These links offer an excellent follow-up to my previous post on the dangers of a Sunni vs. Shiite war in the Mideast. The first link begins with a graphic which highlights how many Al Qaida or Radical Islamic Jihadist groups are now actively fighting all over the Mideast and North Africa. The text which follows reports that the Al Qaida groups are sprouting up all over without a central leadership, and that Libyan arms from the old arsenals of the overthrown Qhadaffi regime in Libya are being used in Mali, Syria and who knows where else by Jihadists groups. It also notes that the so-called “Arab Spring” uprisings have been a major boon to Al Qaida and Jihadist groups. I will observe that the Jihadists’ benefit from the Arab Spring movement was firmly stopped only in Egypt, where the Egyptian army stepped in forcefully to oust the Muslim Brotherhood and even outlaw it.

The second link adds that the Al Qaida forces which took effective control of two Iraqi cities recently did so in the “wake of what Sunnis viewed as heavy handed moves by the [Shiite] central government.” Al Qaida is generally a Sunni Islamist entity, but it is not entirely clear whether the “Al Qaida” elements who took control of Fallujah and Ramadi really are “Al Qaida” forces or are they Sunni rebels who want to end the control of those cities by the Shiite central government of Iraq? As the second link adds, “The predominantly Shiite military [of Iraq’s central government] is not welcome in Anbar [province],” and “the [Sunni] tribes really don’t want to work with the [Iraqi] army.” These comments indicate that the real conflict in Iraq may be far deeper than mere Al Qaida forces running amok in two cities.

What we may be seeing is the actual uprising of Sunni forces who want to split off Western Iraq [where many Sunni tribes are aligned with Saudi Arabia] from the Shiite Iraqi central government which is aligned with Iran. If so, then Iraq may be headed for the partition that I have indicated was very possible in previous posts: a Shiite Eastern Iraq, a Sunni Western Iraq and a de-facto independent Kurdish Northern Iraq. One more possibility: if it is really just Al-Qaida aligned, Sunni Jihadis who have taken over two Iraqi cities and more-moderate Sunni Tribal leaders really aren’t backing this attack, then the central Iraqi (and Shiite) army, which doesn’t seem very interested in sending its own forces in to assert control over the rebel-held cities, may have made a cynical decision to stand back and let the Sunni factions fight and kill each other. This would only help the Shiites as a Sunni vs. Shiite war seems to be drawing nearer.

The Sunni vs. Shiite fighting in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq has now reached a level of intensity where all it would take is some spark igniting a regional war between nations states and state-proxies along the Sunni-Shiite divide.

Jesus Christ prophesied in Matthew 24:6 that “wars and rumors of wars” will mark the latter days, and has that prophecy ever come true. Islamic Jihadis have already staged two bombing attacks in the Russian city of Volgograd, not far from the Sochi Winter Games Olympic site. If Islamic Jihadis succeed in disrupting the Sochi games with terrorist attacks, I expect Russia to hit the Islamic Jihadis very hard in many locations with military attacks of their own. While I hope that this does not happen (and Russia has taken extensive measures to make sure such attacks do not take place), Russia’s reaction will be most harsh, I believe.