Russian President Vladimir Putin said a naval standing force, including warships with Kalibr long-range land attack cruise missiles, will be permanently deployed in the Mediterranean Sea. The statement was made at a meeting with top military officials and defense industry leaders that took place in Sochi on May 16. One of the missions is delivering strikes against terrorist targets in Syria. 102 expeditions of ships and submarines are planned in 2018. The force will go through intensive training.
The Russian Black Sea Fleet has become a much different force in comparison to what it was just three years ago. Since 2015, the year the operation in Syria was launched, it has received 15 new ships, including two frigates and six conventional submarines armed with Kalibr cruise missiles. With S-400 and S-300V4 air defense systems, Krasukha-4 electronic warfare systems and shore-based anti-ship Bastion batteries deployed on the Syrian coast, the ships in Eastern Mediterranean operate in a relatively safe environment. Kalibr missiles have already been fired from frigates and submarines at terrorist targets in Syria. Continue reading →
BERLIN/DAMASCUS (Own report) – German companies are seeking to favorably position themselves for participation in Syria’s post-war reconstruction. Following the Damascus International Fair, which closed yesterday, the director of the Middle East Department of the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) noted, the development in the country is being “closely observed” and “a series of cautious initial inquiries” are already being registered. The Damascus International Fair is one of the most traditional fairs in the region and was held again, for the first time, since the beginning of the war. Particularly companies from Russia, Iran and China have good prospects for participating in Syria’s rebuilding. Since 2012, the German government has been eager to provide emergency aid and reconstruction. However, this aid was restricted to regions under insurgent control. Idlib Province, today controlled by the al-Qaeda offshoot al-Nusra (renamed Tahrir al-Sham) is one of those regions benefiting.
A wooden boat carrying migrants waits to be escorted to the Topaz Responder vessel, as members of the Migrant Offshore Aid Station make a rescue at sea on November 21, 2016 in Pozzollo, Italy. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
People-smugglers bring the migrants to the NGOs’ ships, which then reach Italian seaports. Another legal enquiry has been opened about the mafia’s economic interests in managing the migrants after their arrival.
One cannot compare the migrants to the Jews fleeing Nazism. Pope Francis, for example, recently compared the migrants’ centers to Nazi “concentration camps”. Where are the gas chambers, medical “experiments,” crematoria, slave labor, forced marches and firing squads? These comparisons are spread by the media for a precise reason: shutting down the debate.
By 2065, it is expected that 14.4 million migrants will arrive. Added to the more than five million immigrants currently in Italy, 37% of the population is expected to be foreigners: more than one out of every three inhabitants.
First, it was the Hungarian route. Then it was the Balkan route. Now Italy is the epicenter of this demographic earthquake, and it has become Europe’s soft underbelly as hundreds of thousands of migrants arrive. Continue reading →
BERLIN (Own report) – Following the recent terror attacks, international pressure has been mounting on a major supporter of global jihadism – Saudi Arabia, a close German ally. In London, leading politicians from the opposition are calling on the British government to finally publish an investigation of the – presumably Saudi – financiers of British jihadis. Protest against the western powers’ pact with the Saudi ruling clan is being raised also beyond Europe’s borders. The youth league of the world’s largest Islamic organization, the Indonesian Nahdlatul Ulama, for example, has published a declaration accusing the West of ignoring the direct correlation between the Saudi Salafist crusade “and the spread of terrorism worldwide.” For decades, Saudi Arabia has been promoting Salafi jihadi milieux throughout the world – partly in alliance with Germany, partly with Berlin’s de facto approval – significantly strengthening them in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Sahel, North Africa, the Middle East and the European countries with Muslim populations, such as Kosovo, as well as in Southeast Asia – in Indonesia and in the Philippines. While milieux supported by Saudi Arabia have increased their terror also in Western Europe, Berlin is continuing its cooperation with Riyadh.
With America in full-scale retreat, the post-World War II global order has been completely upended. Iran is expanding its sphere of influence throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Russia and China are taking aggressive military actions to dominate their respective regions. And Europe is talking about building its own military in order to compete on the world stage. These emerging power blocs are steering the world toward war! On today’s program, Stephen Flurry examines these hot spots under the clear light of Bible prophecy. Continue reading →
Less than a day after U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis contradicted Trump’s oft-repeated maxim that we should have taken Iraq’s oil, Russia has moved to expand its footprint in the region with a new oil deal in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Russian state-owned Rosneft PJSC has announced that not only will it purchase Kurdish crude until 2019, but it is also studying exploration and production opportunities there. The deal was announced at the same time that Russia moved to expand its footprint in Libya in a second deal designed to gain more control in the Middle East.Continue reading →
Pope Francis washes and kisses the feet of a group of refugees in Rome, in March 2016. (Image source: CatholicTV Network video screenshot)
“They are driving us out of the Middle East,” declared Pope Francis on returning from Turkey.
“[I]t would be beautiful if all Islamic leaders, whether they are political, religious or academic leaders, would speak out clearly and condemn this because this would help the majority of Muslim people.” — Pope Francis, counseling Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
While this welcoming stance is in keeping with the fundamental beliefs of the Catholic faith, the Pope as the “Good Shepherd” has an obligation to protect his flock from the militants among the refugees.
Within the Catholic Church, there also exists a sub-dominant counter-melody that warns about Islamic hostility to the values of Judeo-Christian civilization.
Cardinal Sarah targets what he refers to as “Islam’s pseudo-family values which legitimize polygamy, female subservience, sexual slavery, and child marriage.”
At some point, the Catholic Church might raise the issue of persecution of Christian minorities in Muslim-majority countries at international fora such as the United Nations. The Church also could publicly ask Muslims of good will to express their solidarity with the persecuted and request international organizations to intervene to protect Christians.
Given the centuries of hostility between Christendom and dar-al-Islam (the World of Islam), the Vatican’s caution may be understandable, but is ill-advised and no longer tenable.
Perhaps, in the light of the harm dhimmitude can do to both civic life and faith, the Catholic Church might re-assess its stance toward Islam from one of friendly engagement to cautionary disengagement. As radical jihadists continue to martyr Christians throughout the world, such a re-evaluation of Islam by the Vatican seems appropriate. Continue reading →
58-year-old Catholic priest Andreas Knapp stated that the majority of migrant youths he supports in his study club are Muslim but reports that the Christian minority is being actively persecuted by Muslim children, reports German radio broadcaster Deutschlandradio Kultur.
In one case, a Christian boy was so grievously bullied by Muslim classmates at a school for integration that he had to change schools. He said the Muslim children were “disrespectful” of Christians and that they even “hated” Christians who had come from the Middle East. Continue reading →
German police are shown deployed to break up a mass brawl between migrants (Image source: SAT1 video screenshot)
“We are losing control of the streets.”
During the first six months of 2016, migrants committed 142,500 crimes, according to the Federal Criminal Police Office. This is equivalent to 780 crimes committed by migrants every day, an increase of nearly 40% over 2015. The data includes only those crimes in which a suspect has been caught.
Thousands of migrants who entered the country as “asylum seekers” or “refugees” have gone missing. They are, presumably, economic migrants who entered Germany on false pretenses. Many are thought to be engaging in robbery and criminal violence.
Local police in many parts of the country admit that they are stretched to the limit and are unable to maintain law and order.
“Drug trafficking takes place right before our eyes. If we intervene, we are threatened, spat on, insulted. Sometimes someone whips out a knife. They are always the same people. They are ruthless, fearless and have no problems with robbing even the elderly.” — Private security guard.
According to Freddi Lohse of the German Police Union in Hamburg, many migrant offenders view the leniency of the German justice system as a green light to continue delinquent behavior. “They are used to tougher consequences in their home countries,” he said. “They have no respect for us.”
“It cannot be that offenders continue to fill the police files, hurt us physically, insult us, whatever, and there are no consequences. Many cases are closed or offenders are released on probation or whatever. Yes, what is happening in the courts today is a joke.” — Tania Kambouri, German police officer. Continue reading →
A dog stands near Russian paratroopers, who are waiting to board a helicopter, during a military exercise outside the southern city of Stavropol, Russia, October 27, 2015. Russian paratroopers are set to take part in an exercise in Africa for the first time. (Eduard Korniyenko/Reuters)
The joint drill with the Egyptian armed forces is set to take place later this month, with Russian troops, sporting equipment designed for hot climates, practicing combat with militants in desert conditions. Continue reading →
Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani take part in a welcoming ceremony in Tehran on January 23, during Xi’s Middle East visit. Photo: AFP
Greater presence seen as way to protect nationals working abroad and growing investment in the region
As China expands its interests in the Middle East, some experts are calling for Beijing to eschew its long-standing policy on non-interference in other countries’ affairs and set up permanent military bases.
A more comprehensive engagement would ensure better protection for Chinese nationals working in the region and the significant investment by Chinese companies there, they said.
(L to R) Luxembourg’s Foreign minister Jean Asselborn, Italy’s Foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni, Germany’s Foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Belgium’s Foreign minister Didier Reynders, France’s Foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and Netherlands’ Foreign minister Bert Koenders address a press confeence after post-Brexit talks at the Villa Borsig in Berlin on June 25, 2016. (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)
In the wake of Brexit, leaders from the across the Continent are calling for the EU to overhaul its military.
Officials across Europe are pushing for the Continent to develop an army and send it oversees. Though Europe is greatly divided, this is one of few areas on which all sides agree.
Defense reform is “a matter of urgency” European Union officials believe. The EU needs its own armed forces, navy and intelligence service. Poland believes Europe should have “a European army” and “a strong European president with far-reaching authority.”
“The EU wants its own empire as former Commission President José Manuel Barroso made clear when he was in charge,” said UK Independence Party spokesman Mike Hookem. While this comment may seem farfetched, it’s clear the EU wants to rapidly step up its military involvement in North Africa and the Middle East.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini’s Global Strategy document states that “as Europeans we must take greater responsibility for our security”.
The white paper adds: “While NATO exists to defend its members — most of which are European — from external attack, Europeans must be better equipped, trained and organised to contribute decisively to such collective efforts, as well as to act autonomously if and when necessary.
It is easy to be cynical about the outpouring of grief from the European Union’s leaders on behalf of the roughly 800 migrants who drowned when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean last week. Those leaders pledged “determined action to prevent the loss of lives at sea and to avoid that such human tragedies happen again”—but that pledge was made in October 2013, the last time Europe saw a crisis of this kind.
Meanwhile, Europe’s press cries out for the EU to do more—both to rescue drowning migrants and to allow more of Africa’s struggling citizens into the Continent. “We have become accomplices to one of the biggest crimes to take place in European postwar history,” scolded Germany’s Spiegel magazine last week.
But Europe will not open its doors to tens of thousands of more African immigrants, making any debate over the morality of such a policy irrelevant. Just about all of Europe’s major leaders know that in the coming months after this crisis has blown over and been forgotten, they will face serious challenges from anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim parties. Opening the doors to impoverished Muslims from North Africa will only cost them votes. Continue reading →
Since the end of World War II, U.S. policy toward Europe has drifted, without deliberate thought, far from its initial premises—while Europe itself has changed beyond recognition. It is time that the U.S. recognized this fact. The incoming President should direct the National Security Council (NSC) to oversee a comprehensive study of U.S. policy toward Europe, a study to be based on the enduring American interests in Europe, the lessons of the post-1945 era, and on the new facts of Europe that have emerged since 1989. Continue reading →