Revelation 7, 12, 13

Christians will be raptured. The anti-Christ will be revealed.  Israel will be over run. Israeli remnant will be placed in safety. Zechariah 12-14. The wrath of God will be poured upon all mankind. Armageddon!  Then ‘IT IS DONE’! The Kingdom of our Lord will be revealed. The marriage supper of the Lamb. Thousand year reign of our Lord!

I believe Chapter 7 is a view of activity in heaven. A picture of all of the saved, ready to watch what God’s wrath does to the world. What a view. Seeing every soul saved from the beginning to the end. The sealing of all believers, the snatching up and joining those under the altar, over all of time. There are 4 angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, so that the wind should not blow on the earth, or sea, or any treeAnd then another angel ascending from the east with the seal of the living God. This angel told the four angels “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads. The 144,000 Jews (in 14:1) and a great multitude which no one could number,”who came out of the great tribulation (would the first four seals represent the great tribulation? Possibly?, meaning we are in the great tribulation. I believe the four winds are holding till everyone who chooses to be saved is saved), and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 7:16 They shall never hunger or thirst anymore, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Rev 7:17; 21:4; Isa 25:8. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken [it]. (1 Cor 15:26; The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death.)

Note: verse 7:1, these 4 angels are released in 9:14, the 6th trumpet.

Rev 7:1 AFTER these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. Rev 7:1; 9:14,15; Jer 49:36; Eze 37:9; Dan 7:2; 8:8; 11:4; Zec 2:6; Matt 24:31; Mar 13:27; John is still being shown what is going on in heaven. (SeeRev 9:14. Are these the same four angels? are they the four winds what dries up the Euphrates?) 6/3/15 As they edge towards Ramadi, officials said Iraqi forces risked coming under attack because IS had closed the gates of a dam in the city to dry up the Euphrates. The move will enable IS fighters to cross the river more easily and to infiltrate more territory.

4 angels holding 4 winds

Jer 49:36; And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come. (Note, Elam is Iran)
Eze 37:9; Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
Dan 7:2; Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.
Dan 8:8; Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.
Dan 11:4; And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.
Zec 2:6; Ho, ho, [come forth], and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the LORD.
Matt 24:31; And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Mar 13:27; And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

Rev 7:2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, Rev 3:12; 7:2-4,9; 14:1; 22:4; Ex 28:38; Eze 9:4; Eph 1:13-14; 4:30;

Seal of Living God

Ex 28:38; And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.
Eze 9:4; And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.
Eph 1:13-14; In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Eph 4:30; And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Rev 7:3 saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” Rev 3:12; 7:2-4,9; 14:1; 22:4; Ex 28:38; Eze 9:4; Eph 1:13-14; 4:30;

Seal on forehead
The servants of our God are sealed by the Holy Spirit according to scripture (2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13). This is a reference to all who are saved.

Rev 7:4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed: Rev 3:12; 7:2-4,9; 9:4; 14:1; 22:4; Ex 28:38; Eze 9:4; Zech 2:8-13; Eph 1:13-14; 4:30;

Note: See Gen 49:17; Here in Rev, Dan’s name is not mentioned, and Joseph and Manasseh’s names are used. Gen 49:17; Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.

144,000 sealed (The traditional interpretation believes these are saved during the last 7 years. I believe they are included in 7:9-17)

Zech 2:8For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. 9For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me. 10Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD. 11And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee. 12And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. 13Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.

Rev 7:5 of the tribe of Judah
twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Reuben
twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Gad
twelve thousand were sealed;

Note: Original tribes of Levi and Joseph are listed and Manasseh (note: 2012 lost tribe of Manesseh found and being moved to Israel from India)is added to replace ? (Dan is missing), [Ephraim led the way in causing civil war which divided the ten tribes and may be why he is not listed.] God knows to who’s tribe they belong.

Rev 7:6 of the tribe of Asher
twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Naphtali
twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Manasseh
twelve thousand were sealed;
Rev 7:7 of the tribe of Simeon
twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Levi
twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Issachar
twelve thousand were sealed;
Rev 7:8 of the tribe of Zebulun
twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Joseph
twelve thousand were sealed;
of the tribe of Benjamin
twelve thousand were sealed.

Rev 7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, Rev 3:5,18; 4:4; 6:11; 7:9,13,14; 15:6; 19:8,14; Ex 28:2; Lev 16:4; Isa 61:10; Dan 7:9; (3:12; 7:2-4,9; 14:1; 22:4; Ex 28:38; Eze 9:4; Zech 2:8-13; Eph 1:13-14; 4:30)

Multitudes Clothed With White robes – (Sealed) (Clearly this is in heaven and John is telling us what he is seeing.) (What a view. Seeing every soul saved from the beginning to the end. The sealing of all believers, the snatching up and joining those under the altar, over all of time. )

Ex 28:2; And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty.
Lev 16:4; He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these [are] holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and [so] put them on.
Isa 61:10; I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh [himself] with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth [herself] with her jewels.
Dan 7:9; I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment [was] white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne [was like] the fiery flame, [and] his wheels [as] burning fire.

Rev 7:10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” Rev 5:6;

The Lamb

Rev 7:11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,

Rev 7:12 saying:
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever.

All the Saved worshipping the Lamb

Rev 7:13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” Rev 3:5,18; 4:4; 6:11; 7:9,13,14; 15:6; 19:8,14; Ex 28:2; Lev 16:4; Isa 61:10; Jer 25:12-13,18-38; 30:7-11; Dan 7:9;

An elder – White Robes

Rev 7:14 And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Rev 3:5,18; 4:4; 6:11; 7:9,13,14; 15:6; 19:8,14; Ex 28:2; Lev 16:4; Isa 61:10; Dan 7:9; (Rev 6:8; 8:6; 13:18;? Great trib?)

White Robes
(The Great Trib? I believe they are all of the saved over time.)

Rev 7:15 “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.” Rev 1:13; 2:1; 7:15; 21:3; Ex 25:8; 29:46; Lev 26:12; Ps 68:16; Eze 43:9; 2 Cor 6:16;

He will dwell among them

Exo 25:8; And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
Exo 29:46; And they shall know that I [am] the LORD their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I [am] the LORD their God.
Lev 26:12; And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.
Psa 68:16; Why leap ye, ye high hills? [this is] the hill [which] God desireth to dwell in; yea, the LORD will dwell [in it] for ever. The chariots of God [are] twenty thousand, [even] thousands of angels: the Lord [is] among them, [as in] Sinai, in the holy [place]. Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, [for] the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell [among them].
Eze 43:9; Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever.
2 Cor 6:16; And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Rev 7:16 “They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat;” Rev 21:23; 22:5; Isa 60:19;

No more hunger, thirst

Isa 60:19; The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.

Rev 7:17 “for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Rev 7:17; 21:6; 22:1,17; Joel 3:18; Zech 14:8; John 3:5; 4:14; 7:37-38; 15:3; Eph 5:26; (No more tears  Rev 7:16,17; 21:4; Isa 25:8)

Living fountains of waters – (No more Tears)

Joel 3:18; And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.
Zech 14:8; And it shall be in that day, [that] living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.
John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
John 4:14; But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
John 7:37,38; In the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
John 15:3; Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Eph 5:26; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Isa 25:8; He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken [it].
Wrath of God revealed. The rest of chapter 12, history/prophecy of the end time.
Chapter 13 Introduction of the beasts.

Rev 12:13Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. Rev 9:2,11; 11:7; 12:3,9,13; 13:1; 17:3,8,16; 19:20; 20:2,3,10; (In our day this sounds like history. In John’s day this is prophecy.)

The Dragon

Rev 12:14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. Rev 11:2,3; 12:6,14; 13:5; Dan 7:25: 12:7;

Time and times and half a time (42 mo/3 ½ years)

Note: Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye and some others believe this is an escape for believers (Jews and/or Gentiles) being transported to safety (perhaps Petra) till Christ delivers them. The woman is being rescued and is safe for 3 ½ years, and the Dragon, the devil, goes to make war with her offspring. For me this is difficult. The birth of Christ and the birth of Israel as a country and now we are awaiting the rapture – all together is certainly more than 3 ½ years. This particular verse is not clear at all to me even with any of the commentaries. Israel for a time and times and half a time, (3 ½ years) will be safe from the devil is what the verse says. I think the men who understand will keep us informed.

Rev 12:15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.

Serpent spewed flood

Rev 12:16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.

A flood usually means war, taking over a country, place. The earth helps Israel from the ‘flood’.

Rev 12:17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Chapter 13

Chapter 13:1-10 identifying the Dragon, the two beasts and how the Devil will work on the earth and in the Spiritual realm. This will also explain Chapter 9 which follows, how the Devil’s work appears in the world.

The Beast of Chapter 13:1, we will call him 1st Beast, he goes into perdition (Rev 17:8). (Rev 9:1,2,11; 13:18) He has 3 and ½ years (Rev 13:5). (3 and 1/2 yrs of the 7 years given in Dan 9:27) I will take a moment here to say I believe in a literal translation of the bible, although there are some scriptures with symbolism. A beast rising up out of the sea (mankind) having 7 heads and 10 horns with 10 crowns on his heads is as literal as it was in Daniel. Verse Rev 13:2 – the beast was like a leopard, bear and lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne and great authority.

Let us go back to Daniel 2:36-44. Just the highlights. ‘This is the dream…….Thou, O king……….God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory………..He hath made thee ruler over them all……………after thee shall arise another kingdom (2) and another (3) …………..and a fourth kingdom…has 10 toes…..the kingdom shall be divided……ten toes…….and in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed;… shall stand for ever.’

Daniel 7:1-12 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, [and] told the sum of the matters. Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. (Note: Daniel asked to understand 7:16, and 7:17he was told this is 4 kings)The first [was] like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and [it had] three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it [was] diverse from all the beasts that [were] before it; and it had ten horns. (It is this place in Daniel where it all breaks down to me. Why hasen’t The Ottoman Empire ever been included in the commentaries of the ages? Today we see Saudi Arabia vs Iran, Sunni vs Shias, Arab nations rich with Oil and all that money can buy, ruling the world. It was stamped out only to arise in these last days to very closely ruling the world again.) I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, (Who is he? The 1st Beast of Rev 13)(06/10/14 ISIS! A little horn rising up in the middle east!) before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn [were] eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment [was] white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne [was like] the fiery flame, [and] his wheels [as] burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld [even] till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

Daniel 8 – The Ram has 2 horns, one greater than the other = Media, Persia Kings. The ‘he goat’ is Greece King. The he goat’s great horn broken and 4 Kings and one of them represents the beast.

Scofield and other theologians have studied these passages of scripture and come to educated conclusions that we can only read and pray about. So many of the Revelation sentences seem to echo what Daniel saw, heard and wrote about. They must genuinely be intertwined and given to us to read, listen to, and to heed. The visions recorded in Daniel chapters 2, 7, 8,9,10,11 and 12 are included in our interpretation, our expectations of understanding and we can trust they will be understood and fulfilled as we approach the end of time.

Dan 2:37-45; Scofield page 900 Note 1: The monarchy-vision. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, as interpreted by Daniel, gives the course and end of “the times of the Gentiles” (Lk. 21:24; Rev. 16:19, note), that is, of a Gentile world-empire. The four metals composing the image are explained as symbolizing (vs. 38-40), and fulfilled in Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece (under Alexander), and Rome. The latter power is seen divided, first into two (the legs), fulfilled in the Eastern and Western Roman empires, and then into ten (the toes) (see Dan 7:26, note). As a whole, the image gives the imposing outward greatness and splendour of the Gentile world-power. (The monarchy-vision. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, as interpreted by Daniel, gives the course and end of “the times of the Gentiles” Luke 21:24. (See Scofield “Revelation 16:19“) that is, of Gentile world-empire. The four metals composing the image are explained as symbolizing Daniel 2:38-40 four empires, not necessarily possessing the inhabited earth, but able to do so (Daniel 2:38), and fulfilled in Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece (under Alexander), and Rome. The latter power is seen divided, first into two (the legs), fulfilled in the Eastern and Western Roman empires, and then into ten (the toes)(These became the Ottoman Empire) See Scofield “Daniel 7:26.” As a whole, the image gives the imposing outward greatness and splendour of the Gentile world-power.) Scofield, C. I. “Scofield Reference Notes on Daniel 2”. “Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)”.

Daniels vision chapter 7 describes four beasts as a Lion, Bear and a Leopard, and a 4th beast who has ten horns (the ottoman empire); while Rev 13:2 describes one beast rising out of the sea with 7 heads, 10 horns, 10 crowns, and it was like a Leopard, his feet like the feet of a Bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a Lion. The dragon (Satan) gave him his power, throne and great authority. The extreme similarity of three beasts in Dan chap 7 and one beast of Rev 13 must be telling us something.

Leopard = Greece or ISIS or Syria
Bear = Media-Persia (ISIS/Turkey or Iran)
Lion = Babylon (Who is this Babylon?) (Have to admit we could very well be wrong! According to scripture (Rev 17:16,17): And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore (the whore is Babylon – Is it America?), and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
The 1st Beast (The Scarlet Coloured Beast): The one who leads the coalition countries of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, France, US, UK, EU, who hates Babylon(Is Babylon – America?).  Will it be ISIS or Iran?
When the 1st Beast and the ten horns destroy Babylon (the woman – Is this America?), the beast will then be in control of all the world and, the ‘ALL’, will worship the beast by acknowledging his authority and power.)


The ‘1st beast’ of Rev 13:2 is the one who rises up out of the joined forces of the Leopard, Bear, Lion.  The Leopard (ISIS, Syria)), The Bear (Media-Persia (ISIS, Turkey, Iran, Iraq)), and The Lion (Babylon).  The Arab countries are aligning themselves now. ISIS, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Russia, Greece and Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan and Eze 38:5 ‘……Persia, Ethiopia and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:’

The Revived Roman Empire (Is the standard interpretation), represented by the Dan 2:42, And [as] the toes of the feet,’ 10 toes are believed to be The Europeon Union. Dan 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom. Why are the 10 toes never to be considered in any way to represent The Ottoman Empire, revived?

“Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” 

Revelation 17:3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. 4The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. 5And upon her forehead [was] a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I marveled greatly. Rev 18:16 And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!

The woman sitting on the beast, the harlot, is Babylon. To be destroyed in one day.

Someone once said, ‘The description of Babylon only fits the U. S. at this time.’ Since that was said there are more possibilities:

Dubai (Sunni) Dubai (/dˈb/ doo-BYArabic: دبيّ‎ Dubayy, IPA: [dʊˈbæj]) is a city in the United Arab Emirates, located within the emirate of the same name. The emirate of Dubai is located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf and is one of the seven emirates that make up the country. It has the largest population in the UAE (2,106,177) and the second-largest land territory (4,114 km2) after the capital, Abu Dhabi.[4] Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the only two emirates to have veto power over critical matters of national importance in the country’s legislature.[5] The city of Dubai is located on the emirate’s northern coastline and heads up the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area. Dubai is often misperceived as a country or city-state and, in some cases, the UAE as a whole has been described as ‘Dubai’

Abu Dhabi (mixed Sunni,Shi’ite) houses important offices of the federal government, and is the seat for the UAE (United Arab Emirates Government) and the home for the Abu Dhabi Emiri Family and the President of the UAE from this family. Abu Dhabi has grown to be a cosmopolitan metropolis. Its rapid development and urbanisation, coupled with the relatively high average income of its population, has transformed Abu Dhabi to a larger and advanced metropolis. Today the city is the country’s center of politicalindustrial activities, and a major cultural, and commercial centre due to its position as the capital. Abu Dhabi alone generated 56.7% of the GDP of the United Arab Emirates in 2008.

Saudi Arabia, (Sunni) an absolute monarchy King Salman Bin Abdulaziz.
4/29/15  But King Salman has grasped the nettle by decreeing that the next king will indeed be a grandson in the form of Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the interior minister. On Wednesday, this frail 79-year-old, who only ascended to the throne in January, executed a Saudi version of a palace revolution by suddenly altering the line of succession. Prince Muqrin, the youngest living son of ibn Saud, had been lined up to inherit the throne. Now the king has ruthlessly shoved him aside. For good measure, Prince Saud al-Faisal, the foreign minister, has also been relieved of his duties    Is this emirate playing the Babylon roll???   Saudi Arabia[b] ( i/ˌsdi əˈrbi.ə/ or  i/ˌsɔːd əˈrbi.ə/), officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA),[c] is the largest Arab state in Western Asia by land area (approximately 2,150,000 km2 (830,000 sq mi), constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula) and the second-largest in the Arab world after Algeria. It is bordered byJordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, QatarBahrain and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast, and Yemen in the south. It is the only nation with both a Red Sea coast and a Persian Gulf coast.Before the inception of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, modern-day Saudi Arabia consisted of four distinct regions: HejazNajd and parts of Eastern Arabia (Al-Hasa) andSouthern Arabia (‘Asir).[12] The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 by Ibn Saud; he united the four regions into a single state through a series of conquests beginning in 1902 with the capture of Riyadh, the ancestral home of his family, the House of Saud. The country has since been an absolute monarchy governed along Islamic lines, namely under the influence of Wahhabism.[13] Saudi Arabia is sometimes called “the Land of the Two Holy Mosques” in reference to Al-Masjid al-Haram (inMecca), and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (in Medina), the two holiest places in Islam,7340,L-4558024,00.html Saudi Arabia told Israel on Tuesday that it must reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians if it is to survive as a nation, and criticised Muslims for being divided and failing to stop the Jewish state attacking its Arab neighbours.
Kings of Saud  

Bahrain (Sunni) the King, Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa; the head of government is the Prime Minister, Shaikh Khalīfa bin Salman al Khalifa a constitutional monarchy .   Bahrain – Kingdom of the Two Seas. Bahrain is a constitutional monarchy headed by the King, Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa; the head of government is the Prime Minister, Shaikh Khalīfa bin Salman al Khalifa, who presides over a cabinet of twenty-five members, where 80% of its members are from the royal family. In a region experiencing an oil boom, Bahrain has the fastest growing economy in the Arab world, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia found in January 2006. Bahrain also has the freest economy in the Middle East according to the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom published by the Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal, and is tenth freest overall in the world. Feb 2015

BASRA (mixed Sunni,Shi’ite) has a major role in H.G. Wells‘s 1934 future history “The Shape of Things to Come” “where the Iraqi city is at the center of a world state emerging after a collapse of civilization and becomes in effect the capital of the world.” Basra is home to all of Iraq’s six ports; Umm Qasr is the main deep-water port with 22 platforms, some of which are dedicated to specific goods (such as sulfur, seeds, lubricant oil, etc.) The other five ports are smaller in scale and more narrowly specialized. Fishing was an important business before the oil boom. The city also has an international airport, with service into Baghdad with Iraqi Airways—the national airline. In 2015 it is a dangerous city with

Qatar – (Sunni)Since 1995, Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has ruled Qatar, seizing control of the country from his father Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani while the latter vacationed in Switzerland. Under Emir Hamad, Qatar has experienced a notable amount of sociopolitical liberalization, including the endorsement of women’s suffrage or right to vote, drafting a new constitution, and the launch of Al Jazeera, a leading English and Arabic news source which operates a website and satellite television news channel.The International Monetary Fund states that Qatar has the highest GDP per capita in the world, followed by Luxembourg. The World Factbook ranks Qatar at second, following Luxembourg. Doha is the capital of Qatar.

An aerial view shows Doha's diplomatic area

America – (Shi’ite) is not mentioned in the Bible. It would be reasonable to assume then America has no role in the ‘last days’ playing out. Thus, if America were to prosper and continue affecting the governments, politics and wars it would never play out the way God purposes it to be. Therein the results of American politics has well played into the purpose of God. Americans must take joy in knowing the return of our Lord Jesus Christ is imminent.  Pray for strength, courage and each other to endure whatever plays out till our Lord Jesus Christ returns. America use to be a Christian country! Is POTUS/Russia right?
(Have to admit we could very well be wrong! According to scripture (Rev 17:16,17): And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore (the whore is Babylon – Is it America?), and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
The 1st Beast (The Scarlet Coloured Beast): The one who leads the coalition countries of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, France, US, UK, EU, who hates Babylon(Is Babylon – America?).  Will it be ISIS or Iran?
When the 1st Beast and the ten horns destroy Babylon (the woman – Is this America?), the beast will then be in control of all the world and, the ‘ALL’, will worship the beast by acknowledging his authority and power.)

EU – (mixed Sunni,Shi’ite) 2/24/15  “We have a series of internal domestic political dynamics we have to handle with care,” she said, listing “tensions” in the US Congress, Israel’s elections and Sunni-Shiite rivalry in the Gulf region. The European Union’s foreign policy chief on Tuesday said an Iran nuclear deal was “at hand. 3/9/15  European Union’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). CSDP decouples U.S. from European security n ultimately ends NATO?  11/17/14  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that European calls and efforts to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state have only pushed peace further away

UN – (leans to Shi’ite)1/29/15  The French have offered this resolution, “responsibility not to veto” (RN2V) that would apply in situations of mass atrocities.  Since the UN High Level Event that endorsed R2P in 2005, the United States has used the veto three times with reference to Israel and the Occupied Territories. In all likelihood, it will feel the need to do so in the future. despite unanimous endorsement by all UN member states of their individual and collective responsibility to protect (R2P) all people from crimes against humanity. Since 2011, Russia and China have cast four vetoes to block international action in Syria, where more than 200,000 have been killed since the conflict began. Wednesday in Paris, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius repeated [in French] France’s determination to overcome this paralysis by establishing a new international norm to accompany R2P: a “responsibility not to veto” (RN2V) that would apply in situations of mass atrocities. The French proposal includes a trigger—a request by some subset of UN member states (perhaps fifty) to the secretary-general that (s)he (namely the PA and friends) determine whether atrocities are being committed. It also includes an important caveat—and potential Achilles heel: P5 members can still use a veto when they perceive a “vital national interest” at stake.

GCC – (mixed Sunni,Shi’ite) 12/21/14  Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and top Qatari envoys went through the motions of formalizing the Saudi-brokered reconciliation between them, when they met in Cairo Saturday, Dec. 20. The Saudis hailed the first meeting between Sisi and Qatari officials, since the Egyptian ruler took office last summer, as the turning of a new page between the two Arab states. And Shekh Mohammad bin Abdel Rahman al Thani, the Qatar Emir’s special envoy, expressed support for “a leading role for Egypt in the Arab and Muslim worlds.

UAE – (mixed Sunni,Shi’ite) a federation of seven sheikdoms.  the country is a federation of seven emirates. The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi (which serves as the capital), AjmanDubai,FujairahRas al-KhaimahSharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. Each emirate is governed by an absolute monarch who jointly form the Federal Supreme Council. One of the monarchs is selected as the President of the United Arab Emirates.

P5+1 countries – USA, Britain, France, Germany, China (+1 – Russia) (mixed Sunni,Shi’ite. Leans Shi’ite)


The 1st Beast – The one who rises up out of the united countries of ISIS, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Russia, Turkey,EU, US, UK, and hates Babylon. And the 10 kings – Rev 17:12 who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast Rev 17:16 And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.”

Following the News of the Scarlet Coloured Beast:


5/27/17  The UN Security Council condemned the military escalation in southern Libya, calling on all parties of the conflict to exercise restraint.

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — The parties to the conflict in Libya should refrain from actions that can further increase tensions, and embark on a path of dialogue to resolve violence in the country, the UN Security Council said in a statement on Fri
5/27/17 Hit piece on NATO!  The NATO’s decision to join US-led coalition to fight Daesh extremists will result in multiplied terror threat for Europe, Jim Jatras, former adviser to Senate Republican leaders, told Sputnik.

5/27/17 Daesh-linked militants are making a violent push toward their aspiration of creating an Islamic State province in Southeast Asia.
The Philippines is officially under “invasion” by terrorists, the government said Friday.
Three-fourths of Marawi City, a city of 200,000 on the southern island of Mindanao, has been overrun by the Islamic extremist Maute group and the Abu Sayyaf group, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said in a letter to the nation’s congress on Friday. Terrorists seized control of a municipal jail and unshackled its prisoners, razed a hospital and took possession of at least three bridges, according to the memo.

5/26/17  A United States Navy warship sent a clear message of American determination this week by conducting drills close to the coastline of artificial islands China has constructed in the South China Sea, drawing a strong warning from the Chinese government.

According to Newsmax, China’s “stern representation” came on Wednesday, when Chinese leaders accused the USS Dewey of challenging the country by sailing within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island in the South China Sea.

Although the United Nations technically defines territorial waters as within 12 nautical miles of a country’s coastline, Chinese officials stated they will view any country as a threat if foreign ship dare to even come close to that margin. Of course, the country is opposed to freedom of navigation in international waters.
5/26/17 the real aim of the initiative is to make it impossible for Washington and Moscow to mend fences anytime soon. The new US draft bill seeking a comprehensive report from the State Department on Russia’s alleged subversive measures against the United States is nothing but an attempt to irreversibly undermine relations between Washington and Moscow, Russian scholar Nikita Danyuk told Radio Sputnik.

5/26/17 The G7 leaders agreed to combat the financing of terrorism, according to the joint declaration adopted on the results of the first day of the G7 summit in Italy. “We, the Leaders of the G7, stand united in expressing our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims of the brutal terrorist act in Manchester in the United Kingdom,” the G7 Taormina Statement on the Fight Against Terrorism and Violent Extremism says.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” the document says.

According to the statement, “countering terrorism and violent extremism, acts of which have struck G7 Members, as well as all regions of the world, regardless of country, nationality or belief, remains a major priority for the G7.”
5/26/17 In an exclusive new report, Breitbart News revealed that the Islamic State terror group has plans in its arsenal to continue attacks against the West.

Breitbart Jerusalem obtained communications from the closed chat group service Telegram Messenger, which sends heavily encrypted messages.

Four members believed to be associated with the militant Islamist group revealed that more attacks could be coming, including areas in the United States, France and Italy. Rome was mentioned as a specific target.

5/24/17 Turkey has ostensibly spent three months training a large rebel force planning to deploy them against the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a commander of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) told Sputnik Turkey on condition of anonymity.

“Turkey is in the process of creating an army manned by the FSA fighters to carry out an operation against the YPG. This force will also be tasked with patrolling the security zone between Jarabulus and Idlib. This training has been ongoing for three months. Turkish special forces have led a training program lasting 45 days in Gaziantep and Kilis. Syrians from Idlib, Aleppo, Damascus and Hama have enrolled in this program. They have freely joined the FSA. These are mostly ethnic Turkmen or Arabs. There are some Kurds as well,” the source said.
Ankara-led  Operation Euphrates Shield was aimed at pushing Daesh out of cities and settlements located on Syria’s border with Turkey. The large-scale military campaign was also aimed at preventing Kurdish forces from moving further west and linking areas they control into a single border region. The Turkish military and the Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army liberated the cities of al-Bab and Jarabulus as part of the campaign, creating a buffer zone in northern Syria.
5/23/17 A huge outbreak of cholera is feared in Yemen, which has suffered under more than two years of brutal war. But instead of providing humanitarian relief, the US government is carrying out military operations like the Navy SEAL raid conducted yesterday.

Donald Trump visited Bethlehem yesterday and held a press conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Trump says he is looking for the ‘ultimate deal’ between Palestinians and Israel, but will anyone take him seriously after years of bombastic pro-Israel rhetoric? Miko Peled, activist and author, joins the show.

An independence referendum is scheduled to take place this year for the Kurdish region of Iraq. What would a vote to leave Iraq mean for the country, the region and the world? Kani Xulam, director of the American Kurdish Information Network, joins Brian.
5/22/17 The suicide bomber who blew himself up at a pop concert killing 22 people including young children has been named as Salman Abedi.

ISIS have claimed responsibility after the terrorist set off a ball bearing bomb at an Ariana Grande concert, killing 22 and injuring 119 in the worst terror attack Britain has seen since the 7/7 London bombings.

Eight-year-old Saffie Roussos, 18-year-old Georgina Callander and 26-year-old John Atkinson were among those killed. Of the injured, at least 12 were children were among 59 taken to hospital, with 60 others treated at the scene.
5/22/17 During the second day of President Donald Trump’s visit to Israel on Tuesday, a rocket was fired at the Jewish state from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

The IDF confirmed the rocket landed in Israeli territory on Tuesday, but in an open area, causing no casualties or damage.

During 2016 and the beginning of 2017, several rockets were launched at Israel from the Egyptian Sinai by Salafi jihadists affiliated with the Islamic State terror group. In April, a Grad rocket struck a greenhouse in Israel’s southern community of Yuval, adjacent to the Egyptian border. In February, the Salafis claimed responsibility for firing several rockets at Israel’s southernmost city of Eilat.
5/22/17 Trump to Israel: We are with you
President Trump, on the second leg of his first foreign trip as commander-in-chief, greeted Israeli leaders in Jerusalem Monday with hopes to lay the groundwork for a peace deal with the Palestinians – saying a “rare opportunity” exists, and the threat posed by Iran is bringing Arab neighbors together toward that goal.
“There is a growing realization among your Arab neighbors that they have common cause with you in the threat posed by Iran,” Trump said, speaking alongside Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.
On Monday, Trump placed a note in the Western Wall becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit one of Judaism’s holiest sites. Trump stood alone in front of the wall with his hand on it before tucking a note between the cracks.
First Lady Melania Trump, daughter Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law Jared Kushner joined Trump at the Western Wall as well as a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The church was built to commemorate the location where most Christians believe Jesus was crucified and buried.
Trump arrived in Israel after a weekend swing through Saudi Arabia, Iran’s main rival in the region. The Iranian threat has been a chief theme of the U.S. president’s remarks as he seeks to reassure Middle East allies and bring them together toward common goals.
On Tuesday, Trump will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. After hosting Abbas at the White House in March, Trump boldly stated that achieving peace is “something that I think is, frankly, maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years.”
“But we need two willing parties,” he continued. “We believe Israel is willing. We believe you’re willing. And if you both are willing, we’re going to make a deal.”
White House aides have tried to play down expectations for significant progress on the peace process during Trump’s stop, casting it as more symbolic than substantive.
5/20/17 The Syrian-pro-Iranian-Hizballah force in southern Syria renewed its advance on the Iraqi border on Saturday, May 20, two days after sustaining heavy casualties from a US air strike on its convoys and in spite of US Defense Secretary James’ Mattis warning, “We will defend our troops.”

Syrian military sources reported the capture Saturday of the Suweida region and another 60 square kilometers. This offensive brought the Syrian army and its allies closer to the strategic Al-Tanf crossing at the Syrian border intersection with Iraq and Jordan, which is held by US and other special operations units.
The US-led coalition force is also made up of elite units from Britain, Holland, Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as Jordan and a large contingent of the rebel Free Syria Army trained and armed by American instructors in Jordan.

The latest arrival to boost this force, DEBKAfile’s military sources report, was a unit of Norwegian special forces, which entered Syria from Iraq through the Al-Waleed border crossing in western Anbar. They arrived along with American reinforcements and linked up with the US and British forces deployed at Al Tanf.

However, the Syrian force and its allies to the US air strike moved fast enough Saturday to threaten the FSA troops fighting there with being trapped by a siege. They have pushed their offensive forward against the US-led force, despite their losses from an American air raid, as a show of defiance that was timed for President Donald Trump’s arrival in Saudi Arabia.
Another US air strike appears to be unavoidable for pushing them back. The danger is also rising of a major clash on the ground between US-led coalition special forces troops and the combined Syrian-Iranian-Hizballah force.

The US bombardment of that force Thursday underlined for Saudi Arabia and the dozens of Arab and Muslim rulers, gathered in Riyadh to meet the US president, his administration’s determination to prevent Iran and its Lebanese surrogate, Hizballah, from gaining control of Syria. American troops were accordingly engaged proactively in securing the border crossings between Syria and Iraq.
However, Tehran, Damascus and Hizballah are evidently not about to shirk a direct confrontation with Washington and the Trump administration, apparently with the support of Moscow.
This clash of arms is likely to expand into an outright US showdown with the US and Syria, Iran and Hizballah in the next 24-48 hours ahead of President Trump’s visit to Israel, the second stop of his four-national trip
5/19/17 The move freezes the assets of Hashem Safieddine, a leader of the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah. The announcement was made on the cusp of President Trump’s first overseas trip since taking office, a nine-day itinerary that will begin in Saudi Arabia and continue through Israel and Europe. It’s symbolic of a broader effort to arrange an “Arab NATO” to counteract Iran, backed by American arms deals to the Saudis.
“The Safieddine designation is also consistent with the U.S. government’s ongoing effort to expose and apply pressure against the actions of Hezballah, which is supported by the foremost State Sponsor of Terrorism, Iran,” the State Department emphasized. “Designations of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate organizations and individuals and result in denial of access to the U.S. financial system.”
The State Department also gave the leader of an ISIS-affiliate in the Sinai peninsula a terrorist label.
“Muhammad al-Isawi, more commonly known as Abu Usama al-Masri, has been ISIS’ affiliate in the Sinai’s leader since the death of Abu Du’a al-Ansari in August 2016,” the notice said. “Today’s actions notify the U.S. public and the international community that Safieddine and al-Isawi pose a serious risk of committing acts of terrorism that threaten the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”
5/18/17 Officials who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity noted that they  “had seen no evidence of wrongdoing or collusion between the campaign and Russia in the communications reviewed so far.”
5/18/17 US Intelligence Says Daesh Putting Together New Chemical Weapons Cell in Syria.

The “chemical weapon cell” is likely to operate from the Syrian area within the Euphrates River Valley, between Mayadin, Syria and the town of al Qaim, CNN said citing US officials on Wednesday.

The US-led military coalition has not officially confirmed the information, the media noted. However, spokesperson Col. Ryan Dillon recalled that Daesh has utilized chemical munitions in their attacks in the past.
***5/16/17 The pro-Iranian Hizballah Tuesday, May 16, rushed 12 companies of 1,000 fighters to the Homs, Daraa and Quneitra (Golan) regions of southern Syria to block off the entry of “US-backed militants” from Jordan through the Al-Tanf border crossing. On Sunday, May 14 – as first revealed by DEBKAfile’s military sources – US, British and Jordanian special operations forces entered southern Syria in an operation for saving Syria’s southern borders from a grab by pro-Iranian forces that was timed for the run-up to US President Donald Trump’s visit next week..
Iranian military sources explained Tuesday that southern Syria was under threat of a combined US, Jordanian, Israeli assault and that both Moscow and Tehran had offered Syrian President Bashar Assad any assistance his army might need for repelling this assault. Those sources also revealed that Iranian Revolutionary Guards troops had begun moving reinforcements to the Syrian-Iraqi border.
For the background to his scenario, read DEBKAfile’s Monday report:
US special forces, together with British and Jordanian elite troops, moved into southern Syria late Sunday, May 14. They were acting to counter the Syrian-Iranian scheme to nullify the American plan for posting Jordanian forces in southeastern Syria, which timed for the days before US President Donald Trump’s trip to the Middle East.
The US-led armored force with British and Jordanian units crossed from northern Jordan through the Tanf Border-Crossing between the Hashemite Kingdom, Iraq and Syria, and took up positions capable of consolidating their control of the main road between Palmyra and Baghdad. Some of their moves were coordinated with Israel.
(See map).
This push aimed at countering the drive in the last few days by hundreds of Syrian troops, Iranian-backed Shiite militias and Hizballah’s Radwan special forces, with tanks and heavy equipment, to take over the town of Sabaa Biyar. Located in sparsely desert territory, this town lies 110km west of the Syrian-Iraqi border, 95km north of the Syrian-Jordanian border and 128km east of Damascus.
Its high strategic importance for Tehran, Damascus and Hizballah lies in its command of the border between Syria, Iraq and Jordan and of Highway No. 1 which links the Jordanian capital of Amman with Baghdad.
DEBKAfile’s military sources explain that Damascus and Tehran acted to pre-empt the US-Jordanian-Israeli military operations along the Israeli and Jordanian borders with Syria, lest they lead to the carving out of US-controlled security zones in southern Syria.
Our military sources add that Moscow too eyes the new US-led military movements with mistrust, in view of its potential impact on the Russian plan for four ceasefire zones in Syria, in cooperation with Iranian and Turkish forces. The Russians are accordingly feeding Tehran and Damascus intelligence on the US-led movements.
On Sunday, too, the Israeli Defense Forces launched a large-scale military exercise in the Galilee and Golan regions close to its borders with Syria and Lebanon. The war game may well run over its final date in order to keep a substantial military force poised on along Israel’s northern borders, in case of attempts to disrupt the Trump visits to Saudi Arabia and Israel from May 22 to May 24.
Other military movements in the region this week were taken by the Iraqi army and Iraqi Shiite militias under the command of Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers. Iran continued to pour additional troops into Damascus through the Baghdad-Damascus highway, on the one hand, while, on the other, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi offered Washington two of his army’s divisions, which would be sent into Syria to support US military operations in the southeast.
For the time being, the Trump administration’s plans for an offensive against the Islamic State appear to have been put on a back burner.
5/15/17 Russia to Carry Out Observation Flight Over US Under Open Skies Treaty.

Russia’s Tu-154M LK-1 aircraft will conduct an observation flight over the United States under the Treaty on Open Skies on May 15-20.
This will be the fourteenth Russian observation flight under the Treaty on Open Skies in 2017, Ryzhkov added.
The Treaty on Open Skies was signed in March 1992 and became one of the major confidence-building measures in Europe after the Cold War. It entered into force on January 1, 2002, and currently has 34 states parties, including Russia and most NATO members such as the United States.
5/15/17 The global cyberattack using the stolen NSA hacking tool affected corporate, hospital and government networks in many countries, including the United States and Russia.
*5/15/17 Russian FM Says Syrian Safe Zones Could Be Stretched Across Whole Country.
Russia, Turkey and Iran, the guarantor states of the Syrian ceasefire, which coordinated the memorandum on establishment of four safe zones in the country, consider that in the future this practice will be spread across the whole Syrian territory, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
Commenting on the recent meeting with US State Secretary Rex Tillerson and US President Donald Trump, Lavrov noted that “this initiative was at the center of the agenda, which had been proposed by Donald Trump at the early stage of his presidency — the idea of creation of safe or de-escalation zones, where there will be no hostilities, except against terrorists.”
“As you know… several days ago, at the meeting in Astana, Russia, Turkey, Iran, the Syrian government and the armed opposition coordinated the memorandum, which sets such zones in four Syrian districts, meaning that this practice will be then extended to the rest part of the Syrian territory,” Lavrov said in the air of Channel One on Sunday.
During the fourth round of Astana talks on Syrian reconciliation, held on May 3-4, Russia, Turkey and Iran signed a memorandum on establishment of four safe zones in Syria. The four zones span the northwestern Idlib province and parts of the neighboring Latakia, Hama and Aleppo, the north of the central Homs province, Eastern Ghouta near Damascus, as well as southern Daraa and Quneitra regions. The memorandum came into force on May 6.
On May 10, Lavrov met with Trump at the White House and held talks with Tillerson, during which they discussed Syria, Ukraine and bilateral relations.
**5/15/17  ‘Last Dying Breath’: Daesh Nearly Eliminated in Battle for Mosul. According to US Joint Special Operations Command reports, elements of the Iraqi elite Counter Terrorism Service overwhelmed the Ureibi and Rifaie districts of Mosul in the early morning hours on Sunday, bringing the battle to reclaim the Iraqi town from Daesh extremists close to the end.
Daesh fighters, according to Reuters, remain in only a few ever-shrinking districts on the western side of the town, including the historic district of the Old City, where it is expected that the extremists will be forced to surrender or die.
“Daesh is drawing its last dying breath,” asserted Lieutenant General Qasim Nazzal, the commander of the ninth division, speaking with Iraqi state television on Sunday.
5/13/17 If the Yemeni port city of Al Hudaydah, which is controlled by the Houthi rebels, comes under attack, at least 400,000 people will flee the city, further complicating the under-resourced humanitarian response, the UN International Migration Agency (IOM) said Friday.
Yemen’s civil war between the internationally recognized government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi movement backed by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh erupted in March 2015. Shortly after the outbreak of the conflict, the Saudi-led coalition of mostly Persian Gulf countries launched airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi’s request.
The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) characterizes the situation in Yemen as “the largest humanitarian crisis in the world,” with 18.8 million people in need of humanitarian or defense assistance, including 10.3 million who require immediate aid to save or sustain their lives.
The Arctic Council includes Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Russian Federation and the United States. While this international body cannot make any binding decisions, it provides information to help governments craft their policies, according to Marin Forsius, chairman of the council’s Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme working group.
“You need a rapid implementation of this Paris Agreement. It would make a big difference to the Arctic and the whole globe. It will be important that all countries implement this agreement and go even further,” he said.
During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump insisted that climate change is a Chinese hoax, and called for the US to withdraw from the 2015 Paris Agreement on carbon gas emissions.
According to Dr. Chai Qimin, a director at the National Centre for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation of China, doing so would cost US a diplomatic price, as it would affect talks at the G7 and G20 groups of wealthy nations.
5/11/17 South Korea has a new president whose policy is widely anticipated to mark a major shift towards cooperation with North Korea. Hyun Lee of the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea spoke with Radio Sputnik about whether such expectations are justified.
​Moon is a former chief-of-staff to the late President Roh Moo-hyun, who was a follower of his predecessor, Kim Dae-jung, the author of the so-called Sunshine Policy, one of engagement with North Korea. Moon has stated that he will resume the Sunshine Policy, after it was abandoned a decade ago.
“The question is whether the United States, the Trump administration will allow room for Moon to lead in terms of the alliance with North Korea,” Lee said. “And if not, then whether Moon will actually stand up to the US.
5/9/17 Liberal politician Moon Jae-in decisively won South Korea’s presidential election on Tuesday, an exit poll showed, an expected victory that would end nearly a decade of conservative rule and bring a more conciliatory approach toward North Korea.
Moon’s victory would end months of political turmoil that led to parliament’s impeachment of conservative former President Park Geun-hye over an extensive corruption scandal, which a court upheld in March. Park became the first democratically elected leader in South Korea to be removed from office, triggering a snap election to choose her successor.
Climbing a temporary stage set up in the main square in downtown Seoul, a beaming Moon surrounded by his Democratic Party leaders, vowed to usher in a new era for a country badly bruised by the scandal.
“I will make a just, united country,” he told a crowd gathered at midnight to see the former human rights lawyer who entered politics just five years ago. “I will be a president who also serves all the people who did not support me.”
5/8/17 Turkey’s Erdogan lashes out at israel over muezzin bill, us embassy transfer. The Turkish president condemned “the Israeli crimes against the Palestinians.”
5/5/17 The article “Iran, Syria, Hizballah Battle to Kill Two New Security Zones Plans” is an exclusive article and can be purchased.
**5/5/17 The article “Assad’s Secret Decree 1445 Makes Iran Military Ruler of Syria” is an exclusive article and can be purchased.
**5/5/17 Russia’s defense ministry said Friday that the deal to set up safe zones in Syria reached in Kazakhstan between Russia, Iran and the Assad regime, will go into effect at midnight local time. Turkey agreed to act as a guarantor. Moscow said the US, the UN and Saudi Arabia also support the idea. However, it is unclear whether all the rebel groups will abide by the “de-escalation” mandated in those zones because theyreject Iran’s involvement as a guarantor. The US is also skeptical about Iran’s role. An official commented that Iran had “only contributed to the violence, not stopped it.”
5/3/17 Sisi discusses Arab efforts to resolve regional crises with Abu Dhabi crown prince
The president stressed the importance of continued work to develop relations on all levels, adding that the current period holds major challenges for all Arab countries and calling for unified Arab efforts to boost national security.
El-Sisi also presented during the meeting several development projects underway in Egypt, including the establishment of new cities and other projects related to infrastructure, energy and transportation.
The UAE crown prince stressed that his country supports Egypt’s aspirations to achieve stability and development, adding that stability in Egypt means stability for the whole region.
Bin Zayed said that El-Sisi’s visit to the UAE reflects the continued good relations between the two countries.
The UAE, a key ally of Egypt, has supported Cairo economically and politically since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
**5/3/17 Putin & Trump discuss Iranians on Israel’s border.
Israel was seriously dismayed Wednesday, May 3, when first reports reached Jerusalem about the telephone conversation between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin Tuesday, during which Trump agreed to consider Putin’s plan for “de-escalation zones” in Syria, in place of the American security zones proposal. The Russian president’s plan includes the posting of Iranian military officers as co-monitors for those zones, one of which is to be located on the Syrian-Israeli border.
President Trump described the conversation as “Very good.”
The four “de-escalation zones” proposed would be situated at:
1. The northwestern province of Idlib up to the Turkish border;
2. The central Syrian province of Homs (where also the Al-Shariat air base hit by US Tomahawks last month is located);
3. The East Ghouta suburb of Damascus (including also a big military airfield);
4. The Southern region along Syria’s borders with Jordan and Syria.
The Russian president explained that the “guarantor countries” – i.e. Russia, Turkey and Iran – would appoint the monitors for the de-escalation zones.
DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that Israel was deeply concerned to discover that President Trump had nodded to Putin going forward with his plan, despite Iran’s active involvement. He was even ready to send a US official for the first time to the fourth round of the Syrian peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition in Astana Wednesday, although this process is jointly sponsored by Russia, Turkey and Iran. Stuart Jones, acting assistant Secretary of State, was sent to attend the meeting in the Kazakh capital as an observer, thereby elevating the former American representation from ambassador..
This development caused Israeli disquiet on a number of grounds:
a) The Iranian monitors for the new zones will sit directly opposite the Israeli border. Notice has gone out to Washington and Moscow that the Israeli government will on no account countenance an Iran military presence along its border.
b)  Israel also eyes with mistrust the possible deployment of Russian and Turkish offices along its border with Syria.
c)  Declaring eastern Damascus a protected zone would obstruct Israel aerial operations for keeping Iranian air shipments of advanced weapons via Syria out of Hizballah’s hands. Iran would be able to renew its shipments under full protection.
You can read more about the Russian and American “zones” for Syria in the coming issue of DEBKA Weekly out Friday, May 5. To subscribe to this publication, click here.
d)  There were also some misgivings in Israel about the way National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster characterized President Trump’s approach to foreign policy, shortly before Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas arrived at the White House on Wednesday.
“The president is not a super-patient man,” he said. He does not have time to “debate over doctrine, and instead seeks to challenge failed policies of the past with a businessman’s results-oriented approach,” McMaster said.
The trouble is that Middle East issues, such as the Syrian conflict and Israeli security, demand patience and rather more than a businessman’s results-oriented approach, else they may lead to such potentially disastrous consequences as an Iranian military presence that is far too near and dangerous for Israel to countenance.
5/3/17 Within a War’: What Will Ankara’s Aggression in Syria Mean for Washington?
Turkish airstrikes on Kurdish YPG and PKK groups in Iraq and Syria seem to risk widening the rift between Ankara and Washington. Could they lead to a greater conflict – or just the opposite?

Turkey’s raids on Kurdish positions both in Syria and Iraq reflect an aggressive strategy on the part of Syria’s northern neighbor, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seeks to recreate the Ottoman Empire and once again become the top Middle Eastern power.
Turkey is NATO’s second largest military, Shakdam noted, and the US maintains that NATO is not involved in Syria. According to her, Turkey’s behavior challenges US authority within the alliance — a sign of the alliance’s weakening from within.
5/3/17 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims that the Iranian “expansion” in the Middle East region poses a threat to Russia.
“We are concerned over the axis Russia-Iran. Of course, Russia has many explanations of its behavior: it wants to prevent the victory of the Daesh [Islamic State, outlawed in Russia], to defeat it. But, of course, it does not mean that we are ready to change the Daesh for Iran, so that Hezbollah or Shia militias use the Syrian territory, the Syria part of the Golan Heights to attack us,” Netanyahu said adding that permanent military presence of Iran and its “satellites” in Syria is unacceptable for Israel.
Russia and Iran are cooperating on settling the Syrian conflict, being mediators of the Astana talks on the Syrian reconciliation. Both countries support Bashar Assad as the legitimate president of Syria.
5/3/17  Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman al Saud claims that Saudi Arabia had no option but to support Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and to invade the country.
DUBAI (Sputnik) – Saudi Arabia had no option but to support Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and to invade the country, Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman al Saud told the MBC broadcaster.
5/3/17 Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman al Saud says that it is impossible to reach mutual understanding between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
“The Iranian regime adheres to the extremist ideology, that is why it is impossible to reach mutual understanding with it … There is no common ground between us and the Iranian regime,” the deputy crown prince said on Tuesday.
From his point of view, the main target for Tehran is Saudi Arabia, not Syria, because Iran wants to control the Muslim holy sites in Mecca.
5/2/17 Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar went back on his resolve not to meet his rival, Fayez Seraj, head of the UN-backed government Fayez Seraj, and sat down with him Tuesday in the United Arab Emirates. Regional and Western powers have been pushing the two to open and renegotiate the UN-mediated agreement that led to the creation of Seraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA). The deal was an attempt to end Libya’s turmoil since a NATO-led force toppled Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Haftar is the dominant figure in eastern Libya, where local factions rejected the GNA, contributing to its failure to expand its power in Tripoli and beyond. **1/15/17  Hollande: World cannot impose peace deal on Israel, Palestinians

At peace conference, French president urges direct talks but warns Middle East cannot be ‘stabilized’ without accord; French FM warns Trump not to move US embassy to Jerusalem

French President Francois Hollande on Sunday said the world cannot impose a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a lasting peace accord can only be clinched through direct talks.
Addressing a Paris peace conference in Paris with the representatives of 70 countries in attendance, Hollande also warned the international community not to forsake peace efforts as it focuses on the fight against the Islamic State, as the region cannot be stabilized without a resolution to the “oldest conflict in the Middle East.”
**1/15/17 Israel thanks Jamaica for skipping controversial UNESCO vote
Netanyahu welcomes Kingston’s refusal to back ‘absurd’ resolution, which ignored Jewish ties to Temple Mount
**1/15/17 Hamas, Islamic State resume close cooperation despite pressure from Cairo
Jihadist group’s Egyptian affiliate has opened a propaganda office in Gaza, sends its wounded fighters to Gaza’s hospitals, and runs lucrative smuggling tunnels into the Strip.
**1/15/17 Following the Ministerial meeting held in Paris on 3 June 2016, the Participants met in Paris on 15 January 2017 to reaffirm their support for a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They reaffirmed that a negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, is the only way to achieve enduring peace.
They emphasized the importance for the parties to restate their commitment to this solution, to take urgent steps in order to reverse the current negative trends on the ground, including continued acts of violence and ongoing settlement activity, and to start meaningful direct negotiations.
They reiterated that a negotiated two-state solution should meet the legitimate aspirations of both sides, including the Palestinians’ right to statehood and sovereignty, fully end the occupation that begin in 1967, satisfy Israel’s security needs and resolve all permanent status issues on the basis of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and also recalled relevant Security Council resolutions.
They underscored the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 as a comprehensive framework for the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, thus contributing to regional peace and security.
They welcomed international efforts to advance Middle East peace, including the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 on 23 December 2016, which clearly condemned settlement activity, incitement and all acts of violence and terror, and called on both sides to take steps to advance the two-state solution on the ground; the recommendations of the Quartet on 1 July 2016; and the United States Secretary of State’s principle on the two-state solution on 28 December 2016.
They noted the importance of addressing the dire humanitarian and security situation in the Gaza Strip and called for swift steps to improve the situation.
They emphasized the importance for Israelis and Palestinians to comply with international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law.
II) The Participants highlighted the potential for security, stability and prosperity for both parties that could result from a peace agreement. They expressed their readiness to exert necessary efforts toward the achievement of the two-state solution and to contribute substantially to arrangements for ensuring the sustainability of a negotiated peace agreement, in particular in the areas of political and economic incentives, the consolidation of Palestinian state capacities, and civil society dialogue. Those could include, inter alia:
– a European privileged partnership; other political and economic incentives and increased private sector involvement; support to further efforts by the parties to improve economic cooperation; continued financial support to the Palestinian Authority in building the infrastructure for a viable Palestinian economy;
– supporting and strengthening Palestinian steps to exercise their responsibilities of statehood through consolidating their institutions and institutional capacities, including for service delivery;
– convening Israeli and Palestinian civil society fora, in order to enhance dialogue between the parties, rekindle the public debate and strengthen the role of civil society on both sides.
III) Looking ahead, the Participants;
– call upon both sides to officially restate their commitment to the two-state solution, thus disassociating themselves from voices that reject this solution;
– call on each side to independently demonstrate, through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to the two-state solutions and refrain from unilateral steps that prejudge the outcome of negotiations on final status issues, including, inter alia, on Jerusalem, borders, security, refugees and which they will not recognize;

– welcome the prospect of closer cooperation between the Quartet and Arab League members and other relevant actors to further the objectives of this Declaration.
As follow-up to the Conference, interested Participants, expressing their readiness to review progress, resolved to meet again before the end of the year in order to support both sides in advancing the two-state solution through negotiations.
France will inform the parties about the international community’s collective support and concrete contribution to the two-state solution contained in this joint declaration.
**1/15/17 Paris conference ends with call for both sides to affirm commitment to two-states
France warns of ‘serious consequences’ of US moving embassy to Jerusalem; Kerry tells Netanyahu he’s working to limit damage of confab.
Abbas hails Paris declaration, says ready to resume talks
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas welcomes the Paris peace conference’s final declaration, saying it “affirms” December’s UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlements, the PA’s official Wafa news agency reports.
“Palestine is ready to resume negotiations on all final status issues, to create a full and lasting peace through the framework of an international mechanism and a specific timeframe along international parameters, the Madrid principles, the Arab Peace Initiative, Security Council Resolution 2334 and the Paris declaration,” Abbas says in a statement.

Abbas states the “necessity of following up the implementation” of Resolution 2334 and the peace conference’s declaration and will travel to Paris in the coming weeks for that purpose, and welcomes French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to Ramallah.

— Dov Lieber
**1/13/17 Israel is bracing for more hostile declarations from a bloc of more than 70 nations meeting Sunday in Paris with the goal of embracing a document that calls for a two-state solution with a Palestinian state formed within the 1949 boundaries.
Israel will not even have a representative in Paris, nor will Israel be present when Pope Francis meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas the day before, on Saturday. This has led some to describe the pope’s meddling as tantamount to “having a wedding without the groom.”
This weekend’s developments are just the latest in a three-week nightmare for Israel that has coincided with the final month of Barack Obama’s presidency.
The United Nations Security Council passed a resolution Dec. 23 calling all of east Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria “occupied Palestinian land.” Five days later, Secretary of State John Kerry declared that construction in Judea and Samaria stands as one of the main obstacles to peace and said Israel could either be Jewish or Democratic, not both.
Now, the Paris peace summit document looms, and the fear is that it will be used by the U.N. as the basis for yet another anti-Israel resolution or statement that will be issued when the U.N. Security Council meets on Jan. 17, just three days before Obama leaves office.
“Despite significant U.S. military and diplomatic weakening under Obama’s leadership, the U.S. remains the world’s leading global nation state,” Bachmann told WND. “Tragically, Obama unmistakably sent the message that the problems of the world are Israel’s fault.”
And why would he do that?
“Because Jews seek to live quietly on their own rightfully secured land, and Arabs want the land known as Israel,” Bachmann said. “Arab leaders announce every day they will not rest until Israel is no longer a Jewish state, and apparently Obama agrees with that.”
1/13/17 A meeting of energy and oil ministers of seven Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Algeria and Iraq will take place in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – According to media reports, citing OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo, the meeting which will take place on the sidelines of the Global Energy Forum, will have an informal nature.
The meeting will take place before the OPEC monitoring committee meeting in Vienna on January 21-22. Kuwait and Russia co-chair the committee convening with an aim establish the mechanism for monitoring the implementation of the oil output cap agreement. In November 2016, OPEC agreed to cut oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day to 32.5 million barrels per day for the whole cartel starting 2017. On December 10, OPEC finished a meeting with non-OPEC countries in Vienna, at which non-OPEC countries decided to cut oil output by 558,000 barrels per day, with Russia cutting the output by 300,000 barrels per day from January 2017.
There is language in the document that pays lip service to the concept of a solution “not being imposed” on the parties, “yet that is precisely what U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, the Paris Peace Summit ‘Agreement,’ and the upcoming UNSC Resolution seek to do,” according to a report by the Jewish Press.

1/12/17 Representatives of 72 countries will attend the upcoming conference in Paris ostensibly for promoting Israel-Palestinian peace.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have been invited to come to France after the conference to learn of its conclusions, the French news agency AFP reported. Netanyahu, who has criticized the process, saying only direct negotiations between the two parties will be effective, has said he will not travel to Paris.
1/12/17 Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Wednesday urged the international community to speak out against the intention of the new United States administration to move the American embassy to Jerusalem.

Speaking with visiting Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende, Hamdallah warned that moving the embassy would lead to “an explosion in the security situation in the entire region”.

Hamdallah and Brende also discussed ways to ensure the success of the international peace conference to be convened in Paris next week, to save the two-state solution and to ensure the establishment of a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders.

The PA Prime Minister’s comments are the latest in a series of warnings by PA officials against the planned move of the American embassy to Jerusalem, a campaign promise of President-elect Donald Trump.
1/12/17 While USMC division VMFA-121 declared the F-35B fleet operational in 2015, despite years of problems, cost overruns, and persistent fires, the deployment marks the first international relocation of the fifth-generation fighter jets. Through 2016, the US bought 71 F-35Bs, however 10 of the “B” variety jets are part of a squadron stationed in Japan, USMC spokesman Capt. Kurt Stahl told Defense News.
“The short take-off vertical landing aircraft is a true force multiplier,” the Corps said. Check it out.
1/11/17 Though Hamas and Hezbollah both possess improved rocket abilities and Hamas recently discovered how to defeat Israel’s Iron Dome, the Israeli government has continuously displayed reluctance to start – or be drawn into – another war. This may be because the IDF has not yet been able to replenish its weapons arsenal after it was depleted during Operation Protective Edge.
1/10/17 Russia gained approval from the six signatories of the nuclear deal with Iran for the supply of 130 tons of raw uranium to Iran, after Tehran complied with its commitment to ship out surplus tons of heavy water. Heavy water is used to cool the reactors that produce large quantities of plutonium, which may be an alternative substance to enriched uranium for manufacturing a nuclear bomb.
1/6/17,7340,L-4903978,00.htm  Russian ground to ground missiles discovered by Israel in Syria
Several Russian SS-26 Iskandar ground to ground missiles discovered by Israeli satellite; stationed at the Latakia airbase in Syria, they are thought to be in use by the Russians, missiles are able to hit Tel Aviv, J’lem; can carry half ton warhead.
Russian ground to ground missiles discovered by Israel in Syria
Several Russian SS-26 Iskandar ground to ground missiles discovered by Israeli satellite; stationed at the Latakia airbase in Syria, they are thought to be in use by the Russians, missiles are able to hit Tel Aviv, J’lem; can carry half ton warhead.
1/3/17 U.S. officials stunned the free world, especially their own citizens and those of close ally Israel, just before Christmas when they abstained from a U.N. resolution condemning Israel for building housing.
But they mostly have insisted they had nothing to do with bringing the resolution to the international organization’s agenda, an assertion that conflicts with a new report from an Egyptian daily newspaper, the Al-Youm Al-Sabi’.
The publication says that just days before the U.N. Security Council vote, a Palestinian Authority delegation met in Washington with Obama administration officials “for secret talks.”
The details of the Egyptian report has been documented by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
MEMRI said the Egyptian paper, “which is close to Egyptian intelligence services, published an expose of the minutes of the secret talks, according to the report, by Ahmed Gomaa, the Palestinian delegation included PLO executive committee secretary and negotiating team leader Saeb Erekat; Palestinian general intelligence chief Majid Farah” and others.
“According to the report,” MEMRI said, “the minutes of the ‘top secret’ meeting of [Secretary of State John] Kerry, [National Security Adviser Susan] Rice, Erekat, and Faraj revealed U.S.-Palestinian coordination leading up to the U.N. Security Council vote on Resolution 2334 regarding Israel’s settlements, which was adopted December 23.
“It states that the sides ‘agreed to cooperate in drafting a resolution on the settlements’ and that the U.S. respresentative in the Security Council was ’empowered’ to coordinate with the Palestinian U.N. representative on the resolution,” MEMRI said.
1/3/17 Syrian rebel groups suspend peace negotiations
Syria’s ceasefire comes under threat as government forces intensify attacks near Damascus and 10 rebel groups pull out of peace talks.
The talks are due to take place in the Kazakh capital Astana in late January but the rebels announced on Monday they were pulling out of discussions due to “violations” by Damascus of the four-day old truce.
The talks are being organized by Russia, which supports the Syrian regime, and Turkey and Iran, which back the rebels.
“As these violations are continuing, the rebel factions announce… the freezing of all discussion linked to the Astana negotiations,” they said in a joint statement.
The rebels said they “respected the ceasefire across the whole of Syria… but the regime and its allies have not stopped shooting and have launched major and frequent violations, notably in the (rebel) regions of Wadi Barada and Eastern Ghouta”, near Damascus, they said.
1/2/17 Iran will be the winner if Putin is victorious in Syria
The war is far from over, but winning it can spell disaster for Putin and for the West.
With Iran effectively controlling the territorial contiguity of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, Putin, by “winning,” will have turned Iran into an Islamic superpower that is a grave strategic danger to Russia itself.  And, while Aleppo has been reduced to rubble and the Syrian rebels are losing, they still have not quite lost.  Therefore, Putin still has much more massacres of Syrian Sunnis ahead before he blunders into “winning” and crowning Iran with its new empire at Russia’s cost.  Putin’s egregious error in Syria is beginning to make Bush’s stupidity in Iraq look like genius – in comparison.
12/31/16 Jordan army chief: ISIS in Golan have anti-aircraft missiles.
Jordanian army chief says ISIS may have access to anti-aircraft missiles in Golan.
Jordanian Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mahmoud Freihat warned in an interivew with BBC on Saturday that ISIS fighters have anti-aircraft missiles.
In the interview, which was given in Arabic, Freihat referred specifically to the Syria-Jordan-Israel border, near the Golan Heights area.
“This faction is a constant and close threat to Jordan. Some of the areas its fighters are in are a kilometer away from the border,” he said.”They have tanks, armored vehicles, anti-aircraft missiles and machineguns that can hit the military posts on the frontline.”
In truth, the ISIS was reported to have seized Russian anti-aircraft missiles a few weeks ago, when they recaptured th Syrian town of Palmyra, and they are not the first terrorist group to have anti-aircraft abilities.
The US Congress also may have contributed, by allowing the US to sell anti-aircraft missiles to Syrian rebel groups, despite the high risk they would fall into ISIS’ hands.
12/31/16 Sporadic fighting mars second day of Syria ceasefire.
Activists say Hezbollah-backed regime forces violating truce, claim latest offensive on Damascus area threatening 100,000 civilians
12/31/16 Russia seeks UN backing for Syria truce. While Syria ceasefire holds, Russia pushes for UN intervention.
A ceasefire held across most of Syria for the second day Saturday despite sporadic clashes near Damascus as Russia pushed for a UN resolution on the truce it brokered.
Moscow says it wants the United Nations to be involved in peace talks between Damascus and rebels in Kazakhstan in January, although the UN is negotiating separately for an to end the war.
Rebel supporter Turkey and key regime ally Russia, which brokered the ceasefire, say the talks in the Kazakh capital Astana aim to supplement UN-backed peace efforts, rather than replace them.
They want to involve regional players like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan.
12/31/16 The deal calls for negotiations over a political solution to end the conflict that has killed more than 310,000 since 2011 and forced millions to flee. A ceasefire held across most of Syria for the second day Saturday despite sporadic clashes near Damascus as Russia pushed for a UN resolution on the truce it brokered.
Moscow says it wants the United Nations to be involved in peace talks between Damascus and rebels in Kazakhstan in January, although the UN is negotiating separately for an to end the war.
Rebel supporter Turkey and key regime ally Russia, which brokered the ceasefire, say the talks in the Kazakh capital Astana aim to supplement UN-backed peace efforts, rather than replace them.
They want to involve regional players like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan.
Diplomats however said they did not see how a quick UN weekend vote could occur as the resolution needed to be “seriously studied” and hinted Russia might be hard-pressed to muster the nine votes needed for it to pass. UN peace envoy Staffan de Mistura has said he hoped the agreement would “pave the way for productive talks,” but also reiterated he wants negotiations mediated by his office to continue next year.
In an interview published Saturday, De Mistura said a UN resolution that foresees a political transition in Syria was still on the table, although the focus had shifted following territorial gains by the regime.
“We now have before us another scenario: a negotiation between the Assad regime and the rebels,” he told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.
The Security Council held closed-door consultations on the Russian-proposed resolution early Friday and Moscow later amended the draft at the request of several member states.
The latest version of the resolution, a copy of which was seen by AFP, includes a reference to the talks being led by de Mistura.
12/30/16 UK: Kerry attack on Israel was inappropriate; US: Really? His remarks matched UK policy and the UK’s vote at the UN

Britain and the US in deepening war of words over Kerry’s anti-settlement speech
Theresa May rebukes secretary’s wrong-headed approach, exaggerated focus on settlements; State Dept. implies UK being hypocritical, says other countries are backing Kerry
The outgoing Obama administration and the British government of Theresa May are engaged in an unprecedented war of words over Secretary of State John Kerry’s blistering critique of Israeli settlements.
Britain voted in favor of last Friday’s UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned settlements as illegal and called for a halt in all settlement activity, while the US abstained. But a spokesman for May, who has expressed robust support for Israel in a series of recent speeches and messages, on Thursday castigated Kerry’s subsequent speech, accusing him of a wrong-headed approach and of being unfair to Israel.
In his address Wednesday, Kerry defended America’s decision not to veto the resolution and focused overwhelmingly on settlements as a central cause of the failure to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He warned that Israel’s agenda was being set by extremists, criticized the composition of Israel’s government, and declared that the future of a two-state solution was being jeopardized by Israeli policy.
Hours after Britain issued its rebuke, the State Department hit back furiously, denying that Kerry’s speech was unfair, hailing the support the secretary had received from other leaders, and implying that Britain was behaving hypocritically.
The diplomatic tussle is highly unusual between the US and UK, and Britain’s decision to attack Kerry for ostensible unfairness to Israel is still more extraordinary, echoing as it does the criticisms of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Castigating the Netanyahu coalition, Kerry said it was “the most right-wing in Israel history with an agenda driven by the most extreme elements. The result is that policies of this government, which the prime minister himself just described as more committed to settlements than any in Israel’s history, are leading … towards one state. In fact,” he added, “Israel has increasingly consolidated control over much of the West Bank for its own purposes.”
12/30/16 Leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Friday called on French President Francois Hollande to cancel or, at least, postpone the international meeting on Middle East peace his country has scheduled for January 15, 2017 in Paris.
In a statement, Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of the Conference of Presidents, called the planned conference “ill-conceived, poorly timed and damaging to prospects for peace.”
“In the aftermath of adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which was a significant step backward in achieving direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and Secretary Kerry’s speech on Middle East Peace earlier this week, the international community should not plunge forward with the ill-conceived and poorly timed Paris conference,” they said.
“Now is a time for serious reflection on how peace can best be achieved, not for another sham forum in which the usual one-sided outcomes against Israel are the likeliest result. Given the significant issues that were raised in the past week which have long term implications for the prospects for peace, proper preparation after serious consultation is essential,” added Greenberg and Hoenlein.
“There are a number of compelling reasons to postpone the conference, including the impending transition to a new U.S. administration on January 20,” the pointed out. “It makes no sense that the next administration is precluded from participating in a discussion of an essential component of U.S. foreign policy with which it will be engaged. Possible outcomes would add further uncertainty that will harm future prospects while unnecessarily inserting a new element of instability to the region.
“While we have received a written assurance that the U.S. will veto any further Security Council resolutions regarding Middle East peace, it may not be able to prevent a damaging outcome of the Paris conference. We urge the U.S. to announce that it will not participate at this time, in light of all the above considerations,” said Greenberg and Hoenlein.
“We call on leaders of all the invited countries, as well as members of the administration and Congress to work to cancel the Paris meeting and refocus on the parties coming together for direct negotiations without pre-conditions. Israel has long sought direct talks, it is time for the Palestinian leaders to stop evading their responsibility and seeking to use international fora to avoid the only true path to a lasting peace,” they concluded.
France has been making ongoing efforts to resume Israel-Palestinian Authority (PA) peace talks which have been at a standstill for more than two years.
Israel has long opposed the French initiative, explaining that the only way to reach a peace agreement is through direct talks with the PA, which the PA refuses, choosing instead to impose preconditions on talks.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told French President Francois Hollande that he was willing to meet PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas “directly, without preconditions”.
Instead of accepting Netanyahu’s invitation for direct talks, Abbas this week yet again imposed preconditions on talks.
In a statement published shortly after Kerry’s speech on the Middle East, Abbas said he was ready to resume peace efforts with Israel “the minute the Israeli government agrees to cease all settlement activities.”
12/30/16 The current ceasefire will be followed by a comprehensive peace negotiations, according to reports. Kazakhstan’s capital Astana will host a peace conference, with the government of Syria and opposition factions participating, comprising “an important step”in “the ultimate resolution of the crisis,” according to a statement by the Kremlin.
It was noted that 13 militant factions agreed to sign the five-point peace agreement, public relations official Osama Abu Zeid said Thursday, speaking in Turkey.
Staffan de Mistura, UN envoy for Syria, noted that “these developments should contribute to inclusive and productive intra-Syrian negotiations to be convened under UN auspices on February 8, 2017.”
“”intra-Syrian negotiations to be convened under UN auspices””????
12/30/16 Ozturk Yilmaz, a deputy chair responsible for foreign relations of the Turkish opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), stated that if all participating parties could implement the ceasefire agreement on the ground, it would be a very important development on the way to the long-term solution for Syria crisis after six years of civil war.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Participation of all sides, including the United States, is necessary to have viable peace negotiations on the Syrian crisis settlement, Ozturk Yilmaz, a deputy chair responsible for foreign relations of the Turkish opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), told Sputnik on Thursday.
Earlier on Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia launched the groundwork for talks between the Syrian government and opposition in Kazakhstan’s Astana alongside Turkey and Iran.
“Turkey, Russia and Iran as sides guarantying this cessation of hostilities and also pushing forward the peace process in Astana this is excellent, but to be able to have viable peace talks I think that we need all sides including the United States and new US administration to take part in these talks,” Yilmaz said.
Also on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the Syrian government and armed opposition groups reached an agreement on a ceasefire on the Syrian territory and on readiness to start peace talks.
If all participating parties could implement the ceasefire agreement on the ground, it would be a very important development on the way to the long-term solution for Syria crisis after almost six years of civil war, Yilmaz noted.
“We want the [peace] process to be successful and Syrian civil war must be ended … otherwise there is no option, other option only a continuation of war. I think it is not in interests of any party including the US and other parties … We have to use this chance to have a successful outcome,” Yilmaz added.
Yilmaz welcomed the possible joining of Egypt to the ceasefire agreements if Cairo contributes in a positive way by trying to narrow the gap between the sides of the conflict following the Russian foreign minister’s statement on readiness of Moscow to invite Egypt to join the Syrian ceasefire agreements.
Three ceasefire documents have been signed between the Syrian government and the armed opposition forces. The armistice takes effect from midnight on Thursday (22:00 GMT). The documents also introduce a monitoring mechanism and set forth that the parties are ready to start peace negotiations.
12/29/16 Ongoing Israeli settlement construction will spark a war that will lead to the Jewish state’s “complete destruction,” an Iranian military official said on Thursday, the Tehran regime-aligned Tasnim news agency reported.
A day after US Secretary of State John Kerry assailed Israel’s settlement policies and less than week after the UN Security Council passed an anti-settlement resolution, General Ramezan Sharif — a spokesman for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps — stated that further settlement building would “definitely provoke a reaction.”
Sharif — according to Tasnim — also called the US abstention from last Friday’s Security Council vote a “sign that Washington has come to realize the course of events and continued settlement construction will result in the collapse of the Zionist regime of Israel.”
Iranian regime officials often issue exterminationist threats against Israel and predict the country’s demise.
At a military parade in Tehran in September — as reported by The Algemeiner — a banner on the side of a truck carrying a new long-range Iranian ballistic missile said, “If the leaders of the Zionist regime make a mistake then the Islamic Republic will turn Tel Aviv and Haifa into dust.”
In his speech on Wednesday, Kerry asserted that without a two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinians, Israel “can either be Jewish or democratic, it cannot be both, and it won’t ever really be at peace.”
12/29/16 President Vladimir Putin has announced that the Syrian government and rebels have signed a truce deal and are ready to begin peace talks. The ceasefire begins Thursday, Dec. 289, at midnight local time. The deal excludes the Islamic State the ex-Nusra Front and all groups linked to them. He did not say which rebel groups were covered.
We have been waiting for this event for a long time and working very hard, said, Putin at a meeting with foreign and defense ministers. He said the two sides had signed three documents:
The first document covers the ceasefire; the second is a set of measures to monitor the ceasefire, and the third is a statement of readiness to start peace negotiations on the Syrian settlement.
Putin noted that the Syrian deal was fragile and required special attention and patience and constant contact with the partners.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier that Turkey and Russia would act as guarantors under the plan. The two countries back opposing sides in the conflict, which has raged for more than five years. If true, and if the truce deal is respected, it could end a six-year civil war that has killed potentially more than 430,000 and forced around 11 million from their homes.
DEBKAfile’s sources add: The Russian-Turkish initiative, to which Iran is almost certainly co-opted, brings the Syria war the closest it has ever been to conclusion in more than five years of bloodshed. Its success will be tested at midnight on Thursday, Sept. 29, and the coming peace talks in Kazakhstan.

Vladimir Putin pulled off a gamble by stepping up direct Russian military intervention in the brutal conflict 16 months ago and using his air force to swing the tide of war in favor of victory for the Bashar Assad government – which was his endgame.

Whether by coincidence or design, Putin’s announcement of the Syrian truce deal landed on a hectic international stage. US President Barack Obama and a group of senators weighed in Wednesday with a call for fresh sanctions as punishment for alleged Russian hackers’ interference in the presidential election campaign, although many Western cyber experts note the absence of concrete evidence of this.

At the end of the day, outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry delivered his parting shot against Israel in a 1 hour, 17 minute tirade devoted entirely to the elusive Israel-Palestinian peace.
His content and the bitterness of his tone indicated how far the Obama administration was out of touch with the latest Middle East developments and the ebbing of US influence on major events.
*12/29/16 Premium content – payment required
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12/29/16 Egypt’s High Court of Justice on Thursday rejected an appeal against the country’s agreement to transfer sovereignty over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. Cairo and Riyadh had reached an agreement in April for the handover of Tiran and Sanafir, located in the Tiran Strait at the southern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba. However, the transfer was delayed for more than half a year due to the appeal. The decision now lies with the Egyptian parliament, which will hold a vote on final approval.
*12/29/16 Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed Thursday that a cease-fire agreement, scheduled to go into effect at midnight, has been signed by the Syrian military and rebel groups. Following a meeting with his defense and foreign ministers, Putin said the “very fragile” agreement requires “special attention and patience, professional attitude, and constant contact with our partners.” He said it consists of three main documents: one signed by the Syrian government and the opposition to halt hostilities; one specifying the measures for maintaining the cease-fire; and one with a declaration of intention to resolve the conflict. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said seven rebel groups with a total of about 60,000 soldiers signed the agreement, and that a hotline had been set up between the Russian and Turkish military commands to help maintain the truce. He added that “All conditions have been created for the reduction of the Russian group in Syria” without specifying the timing of such a withdrawal or the units to be sent home.
*12/27/16 Israel’s defence minister has urged Jews to leave France and move to the Jewish state as the Israeli government continued to lash out at the international community in the wake of a UN resolution criticising its settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Four days after the US allowed the UN Security Council to censure Israeli settlement building, Israel’s government is on a heated rhetorical campaign against the 14 countries that voted against it.
It has cut aid programmes, summoned ambassadors for angry admonishing and Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has apparently decided to snub Theresa May at next month’s Davos meeting in retaliation for Britain’s vote.
The Israeli government is also focusing on discrediting a French-hosted summit on Israeli-Palestinian peace scheduled to be held in January in the final days before Barack Obama leaves office.
Mr Netanyahu fears the summit will be used by the outgoing US president as a final chance to leave a mark on the Middle East peace process before Donald Trump takes over.
Avigdor Lieberman, the defence minister, said the summit was “a modern day version of the Dreyfus trial”, the infamous 19th century trial that exposed widespread anti-semitism in France.
“This is not a peace conference but rather a tribunal against the State of Israel. This is a conference whose only role is to undermine Israel’s security,” Mr Lieberman said. “On the defendant’s bench, instead of one Jew, will be the entire State of Israel.”
He urged French Jews to migrate to Israel saying it was “the only answer that should be given to this plot”.
Mr Netanyahu irked the French government by making a similar suggestion after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris in January 2015, implying that France was unable to protect its roughly 450,000 Jews from jihadist attacks.
Israel’s goal is to discourage any new international action on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict until Mr Trump takes office on January 20.
The president-elect criticised the White House for not using America’s veto power to stop the UN from censuring Israel and has signaled that he intends to robustly support Mr Netanyahu.
He kept up his criticism on Twitter on Tuesday, saying: “The United Nations has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!”
Israel accused the Obama administration of engineering the UN resolution as a parting shot against Israel and offered to supply the incoming Trump administration with “rather ironclad” evidence of behind the scenes US maneuvering.
*12/27/16 Israel is bracing for yet another potential clash with the Obama administration in the final weeks before President-elect Donald Trump takes office, as Secretary of State John Kerry prepares to follow up last week’s anti-settlement U.N. censure with a major address on the U.S. vision for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Times of Israel and Israel’s Channel 2 report that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is concerned about an Obama administration bid to have the Security Council endorse principles for a Palestinian state, and is reaching out to allies in the U.S. Congress and the incoming Trump administration to try and deter further action against Israel.
Netanyahu reportedly is concerned about what parameters Kerry may lay out for a Palestinian state.
While it is unclear whether the Obama administration would push for any further Security Council action – after a U.S. abstention allowed the anti-settlement resolution to clear the council Friday – the White House confirmed that Kerry is planning a speech regarding the peace process.
Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told Channel 2 that Kerry will lay out a comprehensive vision for how the U.S. sees the conflict being resolved.
He also rejected Netanyahu’s description of last week’s vote as an “ambush,” citing long-standing concerns from President Obama and Kerry about settlement activity pushing into the West Bank and making a two-state solution more difficult to achieve. Rhodes defended Obama’s support for Israel and, perhaps assuaging Netanyahu’s latest concerns, said the U.S. was not looking to impose a resolution to the conflict via the U.N. measure.
Obama in 2011 publicly called for Israel to pull back to the borders that existed before the 1967 Six-Day War, a call Netanyahu rejected at the time. Netanyahu spokesman David Keyes told Fox News on Monday they were “definitely concerned” when asked about Kerry’s planned address.
*12/26/16 How does the UN Security Council resolution declaring Israel’s settlements and buildings in the West Bank and east Jerusalem as illegal impact International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s decision about whether to dive deeper into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? It is clear that UNSC Resolution 2334 was a disaster diplomatically, as well as from a public relations angle, and that Israel is living in a new more hostile world than it was prior to Friday.
Simply put, diplomatically, such a UNSC resolution might be worse than any ICC criminal case.
But even in the worst case scenario and this new hostile world, the damage legally is also far more contained than people may realize.
While the non-judicial UNSC calls the entire settlement enterprise of hundreds of thousands of people illegal, Bensouda’s examination from the start has been limited to events which occurred after November 29, 2012 – when the UNGA declared “Palestine” a state.
Libman pointed out that all of the worst language against the settlements in the UNSC resolution is basically word-for-word from three UNSC resolutions from 1979-1980. Saying the settlements have “no legal validity” are “flagrant violations” and are against both international law and “international humanitarian law” are not new.
However, until now, the UNSC resolutions condemning the settlements as illegal were around 35 years old. They had not been repealed, but the Oslo Agreements had intervened, Camp David II had set out a vision of Israel keeping settlement blocs and all attempts to repeat such unequivocal settlement language had been vetoed by the US.
Now those arguing that the settlement enterprise should be prosecuted as war crimes can connect the dots between the 1979-1980 resolutions, the 2004 ICJ decision and the 2016 resolution.
More critically, the 2016 resolution comes out in the middle of an ICC examination. If Bensouda wants to point to what the most current trend of thinking is regarding the settlements of international law, the resolution could be a body blow for Israel.
Still, that does not end the debate, as the ICC’s Rome Statute does include language that both direct and indirect actions of population transfer are war crimes. The late addition of “indirect” was perceived as focused on Israel’s settlements and was the reason Israel never ratified the ICC’s Rome Statute, despite being deeply involved in trying to establish the ICC.
At the end of the day, the question is whether Bensouda will decide to be the first one in history to prosecute people for building houses and laying water pipes, as opposed to being focused on genocide, mass killings and mass rape – which many conceive of as the ICC’s true purpose.
No one can know for sure, but Shany said he believes Bensouda will order a full criminal investigation. He noted that the settlement enterprise “is not just one porch sitting in Gilo” and that, along with the UNSC resolution, its immensity will be too big to ignore from its perspective.
Twitter: Carter and anti-Israel kingdoms are giggling about this:
**12/23/16  In an unprecedented diplomatic rebuke of Israel, the United States abstained Friday on a United Nations Security Council resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements, allowing the highly charged measure to pass.
The resolution was approved 14-0 with the one abstention. The vote was greeted with loud applause in the packed Security Council chamber.
The measure demands Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.” It declares the establishment of settlements by Israel has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”
In abstaining, the U.S. brushed aside calls for a veto by president-elect Donald Trumpwho, in an unprecedented move, managed to delay the vote a day by weighing in with Egypt, the initial sponsor of the resolution.
In a tweet after the vote, Trump offered his reaction to the outcome: “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.”
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power, in remarks to the council after the vote, said the U.S. position on the settlements has remained unchanged for five decades, and quoted a 1982 statement by then-President Ronald Reagan, which declared Washington “will not support the use of any additional land for the purpose of settlements.”
“The U.S. has been sending the message that the settlements must stop, privately and publicly, for five decades,” Power said.
Settlement activity, she added, “harms the viability of a negotiated two-state outcome and erodes prospects for peace and stability in the region.”
At the same time, she said, “Our vote does not in any way diminish our steadfast and unparalleled commitment to the security of Israel.” Israel, she noted, “faces very serious threats in a very tough neighborhood.”
In a statement issued by his office, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahusaid, “Israel rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the U.N. and will not abide by its terms.”
“At a time when the Security Council does nothing to stop the slaughter of half a million people in Syria, it disgracefully gangs up on the one true democracy in the Middle East, Israel, and calls the Western Wall ‘occupied territory.'”
Netanyahu, whose relations with President Obama have been decidedly strained over the past eight years, said the U.S. administration “not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the U.N., it colluded with it behind the scenes.”
“Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and with all our friends in Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution,” the statement said.
The American Jewish Congress also expressed dismay with the move.
“In the strongest terms possible, the American Jewish Congress is deeply disappointed with the Obama administration for shamefully abstaining on today’s anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution,” the group said in a statement. “By the U.S. abstaining, President Obama abandoned long standing American foreign policy of vetoing one-sided resolutions against Israel at the United Nations, and in doing so, he steps away from his presidency, turning his back on the unbreakable bond with our great ally Israel.”
At the U.N., Israeli ambassador Danny Danon criticized the U.S. abstention, saying he has “no doubt” the Trump administration will usher in a new era. In remarks to the council, he said Jews have conquered many obstacles in the past, and “we will overcome this evil decree, too.”
Pro-Israel lobby AIPAC said it was “deeply disturbed” the Obama Administration declined to veto what it called a “destructive, one-sided, anti-Israel resolution.”
“By adopting this resolution, the United Nations has once again served as an open forum to isolate and delegitimize Israel — America’s lone stable, democratic ally in the Middle East,” AIPAC said in a statement.
In the past, the U.S. has vetoed a similar resolution, which Israel strongly opposes.
White House officials said the administration’s decision not to veto is consistent with its long-standing opposition to Israeli settlements, calling them an incitement to violence and an impediment to peace.
The United Nations resolution “makes clear that both Israel and the Palestinians have to take steps to preserve the two-state solution,” said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.
Rhodes said the U.S. had nothing to do with the U.N. resolution, and that the Obama administration has been warning Israel for years that settlements were increasing its international “isolation.”
As for Trump’s tweet, Rhodes said Obama remains in charge until Jan. 20. “There is one president at a time,” he said.
While the resolution does not call for sanctions on Israel, it amounts to a high-profile rebuke of the Israeli government and could hamper Israel’s negotiating position in future peace talks. Palestinians argue that the expansion of settlements on the disputed land makes a peace deal even less likely.
Under international law, Israeli settlements — built on Palestinian land occupied by Israel — are considered to be illegal. Some 600,000 Israelis live in east Jerusalem and on the West Bank, which the Palestinians seek as part of a future independent state. Israel captured both areas in the 1967 Mideast war.
Israel argues the final status of the territories should be determined in any future talks on Palestinian statehood.
Although Egypt withdrew the measure Thursday, co-sponsors New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal requested the vote take place Friday. To pass, it needed nine “aye” votes and no veto from a permanent council member — the United States, France, Russia, Britain or China.
3/15/16  Geneva – Syrian opposition negotiators demanded on Tuesday that Syria’s government spell out in detail its thoughts about a political transition and said there had been no progress on freeing detainees, who were being executed at a rate of 50 a day.
George Sabra, a negotiator from the opposition High Negotiations Committee, said the delegation had given UN mediator Staffan de Mistura a proposal on a transitional government with full executive powers. De Mistura said he wanted ideas from all sides and hoped to merge them into a common position.
3/15/16 Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, has long been a major ally of the United States but the relationship has deteriorated under Obama. Prince Turki al-Faisal, the kingdom’s former intelligence chief and envoy to Washington, lashed out at Obama’s recent comments to The Atlantic magazine.
In its April issue, The Atlantic quoted Obama as reproaching the Saudis for trying to influence other Muslim countries, particularly Indonesia, by exporting its fundamentalist version of Islam. He also said the Saudis need to “share” the Middle East with their Iranian foes.
3/15/16   The more immediate concern for the next 10-15 years, Ya’alon insisted, was that the Iranians have created a “radical axis” throughout the Middle East that they are exploiting to gain greater dominance in the region. “The regime in Tehran has become a central party in order to solve the problems of the Middle East,” he said.
Ya’alon told former Middle East peace negotiator Aaron David Miller, a vice president at the Wilson Center who moderated the forum, that he was apprehensive about President Obama allowing Iran to assert its influence over international attempts to ameliorate the Syrian crisis, as Israel borders Syria to its north along the Golan Heights. “To leave us with an Iranian-dominated Syria,” he said, “we can’t agree with it.”
In a recent interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, Obama addressed the linkage theory when asked about his 2009 Cairo reset speech, titled “A New Beginning,” in which he aimed to improve US relations with the Muslim World. “My argument was this: Let’s all stop pretending that the cause of the Middle East’s problems is Israel,” Obama told Goldberg.
The president’s comments dismayed critics, including MK Michael Oren, who was Israel’s ambassador to the US when the speech was given, and who recalled the president saying no such thing. Oren told the Algemeiner on Thursday that the speech Obama gave in Cairo “nowhere mentions that the Israeli-Palestinian issue is not the core of the Middle East’s other conflicts. It actually implied the opposite.”
3/15/16  Republican front-runner Donald Trump hammered by opponents for saying he would be a neutral broker in Mideast peace process.
3/15/16 Two American officials confirmed to CNN on Monday that senior Islamic State (ISIS) operative Omar al-Shishani is dead. Shishani was one of the ISIS leaders most wanted by Washington which put a $5 million bounty on his head. Also known as Omar “the Chechen” al-Shishani, he was born Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili and once served in an elite Georgian military unit.
3/14/16  “Putin Tries to Browbeat Netanyahu into Submission on S. Syria” is an exclusive article and can be purchased.
3/14/16  A sign of where Moscow as heading now was disclosed by his order to the Russian foreign Minister to “Intensify our participation in a peaceful solution of the Syrian conflict”
This was a reference to the UN-brokered talks resuming in Geneva Tuesday, March 15, between the warring sides of the Syrian conflict.
As for Assad, he has no intention of playing along with Putin’s plans for him to step down and hand over rule in Damascus in stages. Assad does not mean to quit at any time.
The Russian president may have acted now because he was simply fed up with the interminable bickering with his two allies, which was going nowhere except for the continuation of the calamitous five-year war. He therefore presented them with a tough fait accompli. If you want to carry on fighting, fine; but count the Russian army out of it.
3/14/16  the U.N. Statistical Commission — an obscure body of national experts that calls itself the “apex entity of the international statistics system” — is a document as sprawling, undefined and ambitious as the sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, themselves — which  lay out 17 goals and 169 sometimes overlapping targets to transform global society.
what amounts to a global socialist or progressive agenda.
targets to transform global society.
what amounts to a global socialist or progressive agenda.
3/14/16 A Hamas delegation to Cairo has asked Egyptian authorities to stop destroying its tunnels leading out from the Gaza Strip.
The Hamas representatives, led by senior member Moussa Abu Marzouk, tried to convince Egyptians intelligence and security officials that Cairo is mistaken when it speaks of connections between local terror groups in the Sinai Peninsula and the Hamas administration.
Members from the Gazan delegation presented evidence that they are not involved in the attacks and are not connected with the terror organizations carrying them out. In addition, they pledged to act in coordination with Egyptian forces to investigate the attacks.
In light of these promises, the Hamas members asked Egypt to stop its anti-tunnel activity, which include flooding the area above the tunnels. The flooding collapses the tunnels, kills the Hamas diggers and sinks nearby homes.
Egypt responded that it will consider fulfilling some of the requests, but only if it is proven that Hamas has cut off its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, and as long as it promises not to act in Egyptian territory or to operate its own forces in an effort to bypass Egyptians.
Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, and has been repeatedly linked to an ongoing jihadist insurgency against the Egyptian state in the Sinai Peninsula, spearheaded by the country’s ISIS franchise, “Sinai Province.”
3/14/16  Geneva – Syria’s opposition on Monday welcomed a Russian announcement that it would start pulling forces back from Syria, saying a serious withdrawal would put pressure on Syrian authorities and give peace talks a positive impetus.
3/14/16 Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria, AFP reports.
3/13/16  His reference to the “global community” comes in the wake of a Wall Street Journal report last week, which cited senior US officials revealing US President Barack Obama intends to use the UN to divide Jerusalem. According to the officials, Obama intends to no longer veto anti-Israel resolutions at the UN Security Council, and thereby pressure Israel into concessions. With tensions at a new high between US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon flew on Saturday night for a working visit in the United States.
**Today March 13, 2016 (Mine)  3/13/16  Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, held a series of meetings with top officials and lawmakers in Washington DC last week, according to a PLO press release on Saturday. Ashrawi met with Rob Malley, (1/20/16 Special Assistant to President Barack Obama 3/9/16 Incoming French Foreign Minister softens tone on proposed peace conference, rejects “automatic” recognition of Palestinian statehood. France’s new Foreign Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, appears to be backtracking on plans to unilaterally recognize Palestinian statehood. 3/3/16 Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday reiterated his opposition to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, and also referred to the current terror wave as a “legitimate peaceful protest”.
He made the comments at the start of a meeting of the Revolutionary Council of his Fatah organization, attended by members of the Fatah Central Committee.
In his speech at the meeting, Abbas once again expressed his support for the French political initiative which seeks to convene an international peace conference.
France, which announced the peace conference initiative in January, has threatened to unilaterally recognize the “State of Palestine” if the initiative fails.
Abbas said that there is a need to convene an international peace conference in order to end the current deadlock in the peace process, and also said that the Palestinians intend to appeal to the UN Security Council in order to have resolutions passed calling for the “end of the settlements in all the Palestinian territories.”
**Today March 11, 2016 (Mine) DebkaFile continues to tell us about the Iran ‘deal’!
Read the rest of this article online:{3/11/16 Turkey and Saudi Arabia hit back for the Obama-Putin Syrian pact! Turkey and Saudi Arabia have taken separate steps to break free from Washington’s dictates on the Syrian issue and show their resistance to Russia’s highhanded intervention in Syria. They are moving on separate tracks to signal their defiance and frustration with the exclusive pact between Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin which ostracizes Riyadh and Ankara on the Syrian question. 3/12/16 The Saudi delegation at the Arab League stormed out of a meeting after Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari defended the Shi’ite Hashd Shaabi militia grouping, an Iraqi foreign ministry source told Reuters on Friday.
Tensions between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslim powers have been on the rise as sectarian wars rage in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, and the Arab League has become a forum for predominantly Sunni countries, led by Saudi Arabia, to air grievances with regional Shi’ite power Iran.
“The Saudi delegation withdrew from the meeting hall after the speech of Foreign Minister Al-Jaafari who rejected speaking against Hashd Shaabi and other resistance groups,” the source said, declining to be named
3/12/16 My thought was, I would communicate that the U.S. is not standing in the way of this progress, that we would help, in whatever way possible, to advance the goals of a practical, successful Arab agenda that provided a better life for ordinary people.”
For supporters of the president, Goldberg sums up, “his strategy makes eminent sense: Double down in those parts of the world where success is plausible, and limit America’s exposure to the rest. His critics believe, however, that problems like those presented by the Middle East don’t solve themselves — that, without American intervention, they metastasize.”
3/11/16 Three to four rockets from Gaza hit open regions in the city of Sderot. No injuries or damages. n response, the Israeli air forces attacked Hamas sites in Gaza.
3/11/16 Turkey and Saudi Arabia hit back for the Obama-Putin Syrian pact! Turkey and Saudi Arabia have taken separate steps to break free from Washington’s dictates on the Syrian issue and show their resistance to Russia’s highhanded intervention in Syria. They are moving on separate tracks to signal their defiance and frustration with the exclusive pact between Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin which ostracizes Riyadh and Ankara on the Syrian question. Last year, President Reccep Erdogan tried in desperation to partially open the door for a mass exit of Syrian refugees to Europe. He was aghast when he found that most of the million asylum-seekers reaching Europe were not Syrians, but Muslims from Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan, in search of a better life in the West. Most of the Syrians stayed put in the camps housing them in southern Turkey.
The oil kingdom’s rulers find it particularly hard to stomach the sight of Iran and Hizballah going from strength to strength both in Syria and Lebanon.
The Saudi Defense Minister, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman put together a more high-risk and comprehensive scheme. Its dual purpose is to hit pro-Iranian Hizballah from the rear and force the two big powers to treat Riyadh seriously as a player for resolving the Syrian imbroglio.
The scheme hinged in the cancellation of a $4 billion Saudi pledge of military aid to the Lebanese army, thereby denying Hizballah, which is a state within the state and also dominates the government, access to Saudi funding. But it also pulled the rug from under Lebanon’s hopes for combating ISIS and Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, which have grabbed a strip of Lebanese territory in the northern Beqaa Valley.
The Turkish president finds himself in a position analogous to Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi, who is at war with the Muslim Brotherhood, a movement which enjoys Obama’s support.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has his own dilemmas. Struggling to keep his balance while walking a tight rope on the Syrian situation between Israel’s longstanding ties with Washington and handling the Russian tiger lurking next door, he is in no hurry to welcome Erdogan’s determined overtures for the resumption of normal relations. (Read online)
Turkey is in trouble with both major world powers and, after living for five years under hostile abuse from Ankara, Israel does not owe Erdogan a helping had for pulling  him out of the mess.
3/11/16 DEBKAfile’s intelligence and military sources reported Thursday morning that a very high-ranking officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Brigadier General Hassan Ali Shams Abadi, was killed on the front in the area of the Syrian city of Aleppo. He was the head of the Iranian communications and intelligence network for the front.
3/5/16  Putin has suspended the transfer of S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran in light of Tehran’s violation of an earlier pledge not to provide sophisticated Russian-made weaponry to the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah, according to a report Saturday in the Kuwaiti daily Al Jarida. A senior source told the newspaper that the Russian leader elected to punish the Iranian regime after Israel supplied him with clear-cut evidence that Tehran had given its proxy Hezbollah SA-22 missiles.

3/5/16 Syrian President Bashar Assad must leave office at the start of a transition in his country, not at its culmination, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Saturday, Reuters reported.  Jubeir also said Saturday that Saudi Arabia would itself take delivery of a $3 billion arms deal from France initially destined for Lebanon. Riyadh recently announced it was withholding the delivery of weapons to Lebanon in protest over Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terror group allied to Saudi rival Iran that is fighting in support of the Syrian regime.
In light of positions taken by Hezbollah, the kingdom had conducted “a total evaluation of its relations with the Lebanese republic,” an unnamed official told the Saudi Press Agency last month.
3/5/16 Tehran – Iran and Turkey aim to triple their annual trade to $30 billion within two years, officials said in Tehran on Saturday, despite the two countries being at odds over fighting in Syria. Visiting the Iranian capital, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met Iran’s first vice president Eshaq Jahangiri.
The trade target comes after tensions rose between Turkey and Iran over the war in Syria after Ankara shot down a Russian fighter plane last year.
Russia and Iran back Syrian President Bashar Assad while Turkey has sought his removal and supported rebels fighting to overthrow the Damascus regime.
Jahangiri acknowledged that Iran has “differences” with Turkey on regional issues.
3/5/16,7340,L-4774325,00.html Report: Hezbollah prepares for ‘biggest war ever’ with Israel. Sources tell Foreign Policy that the group has developed a new level of military organization, the ability to capture and hold Israeli towns, accurate guided missiles, and equipment that could target Israel’s air force and navy.  Jeffrey White, a defense analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, is quoted as saying that Hezbollah can now use guided munitions to hit targets throughout Israel with accuracy, “including command posts, airfields, and major economic targets”.
This alleged capability was recently touted by the group’s secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah, as a way to strike Haifa’s chemical plant and kill thousands. What’s more, White said the group apparently possesses sophisticated air-defense systems and naval cruise missiles that could target the IAF and Israeli oil platforms.
3/4/16 Saudi Defense Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman
For the first time in the five-year Syrian conflict, Saudi Arabia is preparing to supply Syrian rebel groups with anti-air and anti-tank missiles in an attempt to stall Russia’s military efforts to extend Bashar Assad’s days in power. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the defense minister, is choreographing this escalated Saudi intervention in the Syrian war. He plans to arm Syrian rebels militias with missiles capable of striking the new Russian T-90 tanks, which DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources disclose were shipped directly to the Syrian army’s armed divisions in the last two weeks from the Russian Black Sea base of Novorossiysk. DEBKAfile’s military sources point out that in the Afghan war, the Saudis acted with the full support of the United States, whereas in Syria, the Americans are solidly opposed to any Saudi intervention. That is a huge difference between the two cases.
The introduction of Saudi missiles in support of the anti-Assad opposition would create a new situation in the Syrian conflict, whereby Riyadh also has a say – not just Washington, Moscow and Tehran. And that is exactly what Defense Minister Mohammed was after. Saudi willingness to give the rebels missiles takes the oil kingdom’s intervention in the Syrian conflict a lot farther than Israel, the Gulf emirates, Jordan or Turkey have been ready to go until now.
3/4/16 Hezbollah sources cited in a unique speak peak into the Lebanese Iran-proxy terror group claim that they have gained powerful weapons and experience from the Syrian civil war, which will allow them to invade Israel in their third war against the Jewish state.
The Foreign Policy article Thursday, entitled “Hezbollah’s Death Valley,” spoke about Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria, where it is fighting to prop up Bashar al-Assad’s regime on Iran’s orders. It has lost many of its terrorists there, but sources in the group told the paper the fighting has only helped them.
“In the next war, Hezbollah won’t stay on the borders, and the Israeli settlements in the north will not be protected from this,” a source close to the terror group based in southern Lebanon told the paper, claiming Hezbollah now for the first time can infiltrate Israel in open war. That message was repeated by the sources in the article, with another saying, “the resistance won’t stay in Lebanon; it will reach the Galilee. It will not look like the 2006 war at all.” Randa Slim, an expert at the Middle East Institute, told the paper that the messy situation in Syria where Russia and Iran are also involved in addition to the US-led coalition 
3/3/16  US Secretary of State John Kerry met on Thursday with Martin Kobler, the UN secretary-general’s special representative for Libya, to discuss efforts to support a unified Libyan government, the State Department said. Washington would continue to support Prime Minister Fayez Seraj and the Government of National Accord.
3/3/16 REUTERS – Syria’s electricity supply was gradually returning after it was cut across the country on Thursday and Internet connections were briefly disrupted, state media said.
3/4/16 North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday ordered his country to be ready to use nuclear weapons “at any time” in the face of a growing threat from enemies, Reuters reported, citing official North Korea media. The Security Council unanimously passed a resolution imposing new sanctions after seven weeks of arduous negotiations between the United States and China, Pyongyang’s sole ally.
3/3/16,7340,L-4774115,00.html BEIRUT – A Damascus official says the cease-fire in Syria can succeed if Turkey and Saudi Arabia cease interfering and halt their support for militants.  Ahmad Mounir, Syria’s deputy minister of national reconciliation, told a group of international reporters on a trip organized by Russian foreign and defense ministries on Thursday that a peaceful settlement for his country would also curb the flow to refugees to Europe.
If there is no peace, Mounir says the “terror threat to Europe will increase.”
3/3/16 Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday reiterated his opposition to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, and also referred to the current terror wave as a “legitimate peaceful protest”.
He made the comments at the start of a meeting of the Revolutionary Council of his Fatah organization, attended by members of the Fatah Central Committee.
In his speech at the meeting, Abbas once again expressed his support for the French political initiative which seeks to convene an international peace conference.
France, which announced the peace conference initiative in January, has threatened to unilaterally recognize the “State of Palestine” if the initiative fails.
Abbas said that there is a need to convene an international peace conference in order to end the current deadlock in the peace process, and also said that the Palestinians intend to appeal to the UN Security Council in order to have resolutions passed calling for the “end of the settlements in all the Palestinian territories.”
3/3/16 Iranian Deputy FM claims Gulf states ‘harmed Lebanese security’ by banning Iran-proxy terrorists, lauds group’s attacks on Israel. “The terrorism tag for Hezbollah, the most potent resistance movement, and inattention to the Zionist regime’s atrocities is a new mistake which doesn’t benefit the regional stability and security,” he said as quoted by the state-run PressTV.
The GCC move can be seen as a step up in the tensions between the Saudi states and their Shi’ite Iran axis rival, in tensions that have particularly grown since the Iran nuclear deal last year that reportedly has already begun to launch a regional nuclear arms race.
In outlawing Hezbollah, the GCC noted on how the terrorist group has been recruiting terrorists and smuggling weapons in its member states, which include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.
Amir-Abdollahian defended Hezbollah by saying most of its terrorism is directed against Israel, and he added that it is fighting “terrorism” in the region, in a reference to how it is propping up Bashar al-Assad’s regime against opposition forces in Syria on Iran’s orders.
“We are proud of Lebanon’s Hezbollah as the vanguard of resistance against the Zionist regime and the champion of the fight against terrorism in the region,” he said.
3/3/16 RIYADH — The national army and the popular resistance have liberated more than 85 percent of the Yemeni territories from the grip of the Houthis and the forces of the ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemeni President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi said in an exclusive interview.
He admitted that Yemen would have fallen in four days and would have been an Iranian state had it not been for the Operation Decisive Storm launched by the Arab military coalition under the leadership of Saudi Arabia.
The president expressed confidence that Sanaa, which was taken by the Houthis, would be freed after the liberation of Taiz and Hudaidah.
3/4/16 An attack on a Syrian rebel group in the Golan Heights earlier this week could have security repercussions for Israel. At least 18 people were killed, among them the leader of the Revolutionary Command Council in Quneitra and Golan, in a village near the town of Quneitra, which abuts the border fence that separates the Israeli and Syrian sides of the Golan Heights. The Revolutionary Command Council, which has been active in the area since 2013, is one of many anti-Assad groups operating near the border with Israel in a Syrian civil war marked by often-changing circumstances. The Revolutionary Command Council’s leader is Abdullah al-Bashir al-Noemi, who is also the current chief of staff of the Supreme Military Council, the central body of the Free Syrian Army. The Revolutionary Command Council, like the larger umbrella FSA it is in coalition with, presents itself as non-Islamist and opposed to the policies of groups like Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaida affiliate.
3/3/16 Al-Jubeir accused Russia of targeting Syria’s moderate opposition groups. UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura was in contact with the Russians and the Syrian regime on this matter to reach an agreement that would limit or end military operations against the moderate Syrian opposition and focus instead on Daesh (the so called IS) and Al-Nusra, he said. “Things will become clearer in the coming days on whether the regime and Russia are serious or not about the ceasefire,” he said.
In comments about meeting with his Danish counterpart Jensen, Al-Jubeir said: “We talked about the importance of the departure of Al-Assad so that we can defeat and eliminate Daesh. We talked about the ceasefire agreement to be applied in Syria, provided that this agreement shall not be violated and be adhered to by all parties.” Al-Jubeir reiterated the Kingdom’s position that Al-Assad won’t be any role in a future government in Syria, saying that it is nonnegotiable. “The only question is whether he goes out in a peaceful way or through a military solution? He also reaffirmed that the Kingdom is ready to send special forces to Syria if the international coalition against Daesh, led by US, decides to send ground troops to the country.
3/2/16,7340,L-4773382,00.html The Gulf Cooperation Council formally declares Lebanese group to be a terrorist organization; Its secretary general states: It is a militia; Hezbollah’s incitement and terrorist acts in Syria, Yemen and Iraq are contrary to morality and human values. The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council decided Wednesday to formally define Hezbollah a terrorist organization. The decision comes against the backdrop of the recent crisis between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon in which Saudi Arabia has decided to stop the transfer of security assistance to the Lebanese army and Lebanese security forces following the increasing influence of Hezbollah in state institutions.
It was the secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani who made the declaration. “It is a militia. Hezbollah’s incitement and terrorist acts in Syria, Yemen and Iraq are contrary to morality and human values,” he said.
In a speech on TV Nasrallah accused Saudi Arabia of stepping to a low level with the broadcast on Saudi TV last week of a parody of himself, and teased the Saudis currently at war in Yemen saying that “Yemenis are the most deprived people in the world – more than the Palestinians’.
3/2/16  A car bomb exploded Wednesday afternoon at a building being used as a command center for a US-backed Syrian rebel group, Jabhat Thuwwar Souriya, outside the Syrian town of Quneitra close to the Israeli border. As a result of the massive explosion in the village of Asheh, the building collapsed and over 25 rebel fighters were killed including the group’s leader Abu Hamza al-Naimi. The bombing was apparently carried out by local cells of the Al-Sabirin organization trained and operated by Hizballah as DEBKAfile‘s intelligence and military sources have reported.
3/2/16 Special forces troops from the Jordanian army raided a number of streets on the outskirts of Irbid, about 75 km north of Amman, as they kicked off a wide-scale operation aginst ISIS on Tuesday. More than 10 fighters from the terrorist organization were killed or wounded in the fighting that ensued. A number of the Jordanian troops were injured as well. 
3/2/16 The southwester town of Zabadani, 30 km west of Damascus, is a ghost town, depopulated by five years of Syrian war ravages, except for one sign of life – or rather death. Since December, Hizballah has enclosed this once attractive tourist resort, strategically located on the Damascus-Beirut highway, into a heavily fortified ex territoria enclave whose high walls conceal the terrorist group’s new program for the development of weapons of mass destruction. This is disclosed for the first time by DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources. Most of the facilities for the research and development of chemical weapons and dirty bombs are sunk below the surface of the secret 2.5 sq. km site.
Syrian and Iranian engineers and technicians are developing the chemical weapons for Hizballah’s arsenal, and foreign experts were hired from outside the Middle East to help build radioactive weapons. They are kept out of sight in on-site accommodation at Zabadani.
A telltale sign that the Shiite terrorist organization was actively pursuing a radioactive bomb program – and which prompted our investigation – was dropped in a speech given by Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Feb. 16.
He boasted that a pair of Hizballah rockets falling on the Israeli city of Haifa would cause a catastrophe equivalent to a “nuclear bomb” attack. He elaborated on this: “An Israeli expert had said that Haifa’s residents fear a deadly attack on the ammonia storage tanks which contain more than 15,000 tons of this gas. That would lead to the deaths of tens of thousands of Israelis and affect another 800,000,” he declared.
“This would be exactly like a nuclear bomb and we can say that Lebanon today has a nuclear bomb, seeing as any rocket that might hit these tanks is capable of creating a nuclear bomb effect,” Nasrallah said.
When someone like the Hizballah terrorist chief drops four references to a nuclear bomb in as many sentences, ending with the boast that “Lebanon today has nuclear bomb,” it must be presumed that he is crowing over some sort of nuclear device in hand.
It may not be an actual atom bomb – which would call for multimillion dollar investment, expertise and time, “only” a “dirty bomb” (essentially a conventional bomb mixed with radioactive material). That too could cause massive damage to Haifa’s chemical industry, resulting in a high death toll, runaway panic and major disruption – the perfect weapon for terrorists.
Israeli officials decline to discuss Hizballah’s new WMD program, but it certainly raises hard questions for Moscow and the commanding Russian military presence in Syria. It is hard to believe that the Shiite terrorists can develop game-changing poison chemicals and dirty bombs in the heart of Syria, without Russian intelligence noticing what was going on. Does that mean that Vladimir Putin is amenable to his air force providing it with cover?
3/2/16  Kerry says that if the Syrian ceasefire breaks down, he has a Plan B to partition Syria along ethnic and religious lines. If this happens, will it signal the end of the Westphalian concept of sovereignty? That is, the legal concept that establishes the rule of nation states over their own territories and domestic affairs as a guiding principle of international law? If so, would the UN then need to adjust its charter to foster new norms of sovereignty based on ethno-religious lines rather than territorial integrity? That is, rather than exercisingfixed sovereignty within a bounded territorial space, would the new concept of flexiblesovereignty now be able to expand or contract in territories with similar or dissimilar ethnic and religious groups? In this case, would large countries with multi-ethnic and multi-cultural identities such as China, Russia, India and other nations adhere to this new norm?
A Syrian partition may also stir a much wider global ripple effect where the viability of the Westphalian concept of sovereignty is concerned. There might be a theoretical chain reaction. If as outlined in a 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report the US backs Turkish, Saudi and Qatar efforts to create a Salafist statelet in partitioning Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey supports “East Turkestan” secession from China, China supports “Kurdistan” secession from Turkey, and Russia supports Texas secession from US — it would appear the world is slowly entering a post-Westphalian and Huntingtonian remaking of a new world order.
3/1/16 “The European Union renews its concrete commitment to the Palestinians,” Federica Mogherini, the EU high representative for foreign affairs, said in a statement. “Through this package, the EU supports the daily lives of Palestinians in the fields of education and health, protecting the poorest families and also providing the Palestinian refugees with access to essential services. These are tangible steps on the ground that can improve the lives of Palestinian people.”
Mogherini called on the PA to “become more transparent, more accountable and more democratic” and uphold human rights, which she said is a prerequisite for the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state “living side by side, in peace and security, with the State of Israel and other neighbors.”
While the press release refers to the Palestinian Authority as Palestine, it notes that the designation “shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the Member States on this issue.”

When the 1st Beast and the ten horns destroy Babylon, the beast will then be in control of all the world and the UN and the EU will worship the beast by acknowledging his authority and power.

Chapter 13:1-10 describes the 1st beast and is separated from verses 11-18 because they describe the 2nd beast and how he worships the 1st beast. Chapter 13 gives a spiritual description of the 1st and 2nd beasts works and covers all of the 7 years – the 1st beast’s 3 ½ yrs and then the 2nd beast’s 3 ½ years. Notice verse 13:5 specifically states the 1st beast has 3½ years. Dan 2:36-44; 7:3-7; Zech 1:18-21; Rev 17:12; All refer to the same World Kings and Countries. Zech 1:2, 21, the 4 artisans may refer to the 4 horsemen of Rev 6:1-8; Isa 26:21.

Chapter 13

Rev 13:1 THEN I stood on the sand of the sea and I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name Rev 9:2,11; 11:7; 12:3,9,13; 13:1; 17:3,8,16; 19:20; 20:2,3,10; (Isa 27:1) Eze 28:12-13,15,17-19; Dan 7:7-28; 8:23-25; 9:27; 11:16,36-38; Zech 1:19; 2 Thess 2:3-4;

1st Beast – (7 countries? 10 Kings?), 7 heads, 10 horns, 10 crowns
Note: Rev 12:3 The Great Red Dragon, Satan, has – 7 heads, 10 horns, 7 crowns
Isa 27:1 In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that [is] in the sea.
Eze 28:12Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 13Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone [was] thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 15Thou [wast] perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 17Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. 18Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. 19All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never [shalt] thou [be] any more.
Dan 7:7; After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it [was] diverse from all the beasts that [were] before it; and it had ten horns.
Dan 8:23And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. 24And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. 25And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify [himself] in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
Dan 9:27; And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Dan 11:16But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed. 36And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. 37Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. 38But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
Zech 1:19; And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What [be] these? And he answered me, These [are] the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.
2 Thess 2:3,4; Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Rev 13:2 Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. Rev 9:2,11; 13:1,5,12-15; Eze 26:7; 38:6; Dan 2:39-41; 7:19-26; 8:23-26; 11:40-45; Zech 1:19;
1st Beast like a
Leopard (ISIS, Iraq, Iran, Syria)
Bear (ISIS, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey),
Lion (Babylon)
ISIS, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey,  with the help of Russia.
Eze 26:7; For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people.
Eze 38:6; Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: [and] many people with thee. Note: Gomer is mentioned also in Rev 19: before the 2nd and final war against God. Perhaps it is Gomer in both wars, although I do not ascribe to that interpretation.
Dan 2:39-41; And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all [things]: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
Dan 7:19Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth [were of] iron, and his nails [of] brass; [which] devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; 20And of the ten horns that [were] in his head, and [of] the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even [of] that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look [was] more stout than his fellows. 21I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
Dan 8:23And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. 24And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. 25And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify [himself] in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
Dan 11:40And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. 41He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many [countries] shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, [even] Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
Zech 1:19; And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What [be] these? And he answered me, These [are] the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. (Key to conclusion to me)
Rev 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. Rev 12:3; 13:14; Dan 8:23-25;
1st Beast (wounded mortally but healed)
06/10/14 ISIS! A little horn rising up in the middle east!
Note: The one who rises up out of the joined forces of ISIS, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey is wounded with a deadly wound. The leader of that country may be called the Beast. Joel Rosenberg believes Iraq will again be Babylon.

Rev 13:4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” Note: acknowledging his authority equals worship

1st Beast

Rev 13:5And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Rev 11:2,3; 12:6,14; 13:5; Isa 10:5-13; Dan 7:8,25; 12:7;

1st Beast has 42 months
Speaking Great Things, Blasphemy
Peace Treaty
Dan 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: (Note: this ‘one week’ is 7 years) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. Thinks he’s God Isa 14:12-14; Dan 11:37; 2 Thess 2:3-4;
Isa 10:5-13; O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation…………. For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done [it], and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant [man]:
Isa 14:12-14 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Dan 7:8,25; I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn [were] eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. And he shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
Dan 11:37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
Dan 12:7; And I heard the man clothed in linen, which [was] upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that [it shall be] for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these [things] shall be finished.
2 Thess 2:3-4 Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Rev 13:6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.

1st Beast – Blasphemes God, His people and Heaven

Rev 13:7It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. Dan 7:21;

Dan 7:21; I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

1st Beast
Makes War with Saints
Given world authority

Rev 13:8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Rev3:5; 13:8; 20:12,15; 21:27; 22:19; Ex 17:14; Ps 69:28; Dan 12:1; Rev 17:8; 20:12,14; Phil 4:3;

1st Beast
Book of Life
Ex 17:14; And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this [for] a memorial in a book, and rehearse [it] in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.
Ps 69:28; Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.
Dan 12:1; And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
Rev 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
Rev 20:12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Phil 4:3; And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and [with] other my fellowlabourers, whose names [are] in the book of life.
I have heard it said there are a set of books in heaven. (Hal Lindsey gives quite a good explanation of the books.) There is a book of life with the name of every person who has ever lived or will live, written down. I believe this is so, and that the names are names God has given them. The DNA could easily be the Identifier of every soul. Not a name we would recognize as our name now, but what God has named him.
There is a book of Works, which lists every deed good or bad for each person. Then there are a couple of other books mentioned by Lindsey. Then Tim LaHaye says he believes there is a ‘Lamb’s Book of Life’ Rev 21:27, which I believe is the book, ‘The Book of Life.’ When a soul determines not to accept Christ as their personal Savior their name is erased from the Book of Life. That still leaves their names in the book of works, and they are judged from that book. The Calvanists believe having your name in the book of life is the list of who God has chosen to be saved from the beginning of time.
I believe, as I have said, it is the name of every person God has planned to create from the beginning of time. Each one chooses life or death. Having one’s name erased from that book is spiritual death.

Rev 13:9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear.

Rev 13:10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.


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