a participant. There were no representatives at the conference of either the Israeli government or the Palestinian administration.

Not surprisingly, the Palestinians supported the final communique of the conference and reiterated their view that Israel is the only impediment to a “two state solution”. It is also unsurprising that Israel expressed scepticism about the conference outcome. In remarks to his Cabinet after the conference, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said:

“This conference is among the last twitches of yesterday’s world. Tomorrow’s world will be different — and it is very near.”

No doubt Mr Netanyahu was referring to the fact that in just a few days the new Trump administration will assume office in the United States. But like the words of Caiaphas in John 11:49-52, his comments could also be read as an unintended “prophecy” of the imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is interesting that, while supporting a “two state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the United Kingdom was critical of the conference in an official statement issued by the Foreign Office:

“We have particular reservations about an international conference intended to advance peace between the parties that does not involve them – indeed which is taking place against the wishes of the Israelis – and which is taking place just days before the transition to a new American President when the US will be the ultimate guarantor of any agreement. There are risks therefore that this conference hardens positions at a time when we need to be encouraging the conditions for peace.”

This conference in Paris is just the latest in a long list of ineffective initiatives to promote peace in the Middle East. More importantly, however, it is further confirmation of the truth of the words of Joel about all the nations being judged by God because of their determination to divide God’s land.

President Trump would embolden both the Russian Nationalist agenda, and Israel’s Zionist agenda

In an astonishing turn of events, Donald Trump, who has never held any elected office, will soon hold the most powerful office in the world.

Not only will the real estate tycoon and TV reality star have executive power over the state, but having secured hold of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, Trump will have secured a level of power which not even Obama was able to obtain.

Yet throughout his campaign, Trump has defied every convention and turned the presidential race into a reality TV show.

His rash and ostentatious behaviour which is a matter of public record includes threatening to punch protesters, making vulgar statements about women, mimicking a disabled reporter, bragging about trying to have an affair with married women and broadcasting his admission of not paying tax.

While his primitive temperament has stunned much of the upper class, it is no surprise to Bible students who understand that God can – if he so desires – put in place rulers who are the basest of men.

What is of notable significance to Bible students, is his unorthodox approach to US foreign policy, particularly in relation to Europe, Russia and Israel.

Readers might recall that before the Brexit, most world leaders were calling for the UK to stay within the European Union, and many – like UK Prime Minister David Cameron – suggested that a Brexit could result in another World War. Ofcourse, Trump joined the chorus of those who supported the Brexit, despite its potential to significantly degrade peace and stability on the European continent.

Trump on NATO: “Congratulations, you will be defending yourself”

As if European security this was not a problem already, Trump believes that NATO (The European military buffer against Russia) is obsolete.

If we (the US) cannot be properly reimbursed for the tremendous cost of our military protecting other countries… then yes, I would be absolutely prepared to tell those countries, ‘Congratulations, you will be defending yourself.’

DONALD TRUMP – interview with the New York Times (July 20th)

Trump believes that Europe should shift its focus away from Russian deterrence and more toward combating terrorism and dealing with migrant flows.

Degrading NATO in the face of growing Russian Nationalism could very well empower Russia and her interests in Europe and the Middle East.

Trump would recognise Jerusalem as Israels capital

Since 1949 when Israel declared West Jerusalem its capital, and 1967 when Israel captured East Jerusalem, the United States has never once supported Israeli occupation of Jerusalem, or recognised its status as the capital city of Israel.

However, Trump has already told the Prime Minister of Israel that he would recognise Jerusalem as Israels united capital.

Trump acknowledged that Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish people for over 3,000 years, and that the US, under a Trump administration, will finally accept the long-standing congressional mandate to recognise Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the state of Israel

– Trump Campaign statement.

Trump supports Israeli annexation of the West Bank

Perhaps the most internationally provocative of policies is that Trump would support an Israeli annexation of the West Bank which is opposed by virtually all of the international community.

At a time when Israels government under Netanyahu has become very Zionist and his cabinet ministers are publicly speaking about West Bank annexation, this will be a time of great opportunity for Netanyahu’s government who have acknowledged that without Abbas, the West Bank would fall into the hands of the Palestinian terrorist group, Hamas.

It also comes at a time when the Palestinians are using their voice at the United Nations to provoke Israel, and encourage UNESCO to ignore Jewish ties to the land including the Temple Mount, and even the Dead Sea Scrolls.

This is another provocative and audacious attempt by the Palestinians to rewrite history and to erase our connection to our land. The Dead Sea Scrolls are factual and weighty archeological evidence of the presence of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.

Israeli Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen.

There is no doubt that a Trump foreign policy would be a startling difference to the activist policy that has been promulgated under Obama & Hillary.

After the Brexit vote the world is moving into a new era, and one which could ultimately result in the Russian invasion of Israel prophesied in Ezekiel 38.

Russia’s Zhirinovsky threatens war – if Hillary is elected

Zhirinovsky… where to start!

For those not familiar with Russia’s second most influential politician, let me quote the man himself who said this in November 2015 during a parliament session after the incident of a Russian warplane being shot down by a Turkish F-16:

Russia must detonate a nuclear bomb on the Bosphorus to create a 10 meters high tsunami wave that will wipe out at least 9 million Istanbul residents.

Zhirinovsky is a fierce nationalist, notoriously antisemitic and a highly popular vice chairman of the Russian parliament who holds enormous influence amongst the Russian political elite.

At the time of the incident, he predicted – quite accurately – that Turkey would suffer the consequences of shooting down a Russian warplane through a military coup d’état. Within 12 months, Zhirinovsky’s prediction became a reality.

Putin at the time also is reported to have said the same thing – read more here – yet many seem to have forgotten that these threats were made at the time of the incident. Various coup plotters were blamed, but the instigators were never identified.

For two nations who have diametrically opposed religious, cultural and geopolitical interests, the relationship between Russia and Turkey seems to have quickly and awkwardly become very entwined. History would suggest that this will have serious consequences for Turkey.

The Last Break Southward (1995)

The last break southward is the magnum opus of Zhirinovsky in which he expresses his worldview.

“Since the 1980s, I have elaborated a geopolitical conception—the last break southward, Russia’s reach to the shores of the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean.”

This is “really the solution for the salvation of the Russian nation … It solves all problems and we gain tranquility.” Russia will rule the space “from Kabul to Istanbul.”

The United States would feel safer with the Russian rule in the region, since wars there would cease under the Russian rule. Perhaps, some people in Kabul, Teheran, or Ankara would not like it but many people would feel better. “The Persians and Turks would suffer a bit but all the rest would gain.”

His book asserts that the “bells of the Orthodox Church must bell from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean.” And Jerusalem becomes close. It is necessary that “the Christian world reunifies in Jerusalem.” 

These aspirations are some of the founding principles of Russian nationalism which find their roots in the writings of men like Fyodor Tyutchev – a notable 19th century Russian poet. Tyutchev wrote these words which subsequently came to characterise the Russian nationalism of today:

“Moscow and Peter’s grad, the city of Constantine, these are the capitals of Russian kingdom.

From the Nile to the Neva, from the Elbe to China, from the Volga to the Euphrates, from the Ganges to the Danube, this is the Russian Kingdom and let it be forever,

…just as the Spirit foretold and Daniel prophesied

~ Fyodor Tyutchev

Quite a grand statement all things considered!

Right in the centre of that aspiring empire, sits Israel and Jerusalem. As we know, Daniel certainly did prophecy that this would eventually happen – Daniel 11:44.

In the most recent turn of events, Zhirinovsky has decided to weigh in on the US presidential elections by saying that “if Hillary Clinton wins, it will be the last US presidency ever”.

In addition to the recent deterioration in diplomatic relations with the US, Russia is posturing for grander ambitions in the Middle East.

The imperialistic ambitions southward are as old as the Tsars themselves, who attempted to invade Turkey when it was global super power. Since then, Turkey has receded into a republic and is far more vulnerable to Russian interests in the middle east.

Whatever the result might be in the US elections within the next few weeks, Zhirinovsky will certainly be a personality worth watching.

Read More:

Putin: the Opportunist

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.

Last October, when Russia had just begun its military intervention in Syria, U.S. President Barack Obama spurned the idea that Russia could challenge U.S. leadership in the Middle East. In a 60 Minutes interview, he said, “Mr. Putin is devoting his own troops, his own military, just to barely hold together by a thread his sole ally. The fact that they had to do this is not an indication of strength; it’s an indication that their strategy did not work.” Two months later, as Russia’s military presence in Syria deepened further, Obama remained dismissive of Putin’s strategy, noting that “with Afghanistan fresh in the memory, for him [Putin] to simply get bogged down in an inconclusive and paralyzing civil conflict is not the outcome that he is looking for.”

Washington can continue to underestimate Russia at its own peril. Russia has indeed poured resources into a maddeningly inconclusive conflict, but so has the United States and so will others who cannot be tempted away from the geopolitical proxy battleground complicated by the presence of jihadists. The problem is that the layers to Russia’s strategy tend to be too dense for the Western eye. For Russia, the Syrian battleground is not about propping up an ally through reckless spending, nor is it simply about pursuing an alternative strategy to defeat the Islamic State. Syria is a land of opportunity for Russia. This is the arena where self-control, patience and a careful identification and exploitation of its opponents’ strengths and weaknesses will enable Russia to reset its competition with the West.

Realpolitik, Russian-Style

The Russian economy is staggering amid low oil prices. Kremlin power struggles are intensifying. And social unrest is increasing nationwide. The United States is reinforcing European allies all along Russia’s western flank. This scene does not suggest a perfect record for the Russian leader, but Putin is also a skilled practitioner of realpolitik. Moscow has a sober ruthlessness and resourcefulness that it will employ to try to make up for its most obvious weaknesses.

In Realpolitik: A History, historian John Bew gives credit to an oft-overlooked German politician, August Ludwig von Rochau, for conceptualizing the pragmatism behind this political philosophy. In Foundations of Realpolitik, which Rochau wrote in the mid-19th century during the formative years of the German nation-state, he said, “The Realpolitik does not move in a foggy future, but in the present’s field of vision, it does not consider its task to consist in the realization of ideals, but in the attainment of concrete ends, and it knows, with reservations, to content itself with partial results, if their complete attainment is not achievable for the time being. Ultimately, the Realpolitik is an enemy of all kinds of self-delusion.”

Rochau’s profile of a state run by realpolitik has Putin’s Russia written all over it. Russia’s inherent vulnerabilities may deny it lasting glory, much less the ability to put the brakes on Western encroachment. Moscow will, however, be quick to come to terms with uncomfortable realities and will take what it can get when the opportunity arises.

A skilled opportunist will create the opportunity he or she seeks to exploit. Syria is the contemporary axis of geopolitical conflict. By enabling a loyalist siege on Aleppo, Russia has demanded the attention of Berlin, Washington and Ankara in one fell swoop. Some 100,000 Syrians have fled Aleppo in the past two weeks, and that number could rapidly multiply if the city is besieged.

For German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that means another wave of migrants that will push Europe deeper into crisis as borders snap shut along the Balkan route, nationalist political forces capitalize on fear and unrest driven by the migrant flows, and problematic debtor states in the southern periphery use the crisis to charge back at Berlin and Brussels for burdening them with a refugee crisis while trying to crush them with austerity measures. It is no coincidence that Russia is using every opportunity to endorse and amplify the views of those very same Euroskeptic forces that are giving Merkel and other mainstream politicians in Europe a daily migraine as they warily shift further to the right to remain tolerable to their constituencies.

Putin cannot halt the flow of migrants to Europe, but Russia’s military involvement in Syria does give him the power to increase the pain on Europe. That could prove a useful lever for Russia; using it allows Moscow to divide the Continent and potentially extract a veto from within the bloc on issues such as continuing Russian sanctions and responding to Poland’s request for permanent bases on Europe’s eastern flank.

For U.S. President Barack Obama, the siege on Aleppo represents an attack from all directions. Russia’s attempt to accelerate the fragmentation of Europe undermines a critical network of U.S. allies while creating the potential for much bigger crises on a Continent that, for all its sophistication, is hardly immune to barbaric conflict. As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said this past week at the Munich Security Conference, “We in the United States aren’t sitting across the pond thinking somehow we’re immune … America understands the near existential nature of this threat to the politics and fabric of life in Europe.” The White House may understand what lies at stake at the intersection between the European crisis and the Syrian civil war, but it is also less prepared to manage Russia’s role in this meta-conflict.

It is well known that Russia has been bombing many of the rebels whom the United States needs as ground proxies in the fight against the Islamic State. Even at tepid points of negotiation, like the cease-fire announcement that emerged from talks between Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, at Munich this past week, major caveats are created for Russia to exploit. While playing the role of the diplomat and shuttling between capitals to organize peace talks over Syria, Russia can continue bombing at will, claiming that it is targeting Jabhat al-Nusra and other targets on its black list. And so long as Russia can play the role of the spoiler, the United States will lumber along in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria at a frustratingly slow pace.

Playing the Kurdish Card

For Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Russian-backed loyalist offensive in Aleppo brings Turkey’s geopolitical imperatives to the fore. The most obvious stressor on Turkey is the potential for tens of thousands of refugees to continue spilling across the border at the same time Europe is curbing the flow of migrants on the Continent. Turkey’s long-proposed solution to this dilemma is not to do Europe any favors by simply absorbing the refugees itself but by creating a “safe zone” in northern Syria where refugees would reside and where Turkey could establish a security perimeter. With a security footprint in northern Iraq, Turkey could then establish a blocking position against the Kurds in northern Syria.

As its relationship with Turkey deteriorated, Russia made no secret of its growing communications with Kurdish rebels in Syria belonging to the People’s Protection Units (YPG). This is an old play in the Russian handbook. As I discussed in an earlier weekly, 1946 was pivotal to understanding the fundamental tension that has persisted between Turkey and Russia for centuries. This was a time when the Soviets, wary of a growing relationship between the United States and Turkey, were also casting a covetous eye on the Turkish-controlled straits, which provided critical access between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

The Soviet Embassy in Ankara delivered reports to the Soviet Foreign Ministry on “the Kurdish question,” and Soviet propaganda carefully leaked bits of such reports in the press to ensure that the Turks, as well as the Americans, were aware that Moscow was studying the Kurdish question and was prepared to help ignite Kurdish separatism in the fledgling Turkish republic. One report from December 1946 compiled by the Soviet Foreign Ministry’s Department of the Near and Middle East highlighted that the Czarist government played the Kurdish card regularly to weaken the Ottoman Empire during the late 19th century when it “stirred up discontent with the Turkish government among the Kurds and bought their support with money and lavish promises.”

The lavish promise that Russia can hold in front of the Kurds today is the prospect of a united and autonomous Kurdish state stretching from Rojava in Syrian Kurdistan to northern Iraq. Indeed, the Russian-backed loyalist offensive in Aleppo has enabled the YPG to move beyond its territory in northwestern Syria eastward toward Azaz along the Turkish border. From Turkey’s point of view, the longer Ankara remains behind the Turkish side of the border, the better the chances that Afrin canton has to eventually link up to a swathe of Kurdish-controlled territory west of the Euphrates River, creating a de facto Kurdish state on the Turkish border to go along with the already autonomous and independence-minded Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq. Even if legitimate obstacles render such a scenario unlikely on the battlefield in the near term, Turkey will nonetheless be operating under these assumptions.

And Russia knows not only how to get under Turkey’s skin but also how to make Turkey break out in hives over the Kurdish threat. In a very public move, Russia last week took the liberty of inaugurating an office in Moscow for the Democratic Union Party, the political arm of the YPG in Syria, inviting members from Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition People’s Democratic Party and even representatives from Ukraine’s rebel Donbas region for good measure. Bestowing legitimacy on the Kurdish rebel groups that Turkey is painstakingly trying to exclude from the negotiating table while enabling Kurdish rebel advances on the Syrian battlefield was simply too much for Erdogan to bear. As a result, Turkish artillery is now pounding YPG positions in the north around Azaz and Tel Rifaat, and Turkey is repeating the same message back to the White House: Washington and Ankara will just have to agree to disagree on the Kurdish question in Syria.

In our 2016 annual forecast, we highlighted that Russia will intensify its air operations in Syria to try to tie Turkey’s hands but that inaction was not an option for Ankara. Instead, driven by the Kurdish threat among other factors, Turkey would assemble a coalition including Saudi Arabia to mitigate obstacles on the Syrian battlefield. This is exactly the scenario currently in play, with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates preparing to carry out operations from Turkey’s Incirlik base. Turkey will not allow itself to be tied down by the Russians and will do whatever it takes to force the U.S. hand in enabling a Turkish military move into northern Syria. The Turkish message to Washington is that the Turkish government cannot be regarded as just another tribe or faction on the Syrian battlefield; instead, it is a nation-state with national interests at stake. As Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan said, you cannot play defensively at all times and still expect to win a match.

The United States does not mind Turkey’s being on the offensive in northern Syria if it means stronger action against the Islamic State, but there is still the matter of dealing with Moscow. Turkey, not to mention Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, is not about to make an impulsive move in northern Syria. All three countries understand the risks associated with putting forces in the air and on the ground with Russian — and potentially even Iranian — fighter jets operating in the same space. The proliferation of players on the battlefield is inevitable, but the task of mitigating the potential for skirmishes falls to Washington.

Bringing the Negotiation Back to Washington

With Aleppo fully in play, all Putin had to do was wait for the phone call. On Feb. 13, the White House told the media that Obama called Putin and urged him to end the Russian campaign in Syria. We can assume that the conversation went well beyond the United States telling Russia to stop it. Russia, after all, designed its intervention in Syria with the hope of it culminating in an understanding with the United States. Syria holds a layer of strategic interest on its own for the Russians, but Syria by itself is eclipsed by a Russian imperative to slow the encroachment of Western military forces in Russia’s former Soviet periphery. While Ukraine remains in political limbo under an increasingly fragile government in Kiev, an increasingly coherent bloc of countries in Eastern Europe is forming around the Visegrad Group (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia). Poland, in particular, is pushing for a more robust NATO presence on Europe’s eastern flank with Russia. To improve its chances of coaxing NATO into fortifying its position, Poland is sending a few F-16 fighters to support the mission in Syria as a show of good faith. Discussions meanwhile continue between Washington and Bucharest over boosting NATO’s deployments to the Black Sea, with Turkey more willing to entertain such discussion now that its relationship with Russia has hit the floor.

These are all measures that the United States can escalate or de-escalate depending on how it wants to direct the negotiations it is conducting with Moscow. The United States can assure Moscow that limits will be placed on NATO’s plans for Europe, though any such assurances could well expire with a new president in the White House come January 2017. The United States has also attempted to nudge Kiev on making political concessions toward the eastern rebel regions in Ukraine, but thegovernment is simply too weak and sorely lacking in political will to make the kinds of compromises that would satisfy Moscow.

In Search of Russia’s Achilles’ Heel

Russia has played the Kurdish card effectively against Turkey, but could Moscow eventually get a taste of its own medicine? The volume and spread of Russian protests across the country have increased significantly over the past year as the economic crisis has deepened. Even as the Russian government has pre-emptively cracked down on opposition groups, disgruntled workers and nongovernmental organizations that outsiders could exploit to destabilize Russia from within, it would be impossible to seal all of its cracks.

Legislative elections are slated for September, elections that could test whether a large number of disparate protests can cohere into a more substantial threat on the streets. Even as the Kremlin threatens to place missiles in Kaliningrad, Russian security forces have been cracking down heavily on opposition forces in the exclave territory on the Baltic Sea, where any hint of secession or questioning of Russia’s control over the territory will rapidly capture the attention of the Kremlin.

Russia’s main vulnerabilities tend to be concentrated in the Muslim-majority North Caucasus, where Putin built a legacy on ending the Chechen war. To uphold that legacy, Putin has gone out of his way to endorse the antics of Ramzan Kadyrov, the firebrand leader of Chechnya whose Instagram displays of loyalty to Putin and Trump-like rhetoric have had a polarizing effect on Russian opposition, hardcore nationalists and powerful members of Russia’s Federal Security Bureau. Nonetheless, Kadyrov is a tool to contain Chechnya that Putin will not be willing to sacrifice any time soon. Perhaps more problematic for Putin is a rise in Salafist and ultra-conservative influence in Dagestan, where crackdowns and militant activity are rising and where an overconfident Kadyrov could end up using instability in Dagestan to extend his territorial control.

These pressure points on Russia will be important to watch in the months ahead as Russia navigates the bends and bumps in its negotiation with Washington, Ankara, Berlin and the Gulf states. At the same time, it would be a mistake simply to assume that unrest in Russia will organically swell to the point of overwhelming the Russian government and forcing a reduction in military activities abroad.Russia’s ability to absorb economic pain is higher than most, and the decision to continue operations in places such as Syria and Ukraine rests on far more than financial considerations.

Know Thy Enemy

As the United States calculates its next moves, it must understand the layers to Russian strategy and avoid simplistic characterizations. It is easy to brand Putin a thug and a bully, but Putin understands the limits of brute force and, more important, internalizes the notion of using an enemy’s force against him. This is reflected in his love of judo, which he often describes as a philosophy and way of life. As Putin says, judo teaches that an apparently weak opponent can not only put up a worthy resistance but may even win if the other side relaxes and takes too much for granted. Back in October, the White House and others derided the Russians for not learning their lesson in Afghanistan, expecting the combination of an economic recession and a resource-intensive civil war in Syria to come back to bite the Russians. That day could still come, but the West should not wait for it either.

There is a long stretch in between where Russian strategy will have the potential to penetrate deep into the U.S.-led fight against the Islamic State, the European crisis and Turkey’s existential battle with the Kurds. Putin has already spent a great deal of time, energy and resources into setting up this stage of its negotiation with the United States, but he will also not be deluded by the idea that he can fully attain its geopolitical goals. The realpolitik side of the Kremlin will content itself with partial results, and those results may show themselves on the Syrian battlefield, in eastern Ukraine or — should negotiations fail — not at all. In case of the latter, the next phase of crisis that results will extend well beyond the besieged city of Aleppo.

Russian Prime Minister warns of “A New World War” – this time in the Middle East

As Turkey and Saudi Arabia edge closer to sending ground forces into Syria at the behest of the United States, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has warned that an escalation of the conflict could lead to ‘World War’.

During an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt, Medvedev warned of dire consequences if the United States and its allies abandon Syrian peace talks in favor of deploying ground forces.

Saudi security forces, whose faces display the word ‘Decisive’ take part in a military parade. Turkey Plans Joint War Games With Saudi Arabia. © AP PHOTO/ MOSA’AB ELSHAMY.
“All ground operations, as a rule, lead to permanent wars,” he said. “Look at what is going on in Afghanistan and a number of other countries. I don’t even mention the ill-fated Libya.

“The Americans must consider — both the US president and our Arab partners — whether or not they want a permanent war.”

All sides should instead focus on implementing peace talks.

“We must make everyone sit down to the negotiating table, and we can do it by using, among other things, the harsh measures that are being implemented by Russia, the Americans, and even, with all reservations, the Turks, rather than start yet another war in the world.”

Flags wave in front of soldiers who take positions with their army vehicles during the NATO Noble Jump exercise on a training range near Swietoszow Zagan, Poland
 Any direct involvement by foreign players on behalf of the Syrian opposition will only worsen the violence.

“We may differ in our opinions of certain political leaders but it is not a good enough reason to begin intervention or to stir up unrest from within.”

Moscow has long-stressed the need to support the legitimate government of President Bashar al-Assad in the fight against terrorism. Working alongside the Syrian Army, Russian airstrikes have had a severe impact on Daesh, also known as IS/Islamic State.

“…We must sit down at the same table, but our partners avoid this,” Medvedev said. “That is, there have been some occasional meetings, telephone conversations and contacts between our militaries. But in this situation we should create a full-scale alliance to fight this evil.”

Migrants, mostly from Syria, headed for EU member Hungary, walk in groups towards Hungary in Kanjiza, North Serbia, near the Hungarian border. © AP PHOTO/ EDVARD MOLNAR.
The Prime Minister also criticized Europe’s handling of the migrant crisis. The continent is facing an increased risk of terrorist attack because of its decision to open its borders, and this only highlights the need for international cooperation against terrorism.

“Some of these people — and it’s not just a few strange individuals or utter scoundrels, but hundreds and possibly thousands — are entering Europe as potential time bombs, and they will fulfill their missions as robots when they are told to,” he said.

“We are not trying to rule the world or impose our regulations on it, though we are accused regularly of having such ambitions” he added. “That is not so — we are a pragmatic people who realise that no one can shoulder responsibility for the whole world, not even the United States of America.”

Article by Sputnik: http://sputniknews.com/russia/20160212/1034614648/medvedev-syrian-permanent-war.html#ixzz3zuSgodpO