Three separate trends are in place which could plunge the Mideast into war. Such a war could easily draw in other nations such as the USA, Russia, etc. I believe most Americans are clueless about the extent of the danger that now looms in the Mideast. First we will examine the situation in Syria. It has been in a state of smoldering civil war for months, but Assad is still clinging to power. This crisis has just gotten much worse because Syria has shot down a Turkish warplane (see first link). This gives Turkey, a NATO member, a right to respond with military action of its own, and Turkey may welcome such an opportunity. It is giving shelter to about 30,000 Syrian refugees and it hosts (protects) the leadership of the Free Syrian Army. The Turkish Prime Minister said his nation “will determinedly take necessary steps.” The first link also notes that a Syrian pilot defected to Jordan with his Syrian warplane. This indicates the loyalty of Syria’s military to Assad is growing more doubtful. What if the next defector doesn’t fly to Jordan, but decides to strafe Assad’s palace?? Reportedly, the Syrian rebels are now receiving heavier weapons sent to them via Turkey and paid for by Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well as “facilitated in part by the USA.”
However, Assad cannot be written off yet. The second link and third link report that Russia, China and Iran (the three major allies of the Gog-Magog alliance—as longtime readers of this blog know) are giving major support to Assad. These links report that a massive military “maneuver” is being planned by Russia, China and Iran which will take place in Syria. This “maneuver” reportedly will include 90,000 personnel, 400 warplanes and 900 tanks. If a “maneuver” of Russian, Chinese and Iranian forces this large takes place in Syria, its real purpose will be to send military reinforcements to buttress the Assad regime. In an unprecedented action, China is reported to be asking Egypt for permission to send 12 Chinese naval ships through the Suez Canal to go to Syrian ports. The third link reports that Russia is already sending significant military support to Syria to support Assad’s regime (including anti-air missiles to shoot down NATO warplanes if NATO tries to impose a “no-fly zone” like it did in Libya). These actions show that Russia, China and Iran are preparing to play “hard-ball” in order to keep Assad in power. This Syrian civil war is in danger of spinning out of control into a wider conflict.
A second Mideast flashpoint is the cyberattack against Iran by (apparently) the USA and Israel via what is called the “Flame virus” to further slow the Iranian nuclear program (see fourth link). Earlier such attacks included the Stuxnet cyberattack against Iran and the assassination of several Iranian nuclear scientists. Clearly, the West is willing to play “hardball” to make sure Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons. Interestingly, there are many internet stories about the cyberattacks of Chinese and Russian hackers against American targets, but it is the West which is actively waging an actual operational cyberwar against Iran…in order to either prevent a shooting war or to delay it until after the American elections. Iran is surely growing thirstier for revenge in light of these attacks so this increases the likelihood that Iran will engage in military hostilities at some point in the future against the West. This may occur at a time and in a fashion not to the West’s liking.
The final link concerns the growing tensions in Egypt which has just held a presidential election. The two candidates include one linked to the Mubarak regime and a candidate put forth by the Muslim Brotherhood. The former would likely be allied to the West as well as to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Jordan. The latter would likely be an Islamic radical who would be sympathetic with Iran and other radical Islamic regimes. The story includes a bizarre twist: that the USA is supporting the Islamic radical candidate. This would place the USA in a position of supporting a likely enemy of the USA. If this is the case, I cannot help but wonder if anyone is sober at the US State Department.
The Egyptian situation is now more explosive than ever as the Egyptian military has asserted more power over the nation regardless of who is elected and it is the military which will write Egypt’s new constitution. This creates a possibility that the new elected leader of Egypt will be largely a figurehead with limited powers. I actually see this as a good development. Egypt’s military and intelligence services had been cooperating with Saudi, Jordanian, American and Israeli counterparts in an anti-Iranian alliance before Mubarak fell. I see the Egyptian military as much more pragmatic about Egypt’s real interests than anyone in the Moslem Brotherhood could ever be. They know a “jihad” by the Moslem Brotherhood’s leaders in Egypt against Israel could result in the annihilation of Egypt. They also see that if the radical Moslem Brotherhood takes power, fearful tourists may never return to Egypt’s tourist attractions and that could lead to a collapse in Egypt’s economy. This situation could become very explosive and a civil war cannot be ruled out in Egypt either. If such a war were to occur, it would have great effects on the global economy as it would likely make the Suez Canal unavailable to global merchant ships. Outside nations could also intervene in an Egyptian civil war to make sure their favored side emerges victorious.
It is possible that none of the above factors will result in a shooting war, but all of them threaten to spark such a war into happening and if such a war erupts, it will be difficult to contain it within the Mideast. It is also possible that all three of these above flashpoints could explode into conflict simultaneously in a “perfect storm” of danger. If an Iranian-Israeli war erupts, it will especially jeopardize many other nations as Hezbollah forces will likely open fire on Israeli targets from their many missile bases in Lebanon and Hezbollah sleeper cells could be activated to conduct terror attacks all across Europe and North America. Paul warned in II Timothy 3:1 that “perilous times” would come in the latter days of our age. Was he ever right!