Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Lebanon's Army Told To Be Ready For War With Israel, Hariri Returns To Beirut, Puts Resignation On Hold: What Comes Next?

Lebanon's Army Told to Be Ready for War With Israel

The commander of Lebanon's armed forces instructed his troops, which are celebrating recent victories against jihadi groups on the country's restive eastern border with Syria, to be fully ready to deal with a potential attack from Israel.
On the eve of the country's 74th anniversary of independence from France, the Lebanese military commander, Joseph Aoun, commended soldiers for successfully expelling the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an Al-Qaeda affiliate formerly known as Nusra Front, from the outskirts of eastern towns such as Arsal, Ras Baalbek and Hermel this summer. He warned, however, that current "exceptional political circumstances" required personnel to "maintain the utmost awareness and vigilance and to take measures to maintain stability," especially looking south, where another foe stands at the ready.

"I call on you to be fully prepared at the southern border to face the threats from the Israeli enemy, its violations and its hostile intent towards Lebanon, its people and its army, as well as to always ensure the implementation of Resolution 1701 in coordination and cooperation with United Nations forces in Lebanon, preserving a secure stability," Aoun said Tuesday, according to the Lebanese army's official Twitter account.

While the small, coastal Mediterranean country's most recent conflicts have been concentrated on its eastern border with Syria, there is a long, bloody history of violence at its southern border with Israel. Like Syria and a number of other Arab states, Lebanon has never recognized Israel since the majority-Jewish state's 1948 creation that saw a mass expulsion of Palestinians, a number of whom ended up in Lebanon. These Palestinians were joined by others expelled after a failed uprising against the Jordanian government in 1971, and Lebanon became a base of guerrilla operations against Israel, which responded with military action.
While Hezbollah's backing for Assad—who also received support from Russia, Iran and other local and foreign militias—has helped allow the Syrian leader to regain the vast majority of land conquered by rebels and militant groups trying to unseat him, its role in Syria has infuriated influential actors rooting for Assad's downfall, especially Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Saad Hariri finally returned to Beirut late on Tuesday amid tight security after what was essentially a two week house arrest in Riyadh which began on November 4 after his resignation announcement in Saudi Arabia. Lebanese television aired live footage of the former prime ministers plane landing, though he left without addressing the expectant throng of journalists gathered at the airport.
His shocking resignation, which President Michel Aoun has refused to formally accept, came amidst Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's (MBS) aggressive crackdown within the royal family and against high officials, which resulted in the deaths of at least two princes, and the arrests of at least a dozen others. And, in the latest Wednesday morning development in this ongoing saga, Hariri said he has changed his mind and has puts his resignation on hold at the request of the country’s president.
In televised comments quoted by Reuters, Hariri said that he “presented my resignation to President Aoun today and he urged me to wait” for more dialogue. “I showed responsiveness to this hope.” Hariri also denied reports that Riyadh forced him to step down. He says the claims that Saudi Arabia was keeping him against his will are merely “rumors.”
Meanwhile, as reported previously, in the midst of MBS' purge, new revelations emerged and were confirmed of an official Saudi-Israeli intelligence sharing relationship targeting Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah.

Though Hariri tried to calm Lebanese fears during an awkward and likely coerced televised interview from Riyadh, saying, "Resignation could be withdrawn if Lebanon sticks to its policy of disassociation [from Hezbollah/Iran/Syria]. I was at my home [in Saudi] and not The Ritz [in reference to the detained Saudi princes]" - he didn't immediately return to Lebanon, instead traveling to France last Saturday to meet with President Macron.
Some analysts dubbed Hariri's strange travels an Odysseus style exile and wandering as he left France for Egypt to meet with Sisi, after which he arrived in Cyprus to meet with that nation's president, before finally returning to Lebanon. And according to reports Hariri is now at his home in Beirut as Lebanon is set for independence day celebrations on Wednesday. 
Yet since Hariri's over two week long odyssey, regional powers have threatened war resulting in both the Lebanese Army and Hezbollah being placed on "high alert" with Syria also promising to present a united front with Hezbollah should Israel escalate. 
And what come's next for Lebanon and the region? Below is a dispatch authored and submitted by Elijah Magnier, Middle East based chief international war correspondent for Al Rai Media, who is currently on the ground in the region and spoke to a high level source and decision maker privy to diplomatic discussions regarding the current crisis. 

No matter how loud the US, the Israelis and the Arabs scream, Hezbollah’s presence in Syria is linked to the Syrian government and to no one else.”

The return of Hariri is obviously linked to a Saudi agenda where he will ask Hezbollah to pull out of Syria, Yemen and Iraq and put down its weapons. It should be noted that Hezbollah supported Hariri’s freedom because he was illegally detained by Saudi Arabia and because he is the Prime Minister of Lebanon. Saudi Arabia cannot be allowed to deal with the Lebanon as if it were a Saudi province. And for Hariri it is illusory to believe he is returning to Lebanon as a hero to dictate Saudi policy, that he can implement Saudi Arabia’s wishes, and that he can achieve what the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia failed to obtain.

It is therefore not a question of Iran or the weapon reserves of Hezbollah or its regional military intervention. The war in Syria was won by the “Axis of the Resistance” and the other side (US, EU, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia) has failed to change the regime, to destroy the multi-ethnic culture in Syria, and to tie the hands of the extremists. It is simply a question of Saudi Arabia preparing a wider, overt relationship with Israel.
Saudi Arabia is acting as if it needs this scenario to cover up its future relationship with Israel. Every day, we see Saudi academics, writers and even officials using the excuse “fighting Iran, the common enemy” to justify the forthcoming relationship with Israel. In point of fact Israeli public opinion is ready to welcome Saudi Arabia, and vice versa.
The Arab countries have promised to establish an official relationship with Israel in exchange for the heads of Hezbollah and Iran on a plate. In return the US and Israel promised to engage positively with the Israeli-Arab conflict.

This is no solution for the Israeli-Arab conflict, and Trump can certainly not fulfil his promises. Israel won’t give up to the Arabs what it is getting for free (the relationship with the Gulf countries). Those running to establish ties with Tel Aviv are coming of their own free will in order to use Israel as a bridge to the US. On the other hand, even the new US-Saudi-Israel alliance will be unable to deliver those heads of Iran and Hezbollah without engulfing the region in a global war. Are these countries ready for such a war where the costs outweigh the benefits?

Macron Has Emerged As de Facto Head Of The EU

Emmanuel Macron has emerged as de facto head of the EU – and that's bad news for Brexit Britain

Now that the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has run into political difficulties at home, the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, may become, unofficially, the leader of the European Union.  
French presidents played that role from the foundation of the EU in 1957 until 1990 when the two Germanys, East and West, were reunited. Then, by reason of their combined economic strength, far in excess of France’s, the German Chancellor of the day became the go-to politician within the European Union. But if Merkel stumbles, Macron will assume that role.
What sort of person is Macron? He was born and brought up in Amiens, whose once important textile industry has all but disappeared and been replaced by car-parts factories. Macron was educated at a local Jesuit school until he was 16 years old. Then he went to the prestigious Henri IV in Paris.  

After school, Macron entered the elite École nationale d’administration (ENA), whose graduates, known as Enarques, form a network of influence spread across government, finance and business. After that, he went to work at the French Rothschild bank. At the same time he acted as an economic adviser to François Hollande. When Hollande won the presidential election in 2012 and entered the Élysée, he became Hollande’s deputy chief of staff – in other words, the President’s Sherpa. In August 2014, Macron was appointed Hollande’s economy minister. He was 36 years old.

In October 2015, in the utmost secrecy, Macron began planning the launch of a new party, to be called En Marche!. It would be designed to harness the anti-establishment, anti-elite movement that had fuelled Trump’s election and Brexit and Nuits Debout, a French social movement.  

The movement would be self-organising. According to Plowright’s book, members would sign up and then each of them was then contacted by a local coordinator and invited to attend a meeting. Some of these new members would then be selected to start new committees in their area, meaning a network of even smaller groups gradually spread across the country. Each local committee would be encouraged to organise autonomously.

The next step was to send the first members door-to-door across the country with a simple questionnaire, available via a smartphone app. It would ask people what they felt worked in France and what didn’t, what they were worried about, what gave them hope. Volunteers would fill in data about the location, age and profession of the respondents. The operation would be called La Grande Marche. Volunteers were sent into specifically targeted streets, villages or housing estates to survey a sample of people broadly representative of France as a whole, from far-right voters to communists.  
The target was to pull in thousands of members – and it succeeded. En Marche! developed tremendous momentum and in May 2017 Macron became President, elected by a large majority and En Marche! candidates gained a majority of seats in the National Assembly.
What, then, do we know of Macron’s attitude to the European Union? I don’t think he has said that he wants to see a United States of Europe, but his recommendations would fit into that blueprint.    

He wants a common European defence policy with close coordination between Britain, France and Germany. He believes that there should be a common border protection force to check illegal immigration, with a system for dividing up refugees between member states once they arrived.  

He would like to see further harmonisation of social protection and business regulations. And most shocking of all to British thinking, Macron wants the eurozone itself (of which Britain is not a member) to have its own budget and borrowing capacity and to be able to transfer funds from rich members to weaker states.   
In short, any British rejoicing that Merkel’s weakness and the consequent ascendancy of Macron might prove favourable to Britain is misplaced. My guess is that Macron would like to see us out, make a clean break and leave the EU as quickly as possible. We’re just a nuisance. So no Entente Cordiale, no “Vive la France”. Come back, Angela

Things To Come: 'Doomsday Scenarios' - Moving Towards The Abyss

Doomsday Scenarios: the UK’s Hair-Raising Admissions About the Prospect of Nuclear War and Accident

The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has published several reports over the last few years. They discuss geopolitics and related themes, one of which is the likelihood of nuclear war or accident, including what it means for long-term survival.
Experts say that even a so-called limited exchange or accident would be catastrophic. 
For example, a recent paper in Earth’s Futurec alculates that the most optimistic scenario of a “small,” regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan would wipe out millions of people through famine and result in a nuclear winter. An exchange between the USA and Russia, for instance, could be even bigger and more devastating.
America’s ongoing “Asia Pivot” encourages China to build up its arsenals. Proxy wars in Syria and Ukraine with Russia and continuing tensions with North Korea also increase the risk of brinkmanship and miscalculation between those nuclear powers.
By training rebels in Syria and armed forces in Ukraine, the UK is particularly responsible for contributing to escalating tensions. Britain remains one of the USA’s closest allies and enjoys a “special relationship” with the US. It serves as a proxy for US Trident nuclear weapons systems.

Let’s look at some examples of the UK MoD’s admissions that: 1) the world is getting more dangerous, 2) it is likely that some states will use nuclear weapons at some point, 3) brinksmanship increases the risk of miscalculation, and 4) that such events threaten human existence. These admissions are startling for a number of reasons: the MoD possesses nuclear weapons, yet acknowledges their danger; the media fail to report on these matters, despite their coming from establishment sources; and governments are not inherently compelled by this information to de-escalate.

“Doomsday Scenarios.”
Every few years, the MoD updates its studies concerning the nature of global developments. The third edition of the Strategic Trends Programme predicts trends between the years 2007-2036. It states (MoD’s emphases):
Accelerating nuclear proliferation will create a more complex and dangerous strategic environment, with the likely clustering of nuclear-armed states in regions that have significant potential for instability or have fears about foreign intervention. 

For example, North Korean, Pakistani and potentially, Iranian nuclear weapon capability will increase significantly the risks of conflict in Asia if a system of mutual deterrence does not emerge. In addition, nuclear possession may lead to greater adventurism and irresponsible conventional and irregular behaviour, to the point of brinkmanship and misunderstanding. 

Finally, there is a possibility that neutron technologies may reemerge as potential deterrent and warfighting options.

The risk of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) use will endure; indeed increase, over the long term. The strategic anxiety and potential instability caused by CBRN proliferation is typified by international frustration over Iran and North Korea, with the risks of pre-emptive action and regional arms races, and where soft power alone has not been notably successful.

Some commentators believe it is increasingly likely that a range of state actors may use tactical nuclear weapons as part of their strategy against non-nuclear and conventional threats coming from any environment, severe cyber attacks. Limited tactical nuclear exchanges in conventional conflicts by 2035 also cannot be ruled out, and some non-Western states may even use such strikes as a way of limiting or de-escalating conflict.

In this new story over at WND and the first two videos below, we learn that mysterious booms being heard not only across America but around the world are increasing in intensity, shaking buildings and rattling nerves, with earthquakes being ruled out as the cause of most of these with no official explanation yet forthcoming. 

Leaving experts baffled and conspiracy theorists talking about alien invasions and top secret military experiments, we find it interesting that this latest round of mysterious booms and blasts comes at the same time that scientists are warning there could be a big increase in numbers of devastating earthquakes around the world in 2018 as our planet Earth's rotation slows  according to this new story from The Guardian which the Drudge Report linked to on Sunday. 

From the east coast to the west, from Idaho to Alabama to Texas to Maryland to South Carolina to Florida and many states in between, the loud and mysterious booms that experts still can't explain are expanding and as we see in the next graphic below from, much of the 'Ring of Fire' is ablaze with volcanoes either going through major eruptions or still going through minor volcanic activity everywhere we look. 

Is there something going on beyond 'normal Earth changes' which our planet has gone through for many millennia? As we reported on ANP back on March 28th of 2017, all the way back on December 30th, 1983, a Washington Post story reported that a 'mysterious heavenly body' had been found in the direction of the Constellation Orion. A December 30th, 2016 story from NASA claims: "at aphelion, Planet Nine would be in the general location of the Orion and Taurus constellations." Just a coincidence? 

While according to a Russian Orthodox Patriarch, what we're now witnessing all across the world is evidence that we are approaching 'end times' as shared in this story over at RT that the Drudge Report linked to on Monday, claiming that we're witnessing events straight from the Book of Revelation, we find the explanation that the rotation of our planet is slowing down quite interesting. First, from the RT story and more on that in our conclusion below.

In a public speech in the main Moscow cathedral, Patriarch Kirill said the signs from the Book of Revelation are now apparent. He also called on politicians and ordinary citizens to unite and stop the movement towards the abyss. 

“All people who love the Motherland must be together because we are entering a critical period in the course of human civilization. This can already be seen with the naked eye. You have to be blind not to notice the approaching awe-inspiring moments in history that the apostle and evangelist John was talking about in the Book of Revelation,” the patriarch was quoted as saying by Interfax. 

Was it a supersonic aircraft?
A meteor?
A ground explosion?
The end of the world as we know it?
Those are the questions experts and non-experts around the world are asking themselves in recent weeks as curiously loud mystery BOOMS have not only been hear around the world, but felt – shaking buildings and rattling nerves from Alabama to Michigan, Idaho to California, Russia to Denmark.
The Alabama boom last Tuesday at 1:39 CST was heard and felt through 11 counties, but an earthquake event has been ruled out.
The day after Alabamans were shaken by that incident, something similar occurred in Idaho. No explanation has been forthcoming from law enforcement officials there.
Then, last Saturday, much the same thing was reported in Michigan, according to various local newscast. Still no explanation.
WXYZ in Detroit said the reports came in from the towns of Wyandotte, Ecorse, Lincoln Park and many others. Wyandotte Police said the loud boom did not originate in their city. Ecorse Police also said their officers heard and felt it inside their police station, but they were not able to pinpoint the source of the sound, saying it did not happen in Ecorse.
Southern New Jersey had baffled residents on Oct. 25 who called 9-1-1 centers. It was also heard and felt in the Philadelphia area. An earthquake was ruled out. There was speculation about a sonic boom from military aircraft flying out of the Naval Air Station near the Patuxent River in eastern Maryland. But a public affairs officer from the base said there were no aircraft flying in the area that morning. There is also speculation about an inversion, which happens when a layer of warmer air sits over a layer of cooler air, magnifying the sound of an aircraft miles away.

According to news reports, savage bomb-like booms echoed across the city and as far as 30 miles to the south. Powerful cracking sounds shook homes and buildings and were joined by bursts of blinding white light, likened to the flash of a speed camera. The sounds have been attributed to a lightning storm. But some aren’t buying it … because there was no lightning seen.
Similar reports in the last week were reported in Russia, Denmark, Florida, Louisiana and Texas.
On Nov. 8, there were reports in Tennessee.
On Nov. 4, in Bend, Oregon.
On Nov. 3, in Minnesota.
On Nov. 2, in San Diego.
So, what’s going on?
Numerous websites are cropping up to chronicle the events and exchange information.
But no one is coming up with official explanations for most of the events.
The experts are as baffled as the residents experiencing the disconcerting sounds and earthquake-like shocks that accompany them.

For years, the National Federation of Free Thought (FNLP) has been leading the legal battle for the removal of a monument to Pope John Paul II situated on public land in the Breton town of Ploërmel. The group proclaimed victory earlier this month when the French administrative court ordered the removal of the stone cross that surmounts the statue, saying it violated the secular nature of the state.
“Since the cross is a religious sign or emblem within the meaning of Article 28 of the Law of 9 December 1905 and its installation by the municipality does not fall into any of the exceptions provided by this article, its presence in a public location is contrary to this law,” the French court argued.
Now, however, the FNLP has come out in defense of the Muslim community of Clichy in the Parisian suburbs so they can maintain a mosque in the center of town rather than on a smaller premises outside the city center.
Taking the part of the Union of the Muslim Associations of Clichy (UAMC), the FNLP has come after the city mayor, Remi Muzeau, calling on him to reestablish the mosque in the heart of the town. The group also defended the Muslims’ right to pray out on the streets, something the mayor opposed.
Despite the FNLP’s anticlerical slogan of “No gods, no masters!”, the group’s real animus is against Christianity rather than religion in general. As one commentator has noted, the group’s true aim is not separation of Church and State but “purely and simply the disappearance of the Christian identity of France,” while at the same time defending Islam, “which enjoys a much greater tolerance from this association.”

The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to overturn a 10th Circuit appeals-court ruling that upheld the actions of police officers who forced a woman to stop praying silently in her home.

The petition charges the Louisberg, Kansas, officers stopped Mary Anne Sause from praying not to further any legitimate law-enforcement interest, but “so they could harass her.”

“The 10th Circuit correctly ‘assumed’ this conduct ‘violated Sause’s rights under the First Amendment,'” the woman’s legal team explained. “Yet the 10th Circuit nevertheless granted qualified immunity to the officers, solely on the ground that their alleged conduct was so obviously unconstitutional that there is no prior case law involving similar facts.”

WND reported last summer Judges Tim Tymkovich, Carlos Lucero and Nancy Moritz of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver found that the police defendants in the constitutional-violations case were protected even though they violated Sause’s constitutional rights.

The officers later said they were at her home on a noise complaint.
The woman claimed the officers said the Constitution is “just a piece of paper” that “doesn’t work here” and told her to prepare to go to jail.
The complaint states: “Terrified, Ms. Sause asked one of the officers if she could pray. After being told she could, she knelt in silent prayer, only to have another officer enter the room and order her to stop praying. Only at the end of the encounter did they tell her that they were there because of a minor noise complaint that her radio was too loud.”

“This case is about protecting the religious liberties of a private citizen in one of the most sacred and protected places in legal doctrine: the home. We are hopeful the Supreme Court will recognize Ms. Sause’s case as one of the utmost importance and grant her petition.”

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Islamic State Threatens 'Christmas Blood' In Vatican This December

Islamic State Threatens ‘Christmas Blood’ in Vatican, State Dept Issues Warning

The U.S. State Department has issued a terror warning for Americans abroad after the Islamic State threatened to bathe the Vatican in “Christmas Blood” this December.

Islamic State terrorists threatened the Vatican and Pope Francis by means of a poster aired on social media last week featuring a masked man driving a car toward the Vatican, seated next to a large backpack and semiautomatic rifle. The poster is captioned “Christmas blood: So wait” and the image was circulated by the pro-Islamic State Wafa Media Foundation.
Rita Katz, the director of the SITE Intelligence Group, a non-governmental counterterrorism organization that monitors online activity of jihadists, said on Twitter that the recent threat against the Vatican “is a specific directive within ISIS’ larger push for ISIS inspired attacks in the west amidst losses.”

On the same day the poster was made available on social media, the U.S. State Department issued a “Europe Travel Alert” that warned U.S. citizens of a “heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season.”
The Travel Alert did not mention direct threats, but cited a series of recent terrorist incidents in France, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Finland, which “demonstrate that the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS or Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, and their affiliates have the ability to plan and execute terrorist attacks in Europe.”
The State Department also noted that last year, Islamic terrorists carried out a mass casualty attack “at a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany” as well as in Istanbul, Turkey on New Year’s Eve. The Department “remains concerned about the potential for future terrorist attacks,” the warning states, and U.S. citizens should be alert to the possibility “that terrorist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning.”
According to Ms. Katz, for ISIS the Vatican is a symbol of “Crusader” West and thus when ISIS leaders like Baghdadi and slain spokesman Adnani make threats like, “We are Coming, O Rome,” it is often an implicit reference to the Vatican.”
“Thus, for ISIS, to threaten Rome is to threaten Christianity and the West,” she said.
Several days after the poster was released, a pro-ISIS group posted another image depicting a decapitated Pope Francis. In the picture, a khaki-clad jihadist stands over the body of a prisoner in an orange jumpsuit while holding the severed head of Pope Francis.
The caption next to the head bears the Pope’s name: “Jorge Mario Bergoglio.”
“O Worshipers of the Cross, I swear to avenge every single drop of blood that you spilled and every house that you have destroyed,” reads the message running across the top of the poster. “I swear that you will taste the bitterness of the cups of death and make your feasts massacres. You will not even enjoy living in your homes, Allah willing.”
While analysts encourage citizens to take the threats seriously, they also suggest that ISIS may make such high-profile threats to distract from its recent military losses in Syria and Iraq.

The Minnesota leader of the Council on American-Islamic Relations was asked during a community meeting Saturday if he would renounce the terrorist organization Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
He refused.
The event at the St. Cloud Public Library was part of CAIR’s ongoing “anti-Islamophobia” campaign that it launched in the wake of the election one year ago of President Donald Trump.
About 30 people attended the event Saturday, and they were told Muslims are on the verge of being rounded up and placed in internment camps, just like the Japanese were in 1942 under an executive order signed by President Franklin Roosevelt.

Titled “Japanese-American Incarceration: Could it Happen Again?” the event began with a presentation by a professor of African-American studies at the University of Minnesota, followed by comments from Jaylani Hussein, executive director of CAIR Minnesota, and other panelists.
Professor Yuichiro Onishi said it was his belief that the U.S. was one “trigger” event away from Muslims being rounded up. He explained that America has a history of using immigration laws as a pretext for “state-sanctioned racism,” citing the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the immigration acts of 1927 and 1924, which limited the number of Asians migrating to the U.S.
Jaylani Hussein then presented the Somali refugee community in Minnesota as victims of the latest American racism, taking the form of anti-Muslim bigotry equal to that leveled against the Chinese and Japanese leading up to World War II.

Hussein said Americans only hear in the media about the bad things Somali Muslims do in Minnesota, from stealing and sexually assaulting women at the Mall of America just last week to stabbing people at the Mall of America and at the Crossroads Center Mall in St. Cloud last year. This is all fear-mongering, and it’s a huge industry in the United States, Hussein said.

Is Iran Trying To Bring Islamic End-Of-Days In Syria?

Is Iran Trying to Bring Islamic End-of-Days in Syria?

“Behold, I am sending My messenger to clear the way before Me, and the Lord whom you seek shall come to His Temple suddenly. As for the angel of the covenant that you desire, he is already coming.” Malachi 3:1 (The Israel Bible™)

Iran is establishing bases in Syria, but according to some sources, their preparations to engage Israel are motivated far more by Messianic aspirations than military or political ones.

Iran has frequently stated its desire to desire to destroy Israel, claiming the Jewish state as the focus of its nuclear and long-range missile program. Iran has also funneled millions of dollars into proxy enemies of Israel, like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Iran is now stepping up its pace, having established 13 military installations in Syria. Some experts see behind this a sinister desire for the end of the world – Islam style.

Indeed, the escalation of Iranian military efforts in Syria are religiously motivated, Ryan Mauro, a political analyst for the Clarion Project, explained in a recent interview.

“This isn’t normal competition between hostile powers, this isn’t even the normal Iranian sponsorship of terrorism or attempts to expand their military presence,” Mauro said. “To the Iranian regime this is the fulfillment of prophecy.” 
Mauro pointed out that new Iranian troops are called Ansar al-Mahdi (“Supporters of the Messiah”). It has also created a 313th brigade, into which it is is recruiting young Syrian Shiites. According to tradition in Shiite Islam, 313 is the number of fighters that will arrive with the Mahdi, the Islamic Messiah.

Islam’s tradition holds that Mahdi is the redeemer of Islam. The arrival of Mahdi will coincide with the arrival of the Christian messiah, who will be the Mahdi’s assistant in fighting the Masih ad-Dajjal, the false messiah, or anti-Christ.

According to the tradition, the Mahdi will reappear along with Jesus, who will declare himself a Muslim, and kill Christians who refuse to convert. Shia Islam holds that the end-of-days will be a bloody battle, killing off two-thirds of the world population and leaving the rest to convert to Islam.
The concept of Mahdi is explicit in Iranian politics. In a speech in front of the UN General Assembly in 2008, former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad left the gathered politicians aghast as he explicitly begged Allah to hasten the return of the Mahdi.

“You are not dealing with fully rational actors,” Mauro said. “You can be irrational and strategic and pragmatic at the same time, which is what Iran is doing. If you understand these prophecies, you can understand Iran.”
Mauro explained that according to Shiite theology, Iran believes they will lead the battle against Sunni adversaries, continue down into Israel, and eventually take over Jerusalem. He believes that the recent destabilization in Saudi Arabia is a direct result of Iran’s apocalyptic agenda.
Debka editor Giora Shamis agreed. “The basis of Iran’s policy is based on spreading Shiite Islam and making it the dominant religion in the world,” Shamis told Breaking Israel News.
“The Iranian revolution in 1978 was solely a religious movement focused in a religious battle against America. This is being carried out today in the smallest details. It is impossible to discuss the Iranians or their actions in the region without taking into account their religious agenda.”