Wednesday, July 19, 2017

 

PENCE RESTATES TRUMPS PLEDGE TO MOVE EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM.

JEWISH KING JESUS IS COMING AT THE RAPTURE FOR US IN THE CLOUDS-DON'T MISS IT FOR THE WORLD.THE BIBLE TAKEN LITERALLY- WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE MAKES GOOD SENSE-SEEK NO OTHER SENSE-LEST YOU END UP IN NONSENSE.GET SAVED NOW- CALL ON JESUS TODAY.THE ONLY SAVIOR OF THE WHOLE EARTH - NO OTHER. 1 COR 15:23-JESUS THE FIRST FRUITS-CHRISTIANS RAPTURED TO JESUS-FIRST FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT-23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.ROMANS 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.(THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE)

LUKE 21:28-29
28 And when these things begin to come to pass,(ALL THE PROPHECY SIGNS FROM THE BIBLE) then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (RAPTURE) draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree,(ISRAEL) and all the trees;(ALL INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES)
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(ISRAEL LITERALLY BECAME AND INDEPENDENT COUNTRY JUST BEFORE SUMMER IN MAY 14,1948.)

JOEL 2:3,30
3 A fire devoureth (ATOMIC BOMB) before them;(RUSSIAN-ARAB-MUSLIM ARMIES AGAINST ISRAEL) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(ATOMIC BOMB AFFECT)

ZECHARIAH 14:12-13
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their eyes shall consume away in their holes,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB)(BECAUSE NUKES HAVE BEEN USED ON ISRAELS ENEMIES)(GOD PROTECTS ISRAEL AND ALWAYS WILL)
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.(1/2-3 BILLION DIE IN WW3)(THIS IS AN ATOMIC BOMB EFFECT)

EZEKIEL 20:47
47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.

ZEPHANIAH 1:18
18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

MALACHI 4:1
1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;(FROM ATOMIC BOMBS) and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.
Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.12 TRIBES INHERIT LAND IN THE FUTURE

Pence restates Trump pledge to move embassy to Jerusalem-Vice president speaks at CUFI conference, says ‘compromises’ for peace are likely but never ‘safety and security of the Jewish state of Israel’-By JTA and Times of Israel staff July 18, 2017, 7:27 am

US Vice President Mike Pence once again pledged that the Trump administration would move the US embassy to Jerusalem, this time to Christian supporters of Israel who have become increasingly restive at President Donald Trump’s failure to make good on his campaign promise“To the men and women of Christians United for Israel, this president hears you,” Pence said to cheers Monday evening at the annual CUFI conference in Washington. “This President stands with you. And I promise you that the day will come when President Donald Trump moves the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It is not a question of if, it is only when.”Earlier Monday, a panel including Pastor John Hagee, who founded the movement 12 years ago, expressed concerns that Trump, who otherwise was presented at the conference as preferable to his predecessor, President Barack Obama, was losing credibility by not making good on his campaign promise. “Moving to Jerusalem would prove that our president stands by his word,” Hagee said.Trump in June renewed a waiver on a law passed in 1995 mandating the move, as all of his predecessors have done, and has backed away from the pledge.Pence, who has long been close to the pro-Israel community, has said several times that Trump would fulfill the promise.The vice president also repeated previous assurances that Trump would place Israel’s safety and security as a priority in any peace negotiations with the Palestinians.“While there will undoubtedly have to be compromises, let me assure all of you gathered here today, President Donald Trump will never compromise the safety and security of the Jewish state of Israel — not now, not ever,” he said to a round of applause.The president, Pence said, remained “personally committed to helping the parties resolve the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” and even as he send top advisers to the region to make a push for peace, he “knows any peace requires an end to the incitement of hatred, an end to any support whatsoever of terrorism.”“And above all else, a lasting peace requires true and complete Palestinian willingness to accept and recognize the Jewish state of Israel,” said Pence.

Macron urges resumption of peace talks based on two-state solution-Standing alongside Netanyahu, French president also assures PM of France’s ‘vigilance’ on Iranian nuclear pact-By AFP July 16, 2017, 6:38 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

French President Emmanuel Macron called Sunday for a resumption of long-stalled Middle East peace talks based on a two-state solution.“France is ready to support all diplomatic efforts towards this end within the parameters of peace recognized by the international community,” Macron said after talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.He said Israelis and Palestinians should be able “to live side by side within secure and recognized borders with Jerusalem as the capital.”Stressing that international law should be “respected by all,” Macron said he was referring to Israel’s “continued building of settlements” in the West Bank, a policy opposed by France.“I hope everything will be done for negotiations to move forward,” he said as he and Netanyahu made joint statements to the press.Talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been at a standstill since the failure of the last round of negotiations in the spring of 2014.Macron also assured Netanyahu of his “vigilance” regarding the 2015 nuclear accord reached by Western powers with Iran.Netanyahu “expressed his concerns regarding the Iranian regime,” Macron told reporters with Netanyahu at his side. “I assured him of our vigilance, in particular over the strict implementation of the accord… in all its provisions.”Netanyahu was a vocal opponent of the deal, which saw sanctions against Iran eased in return for curbs on its nuclear program.The French presidency said Sunday’s meeting, the first official talks between Macron and Netanyahu, would be an occasion to “signal our lack of complacency towards Iran.”Israel was rattled last month when Tehran launched fired six missiles from western Iran targeting bases of the Islamic State terror group in retaliation for attacks in Tehran that killed 17 people in the first IS-claimed operations in the country.Netanyahu has repeatedly said Iran is a threat to the Jewish state, the Middle East and potentially the world. The regime in Iran relentlessly calls for Israel’s destruction.Also on Sunday, Macron condemned anti-Zionism as a new form of anti-Semitism, in what observers said was an unprecedented statement from the leader of France in support of the Jewish state.“We will never surrender to the messages of hate; we will not surrender to anti-Zionism because it is a reinvention of anti-Semitism,” Macron said at an event in Paris marking the mass deportation of French Jews during World War II. He was directly addressing Netanyahu, who attended the event.During a lengthy and introspective speech commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Vel d’Hiv roundup, a mass arrest of 13,152 French Jews in July 1942 that was part of the Nazi effort to eradicate the Jews of France, Macron forcefully denounced Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism.Like several of his predecessors, Macron accepted France’s responsibility for the deportations, admitting that the Vichy regime actively organized them. “It is indeed France that organized” the roundup, Macron said. “Not a single German” took part, he added.“Time does its work,” the president said. “Archives open (and) the truth comes out. It’s stark, irrevocable. It imposes itself on us all.”In 1995, then-president Jacques Chirac was the first French leader to admit his nation was guilty of having assisted in the mass murder of Jews.Fewer than 100 of those who were detained at the so-called Vel d’Hiv and then sent to the Nazi death camps survived.Raphael Ahren contributed to this report.

Netherlands’ only kosher slaughterhouse facing closure following export ban-Operators of Slagerij Marcus abattoir says recent clause added to regulations on slaughter methods will cut 40% of their income-By JTA July 18, 2017, 8:21 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

The only kosher slaughterhouse in the Netherlands is facing closure because of a government-introduced ban on exporting its produce, the abattoir’s lawyer said.That ban was included in a July 5 agreement between the government and Jewish and Muslim faith leaders.Herman Loonstein complained about its effects in a letter he sent last week on behalf of the Slagerij Marcus abattoir to leaders of the Dutch Jewish community.A clause in the document signed on July 5 states that meat may be produced without stunning the animals, as is common in kosher slaughter, but that such meat will “not exceed the actual needs of communities present in the Netherlands.”For Slagerij Marcus this stipulation means a loss of approximately 40 percent of its income, which it derives from export, Loonstein told JTA, making its operation “financially untenable.”The agreement was an extension and addition of an earlier deal signed between government officials and faith leaders in 2012. But the clause on exports was added to the original agreement in July, Loonstein said.Stripped of 40% of its income, the Jewish slaughterhouse “cannot continue to exist,” Loonstein’s letter read. “In summation, the effect of the ban on export will mean the end of the last kosher slaughterhouse in the Netherlands.”Religious laws in Islam and Judaism require animals be conscious when their necks are cut. Animal rights activist consider this practice cruel, though its advocates argue it results in less or equal suffering compared to industrial slaughter methods with stunning. Nationalists and anti-Islam activists also oppose ritual slaughter in Europe, ostensibly because they view it as foreign to their native culture.In 2011, the Dutch lower house passed a ban on ritual slaughter with support from the Party for the Animals and the far-right Party for Freedom. But the Dutch Senate reversed the ban, arguing it was infringing on freedom of worship.Two of Belgium’s three regions have passed in recent weeks regulation outlawing the production of kosher and halal meat.

Dermer: Israel wants US to cut funding to Palestinians over terrorism-Israeli envoy to United States says reports Jerusalem does not want to see Taylor Force Act pass are ‘fake news’-By Eric Cortellessa July 18, 2017, 7:46 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

WASHINGTON — Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer said Monday night that Israel supports the Taylor Force Act, a bill working its way through the Senate that would cut US funding to the Palestinian Authority over its financial support of terrorism.“Israel believes that the United States should end economic assistance to any government that pays people to kill Jews,” he told a crowd at the Christians United for Israel’s annual conference. “Period.”The legislation, named for a former US army officer who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian assailant while visiting Tel Aviv, would require the Palestinian Authority to stop paying stipends to the families of terrorists who kill Israelis, or else lose American aid.Rebuffing reports that said Israel feared the legislation passing out of concern it would disrupt Israeli-Palestinian security coordination and West Bank stability, Dermer took a page out of US President Donald Trump’s rhetorical playbook, referring to those stories as “fake news.”“Fake news always ignores the poison that has been taught, preached, and broadcast to a generation of young Palestinians since the Oslo Accords were signed 25 years ago,” he said. “Fake news refuses to expose the Palestinian glorification of terrorists, the naming of public squares after mass-murderers, and the ghoulish practice of the Palestinian Authority paying a lifetime salary to terrorists who murder Jews.”He went on to cite South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (R), who introduced the measure in February.“Now that members of Congress … are actually trying to do something about this ghoulish practice by passing the Taylor Force Act, the purveyors of fake news don’t quit,” he said. “Just three days ago, this was the fake news headline of a Reuters story: ‘Israel frets over Congress push to slash Palestinian aid over terror payments.'”(The article to which Dermer was referring appears to have actually been published in Al Monitor.)“Fret? Ladies and gentlemen, I’m the ambassador of Israel to the United States, so my job is to speak for Israel in the United States.And I can assure you that Israel is not the slightest bit concerned that the Taylor Force Act will pass. Israel would be concerned if the Taylor Force Act didn’t pass.”Earlier Monday, a Capitol Hill source familiar with the matter told The Times of Israel that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will “probably” approve the Taylor Force Act, but that some negotiating was still needed to bring it over the finish line.The source said that the panel chairman, Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker (R), was still discussing revisions with Sen. Graham. “If Corker and Graham work out the issues I know they continue to discuss,” the bill will advance through the committee, he said.At a hearing last week, Corker questioned what he described as an “all or nothing” approach reflected in Graham’s original text and openly expressed consternation that pulling such funding could disrupt Israel’s security cooperation with the PA and lead to instability in the West Bank.Several revisions have been recommended to address those issues, including giving the president waiver authority over the law if he finds it necessary to fund the PA for security purposes.Those concerns were also reflected in a June letter signed by hundreds of high-level Israeli military officials warning the bill would spur a security crisis.The letter, which was orchestrated by Commanders for Israeli Security, said the Taylor Force Act would “undermine PA stability; expand the circle of frustration and hostility; erode the security coordination; and thus hurt Israeli security.”President Trump has not offered an opinion on the legislation, though he did confront PA President Mahmoud Abbas about the topic during their meetings in Washington and Bethlehem in May.US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, for his part, has also told House members there is an “active” bilateral discussion ongoing.The United States currently gives the PA nearly $500 million in annual aid. The legislation would allow only the portion designated for security assistance — roughly $60 million — to remain in place.

Fatah calls for ‘Day of Rage’ amid new Temple Mount security in wake of attack-Officials slam Israeli ‘terrorist procedures’ in Old City after metal detectors, cameras installed; at least 15 injured in East Jerusalem night of unrest-By Times of Israel staff July 18, 2017, 6:49 am

The Fatah movement, headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, called for a “Day of Rage” on Wednesday to protest new security measures installed at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem starting Sunday, two days after a terror attack by three Israeli-Arabs killed two Israeli police officers.Following Friday’s terror attack Israel closed the compound for the first time in decades, only reopening it to Muslims on Sunday and to non-Muslims on Monday.As part of the security measures taken in the wake of the shooting to prevent further such attacks, police installed metal detectors at the entrance to the site, which Jerusalem police commissioner Yoram Halevi said were necessary for it to reopen. Friday’s gunmen, residents of the northern Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm, emerged armed from the compound and opened fire on the police officers stationed outside.Fatah on Monday called for marches in the West Bank toward Israeli checkpoints in protest of the new measures and announced that Friday prayers, when many worshipers go to the Temple Mount, would be conducted in public squares instead. The decision was made following a meeting between Fatah Revolutionary Council secretary Adnan Ghaith, Fatah central committee member Jamal Muheisin, and Fatah representatives from the northern West Bank.The group said the measures were called in order to denounce Israeli “terrorist procedures” in the Old City, according to a report in Ma’an.The officials called for maintaining the delicate status quo at the Temple Mount, denouncing a “fierce and organized attack” by Israel against East Jerusalemites.The “Day of Rage” announcement came amid a night of unrest in East Jerusalem and the Old City as Palestinian rioters clashed with police, hurling stones and firebombs and blocking roads. At least 15 were injured, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.Police officers called to Lions Gate in the Old City to disperse protesters blocking a road were attacked with rocks and other objects.The Red Crescent told the Palestinian Wafa news agency that five protesters were injured during the confrontations, including the chairman of the Palestinian National Initiative party, Mustafa Barghouti. The Wafa report said that three people were injured after being beaten by police, one person was injured by a stun grenade and Barghouti was hit in the head with a rubber-coated bullet.Clashes were also reported in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Silwan and Issawiya. Rioters hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at police officers who responded with riot-dispersal means.The placement of the metal detectors at the Temple Mount has also been met with outrage by the Muslim religious authority charged with managing the Temple Mount. Muslims have held prayers outside the metal detectors to protest their placement at the gates.Along with other Islamic groups, the Waqf trust, which administers the site, on Monday called on Muslims “to reject and boycott all the Israeli aggression measures, including changing the historical status quo including imposing the metal detectors.”In its statement, the Waqf called on the faithful not to enter the mosque by passing through the metal detectors, adding, “If the metal detectors continue to be imposed, we call upon the people to pray in front of the gates of the mosque and in the streets of Jerusalem.”On Monday afternoon, light clashes broke out in the Old City, when police ordered a group of Muslim protesters off a road they were trying to block with a prayer session. Police said a Muslim teenager was arrested after throwing a bottle at police.Scuffles also broke out on Sunday, but police said hundreds of Muslims visited the site nonetheless.Jews revere the site, where the two Jewish temples stood in biblical times, as the Temple Mount. It is the holiest site in Judaism and the nearby Western Wall, a retaining wall of one of the temples, is the holiest place where Jews can pray.Muslims regard the same hilltop compound as the Noble Sanctuary. Home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock. It is Islam’s third-holiest site, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.The fate of the compound is an emotional issue and forms the centerpiece of rival Israeli and Palestinian national narratives. Any perceived changes to the delicate arrangements at the site can spark tensions. Its closure after Friday’s attack prompted condemnations from the Arab world, many of which made no reference to the terror attack that prompted the closure.Dov Lieber and AP contributed to this report.

New York senator tells US lawmakers anti-Zionism a form of anti-Semitism-In speech to Senate Chuck Schumer thanks French President Macron for making the same point in Paris-By JTA July 18, 2017, 8:09 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Monday in a speech on the Senate floor that anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism.Schumer, the minority leader in the Senate and currently the highest-ranking Jewish person in government, added his remarks on anti-Zionism to a speech he was giving on health care, saying at the end of that speech that he wanted to thank French President Emmanuel Macron for making the same argument in a speech this weekend.“Anti-Semitism is a word that has been used throughout history when Jewish people are judged and measured by one standard and the rest by another,” Schumer said.“When everyone else was allowed to farm and Jews could not; when anyone else could live in Moscow and Jews could not; when others could become academics or tradesmen and Jews could not,” he said. “The word to describe all of these acts is anti-Semitism. So it is with anti-Zionism; the idea that all other peoples can seek and defend their right to self-determination but Jews cannot; that other nations have a right to exist, but the Jewish state of Israel does not.”Schumer said a recent manifestation of anti-Jewish bias was the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement targeting Israel.“The global BDS movement is a deeply biased campaign that I would say, in similar words to Mr. Macron, is a ‘reinvented form of anti-Semitism’ because it seeks to impose boycotts on Israel and not on any other nation,” Schumer said.

The Iranians are at the borders-With its ascendancy in Syria, the Islamic Republic is seeking to consolidate its position against Israel and the US-By Avi Issacharoff July 17, 2017, 6:26 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Eleven years have gone by since the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War, which began with the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. It ended 34 days later with a trumpet blast from Hezbollah, which had lost approximately 700 of its troops.But those losses were a small thing in light of the deaths of 164 Israelis, which constituted part of “the God-given victory” — at least according to the enormous billboards that were placed throughout Lebanon to establish the narrative that many people there, and throughout the Middle East, believed.Those were the glory days of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who portrayed himself as having faced down the strongest army in the region, striking the State of Israel. Nasrallah was the most admired Arab leader at the time, both within Lebanon and outside, and among Sunnis and Shi’ites alike.He remains one of the most prominent leaders in the Middle East, but his status among the various Arab countries has declined drastically. Many people, including in Lebanon (except for his Shi’ite supporters), see Nasrallah as a puppet of Iran, rushing to obey the orders of his masters in Tehran. The Arab television networks that were so quick to embrace him following his “victory” over the Israelis, now excoriate him and accuse him and his associates of nothing less than crimes against humanity.Nasrallah is the main reason for Hezbollah’s participation in the Syrian civil war. While there are quite a few benefits to this, there are disadvantages as well.After the Islamic State terror group’s defeat in Iraq and the American military’s admission that it is operating in Raqqa, IS’s capital in Syria, Nasrallah has become a critically important part of the victors’ camp, and as such, he gets a share of the spoils.Although Hezbollah and Syrian President Bashar Assad’s army have retaken large parts of Syria (with help from the Russians), the former is in no hurry to bring its troops back to Lebanon. This has broad significance. Hezbollah’s transitory military positions throughout Syria have become temporary, and the temporary outposts are in the process of becoming permanent, with soldiers’ barracks, prefabricated structures, and everything that indicates an established position or a transition to a permanent presence on the ground.Nasrallah and his organization are turning Syria into Hezbollah’s backyard as part of Iran’s campaign to create a Shi’ite crescent between Tehran and the Mediterranean Sea. For Israel, this means that Hezbollah, together with Iran, will be able to set up a local Shi’ite army in Syria or on the Syrian Golan Heights — an army that will operate against Israeli targets without making Lebanon pay the price.Even as decision-makers in Israel proclaim a policy that “Lebanon will pay” for any escalation by Hezbollah, the organization itself could try to draw the fire away from Lebanon and use Syria as the preparation ground for its terror attacks, allowing Hezbollah to have it both ways. The advantages do not end there, though: Hezbollah will have access to, and acquire ownership of, advanced weapons and intelligence formerly in the possession of the Syrian army. It will gain technological equipment, weapons that “violate the balance of power,” and pretty much everything else.Still, belonging to the winning camp carries with it a heavy, and even a very heavy, price. This has to do not only with the loss of public popularity, but also with the fact that its public, the Shi’ites, must pay so dearly in blood for the saving of Assad. The number of fallen Hezbollah troops is estimated at 1,800 to 2,000. A Syrian journalist published photographs this week of two Lebanese teenagers, about 15 years old, who were killed in battle in Syria as they fought in Hezbollah’s ranks. Approximately 6,000 Hezbollah troops have been wounded.In other words, Hezbollah’s fighting force has been severely compromised. An army that has lost approximately one-third of its combat troops and must provide financial assistance to its wounded and the families of its fallen naturally loses enormous sums of money in addition to support. It will take Hezbollah years to recover from the injuries it suffered in the battles in Syria, and at the moment it is likely not all that eager for an escalation with Israel.-The battle for regional hegemony-An escalation with Israel is not a matter of the highest priority for Hezbollah. For now, its leaders view the struggle of the Shi’ite-Russian axis against the Sunnis in the Middle East and mainly against the United States and its allies as the critical fight.Hezbollah realizes that it is just one more militia working in the Iranians’ service in the real war over the division of areas of influence belonging to what is left of Syria. The battle, or race, is against the Americans, not against Israel; this may be the reason why Hezbollah has established itself in Syria.Two completely separate fronts have been operating in the Syrian sector for approximately two years now. One belongs to the Syrian army in the western part of the country, together with its allies from Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah. The focus there was on the “ordinary” Syrian opposition — in other words, from the al-Qaeda linked Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra Front) to more moderate groups.The second front is in the eastern part of the country under the leadership of the US and its allies against IS. The Assad regime’s deployment in the western part of Syria and along the route connecting Damascus and Homs with the coastline freed up resources and energy to deal with the takeover by the US’ allies of territories in the eastern portion. The Americans, for their part, are helping various Arab tribes in the southeast who are organized in the Free Syrian Army near the Deir ez-Zor region, and the Kurds and other Arab troops organized under the umbrella of the Syrian Democratic Forces.The latter groups, who are the ones leading the battle in Raqqa together with the US special forces there, have succeeded in encircling IS’s capital. But the Americans already know what the catch is: By fighting against Islamic State, they are enabling the axis of Russia, Assad, Iran, and Hezbollah to gain strength, establish their control, and even have the leisure to fight the US and the moderate Syrian opposition for territory that IS will be giving up in the future.The American military effort, for all practical purposes, is paving the way for the Iranians to take control over the area with close Russian assistance. This is why the Iranians are trying to move Shi’ite militias into this area of Syria — the southeastern portion — to prepare for a possible confrontation with the Free Syrian Army.Iran is already treating Syria like its 15th province (the 14th being Bahrain). It keeps about 15,000 Shi’ite troops from Afghanistan and Pakistan there. Approximately 8,000 combat soldiers of Hezbollah and several hundred military advisors from the Revolutionary Guards are also deployed in Syria.Iran recently received Assad’s consent, in principle, to its request to build a seaport of its own on the coast, like the seaport that the Russians maintain there. The port is to be Iranian in every way, with no possibility for the Syrians to operate.The Iranians are currently invested in real-estate projects in Syria as well as in the phosphates industry and communications networks, and are expected to make a great deal of money from Syria’s reconstruction.They have also been running Shi’ite militias close to the border with Jordan and Israel, on the Syrian Golan Heights, and in the Daraa district, though not on a massive scale. This is not because they wanted it this way, but mainly because the current focus, as stated, is on competing with the Americans rather than with Israel. Paradoxically, the cease-fire that went into effect last week on the Syrian Golan Heights and in Daraa and As-Suwayda will help the Shi’ite axis far more than its opponents.



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