World War 3 Coming? Israel Is On The Brink Of War With Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria And Iran All At The Same Time

On Thursday, rockets were fired at Tel Aviv for the first time since 2014, and Israel responded by hammering Hamas with airstrikes.  This latest exchange has brought Israel closer to another war with Hamas than ever.  But as you will see below, Israel is also on the brink of war with Hezbollah, Syria and Iran.  And on top of everything else, the most pivotal election in Israel in many years is on April 9th.  If more rockets are fired at Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cannot afford to look weak because that could cost him a lot of votes in this very tight election.  But he must walk a very fine line, because a military response that is seen as too harsh could potentially spark a major regional conflict.

Everyone knows that Israel is simply not going to tolerate rockets being fired at Tel Aviv, and so it was quite a shock to learn what had happened on Thursday.  The following comes from the Jerusalem Post

The Israeli military confirmed that two rockets were fired towards central Israel on Thursday evening, with at least two loud explosions heard in the Gush Dan region.

According to the IDF, although the Iron Dome missile defense system was activated, there were no interceptions as both rockets fell in open territory.

It was the first time sirens were activated in Tel Aviv since the last war with Gaza in 2014 and several Israelis were treated for shock.

It was inevitable that there would be a substantial response from the Israeli military, and airstrikes were conducted very rapidly.  According to Fox News, a Hamas naval base was one of the primary targets…

The strikes were occurring in Khan Younis, roughly 15 miles south of Gaza City, according to The Associated Press. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

A Hamas naval base was targeted, the outlet reported, citing Palestinian media.

Originally, Hamas had seemed to deny responsibility for the rocket attacks, but the IDF later confirmed that they were fired by Hamas

We can confirm that the rockets fired from at earlier tonight were launched by the Hamas terrorist organization.

If Hamas doesn’t fire any more rockets, this will probably be the end of it for now.

But with Hamas, things are never truly over.

Meanwhile, Israel is also on the brink of war with Hezbollah in the north.

In recent days, Israel has been dealing with massive tunnels that Hezbollah has constructed for the purpose of rapidly moving military forces into northern Israel.  So far, five tunnels have been discovered, but there are probably a lot more.

We are being told that the tunnels are absolutely enormous.  Reportedly, they are large enough “to move heavy military equipment”

For the first time since 1973, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confronts the very real prospect of a sizable incursion. Years of fighting alongside Russian and Iranian forces in Syria have transformed Hezbollah into a formidable military force capable of launching such a raid, relying on coordinated infantry, artillery, and even armor and drones. This represents a major leap from Hezbollah’s small hit-and-run tactics in the 2006 Lebanon war.

The tunnels are integral to this new threat. Built in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 prohibiting Hezbollah’s rearmament in this area, they are reportedly wide enough to move heavy military equipment and large troop units.

Hezbollah’s leadership continues to threaten Israel with a new war, and it has been estimated that they have built up an arsenal of approximately 150,000 missiles for the next conflict.

Israel is roughly the same size as New Jersey.  Just imagine what would happen if 150,000 missiles were suddenly fired at towns and cities all over New Jersey, and you will have some idea of what Israel is potentially facing.

Of course the Israeli military is far superior to Hezbollah’s forces, but if Israel has to fight Hamas and Hezbollah simultaneously that would be a real challenge.

And then there is Syria.  After eight years of civil war, you would think that Syria would have had enough fighting by now.

Unfortunately, as I pointed out in a previous article, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad just threatened to attack Israel if the Israelis do not leave the Golan Heights.  The following comes from the Jerusalem Post

Syria vowed to attack Israel unless it withdraws from the Golan Heights, World Israel News reported on Thursday.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad submitted an official warning to the head of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) Kristin Lund, in what seemed to be an attempt to prevent official US recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan.

Can you imagine the stress that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must be going through right now?  A major election is less than a month away and he is literally fighting for his political life, and meanwhile several of Israel’s neighbors appear to be preparing for war with his nation.

And Iran appears to be eager for a fight too.  A few weeks ago, a top Iranian general threatened to completely wipe Israel off the map

Asked by a reporter in Tehran about Israeli threats to strike Iranian forces deployed in Syria, Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami was quoted by Iranian news outlets as saying, “Our strategy is to erase Israel from the global political map. And it seems that, considering the evil that Israel is doing, it is bringing itself closer to that.”

He added: “We announce that if Israel does anything to start a new war, it will obviously be the war that will end with its elimination, and the occupied territories will be returned. The Israelis will not have even a cemetery in Palestine to bury their own corpses.”

And Netanyahu also seems to anticipate that a conflict with Iran is coming.  The following comes from NBC News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu startled Iranians and even the White House on Wednesday with a strident call for Israeli-Arab action against the government in Tehran that was translated by his office as urging “war with Iran.”

Although Israeli officials tried to soften the reference by altering the English translation, the provocative comment was likely to further the perception that Israel, its Gulf Arab neighbors and the United States are interested in using military action to topple the government of Iran.

I have been warning that a major war is coming in the Middle East for a long time, and now we are closer than ever.

Let us hope for peace, but as we have seen in the past, any peace in the region is always just temporary.

Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran are all fundamentally committed to the complete and total destruction of the state of Israel and nothing is going to change that.  War is coming at some point, and it is going to be extremely bloody.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

World War 3 Could Very Easily Turn Into The Very First Nuclear War In The Middle East

Nuclear War - Public DomainSaudi Arabia already has nukes, Iran probably does, and the Russians are one of the two great nuclear powers on the entire planet.  So if Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their Sunni allies do decide to conduct a full-blown ground invasion of Syria, could someone ultimately decide to use nuclear weapons when their backs get pushed up against a wall?  As you read this article, there are thousands of military vehicles and hundreds of thousands of troops massed along the southern border of Turkey and the northern border of Saudi Arabia.  If the command is given and those forces start streaming toward Damascus, it is inevitable that the Syrians, the Iranians, Hezbollah and the Russians would fight back.  It would literally be the start of World War 3, and the Saudis and the Turks are trying very hard to convince the United States to be involved.  But the truth is that we don’t want any part of this conflict, because it could very easily become the very first nuclear war in the history of the Middle East.

Perhaps you didn’t know that the Saudis already have nukes.  Of course the official position is that they don’t, but it is a fact that they were the ones that funded the development of Pakistan’s nuclear program.  It is an open secret that the Saudis have the bomb, but nobody is really supposed to talk about it.

That is why it was so alarming what Saudi political analyst Dahham Al-‘Anzi told RT just recently

Earlier this week a Saudi political analyst told RT’s Arab network the kingdom has a nuclear weapon.

Dahham Al-‘Anzi made the claim while saying Saudi Arabia is engaged in an effort to “minimize the Iranian threat in the Levant and Syria.”

Although Saudi Arabia has officially denied it has a nuclear weapons program and has publicly stated it opposes nuclear weapons in the Middle East, it has funded a military nuclear program and received scientific assistance from the United States and Pakistan.

You can watch video of this exchange right here

If you don’t want to believe him, perhaps you will believe the former director of the CIA counter-terrorism operations center.  He told Fox Business that everyone in the intelligence world knows the Saudis have nukes

If the fur started flying in Syria and Russia and Iran decided to start bombing Saudi airbases, would Saudi Arabia resort to using their nukes?

Let’s hope not.

In the event of a massive ground invasion by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies, it is actually more likely that Russia may decide to be the first one to use nukes.  An invasion force of hundreds of thousands of troops would vastly outnumber the relatively small Russian force that is already inside Syria, and so the Russians may feel that the only way that they can keep the Sunni powers out of Damascus is to use tactical nukes.

Russia has more tactical nukes that anyone else in the world by far, and there are some reports that indicate that Russia may be prepared to use them in Syria.  For example, former Associated Press reporter Robert Parry, the author of America’s Stolen Narrative, says that a source has told him that the Russians have already warned Turkey that this could potentially happen

If Turkey (with hundreds of thousands of troops massed near the Syrian border) and Saudi Arabia (with its sophisticated air force) follow through on threats and intervene militarily to save their rebel clients, who include Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, from a powerful Russian-backed Syrian government offensive, then Russia will have to decide what to do to protect its 20,000 or so military personnel inside Syria.

A source close to Russian President Vladimir Putin told me that the Russians have warned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Moscow is prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons if necessary to save their troops in the face of a Turkish-Saudi onslaught. Since Turkey is a member of NATO, any such conflict could quickly escalate into a full-scale nuclear confrontation.

Given Erdogan’s megalomania or mental instability and the aggressiveness and inexperience of Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman (defense minister and son of King Salman), the only person who probably can stop a Turkish-Saudi invasion is President Obama. But I’m told that he has been unwilling to flatly prohibit such an intervention, though he has sought to calm Erdogan down and made clear that the U.S. military would not join the invasion.

Are you starting to understand how serious this is?

With all of the talk of a potential invasion in recent days, the Russians are on high alert and are rapidly preparing for a direct conflict with both Saudi Arabia and Turkey.  The following comes from Infowars

Still, the Russians are taking no chances and they have put all their forces into high alert. They have very publicly dispatched a Tu-214r – her most advanced ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) aircraft. You can think of the Tu-214R as an “AWACS for the ground”, the kind of aircraft you use to monitor a major ground battle (the regular Russian A-50Ms are already monitoring the Syrian airspace). In southern Russia, the Aerospace forces have organized large-scale exercises involving a large number of aircraft which would be used in a war against Turkey: SU-34s. The Airborne Forces are ready. The naval task forces off the Syrian coast is being augmented. The delivery of weapons has accelerated. The bottom line is simple and obvious: the Russians are not making any threats – they are preparing for war. In fact, by now they are ready.

In addition, it is important to remember that it is quite likely that the Iranians have nuclear weapons as well.

Of course the U.S. government and the Iranian government both insist that Iran does not have nukes, but many of those in the know insist otherwise.

For instance, you may want to consider what retired U.S. Army Major General Paul Vallely and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Dennis B. Haney are saying.  The following comes from an article that was authored by Jerome Corsi of WND

In a joint statement, Vallely and Haney say an accumulation of available evidence shows a coalition of Russia, China and North Korea have assisted Iran since 1979 in achieving a nuclear weapon, despite sanctions, under the guise of a domestic nuclear energy program.

Vallely explained to WND that he and Haney have taken a systematic approach to evaluating each component needed to deliver a nuclear weapon, from the development and testing of a ballistic missile system, to the design of a nuclear weapons warhead, to the development of the weapons-grade uranium needed to produce a bomb.

“To come to our conclusion that Iran is a nuclear weapons power right now, we supplemented publicly available research, plus information from intelligence sources, including Iranian resistance groups such as the National Council of Resistance of IRAN, NCRI,” Vallely explained.

I happen to agree with Vallely and Haney.  I cannot prove it, but all of the intel that I have received indicates that Iran already has nukes.

Hopefully I will not be proven accurate any time soon.

It had been hoped that a cease-fire could be negotiated that would at least temporarily defuse tensions in Syria.  Unfortunately, it does not look like the shooting is going to stop, and this is going to put immense pressure on both Saudi Arabia and Turkey to do something to rescue the radical Sunni militants that are on the verge of defeat.  The Saudis, the Turks and their allies have poured enormous amounts of money and resources into this war over the past five years, and now they are faced with the choice of either accepting defeat or directly intervening in this conflict themselves.

But in order to conduct a full-fledged ground invasion, they are going to need justification for doing so.  There are some that are suggesting that we could soon see a false flag attack that would provide that justification, so that is something to watch out for.

I can’t remember a time when our planet has been so close to World War 3 potentially beginning.

And if it does break out, I believe that it is quite likely that nuclear weapons will be used.

So what do you think?

Do you agree with me?

Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

The Next War In The Middle East Has Begun And Israel Vows ‘To Act Powerfully On All Fronts’

Israeli Tank - Israel Defense ForcesIsrael and Hezbollah are at war.  On top of everything else that is going on in the world, now we have a new war in the Middle East, and nobody is quite certain what is going to happen next.  Israel has been preparing for this moment for more than 8 years.  So has Hezbollah.  According to some reports, Hezbollah has amassed an arsenal of 50,000 rockets since the end of the Hezbollah-Israel war in 2006.  If all-out warfare does erupt, we could potentially see tens of thousands of missiles rain down into an area not too much larger than the state of New Jersey.  And of course the Israeli military is also much more sophisticated and much more powerful than it was back in 2006.  If cooler heads do not prevail, we could be on the verge of witnessing a very bloody war.  But right now nobody seems to be in the mood to back down.  Hezbollah is absolutely fuming over an airstrike earlier this month that killed six fighters and a prominent Iranian general.  And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that Israel is “prepared to act powerfully on all fronts” in response to a Hezbollah ambush that killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded seven.  Just such an incident is what sparked the war between the two sides back in 2006.  But this time, a conflict between Israel and Hezbollah could spark a full-blown regional war.

Earlier this month, Israel launched a surprise assault against a group of Hezbollah fighters that Israel believed was planning to conduct terror attacks inside their borders.

But in addition to killing six Hezbollah fighters, a very important Iranian general was also killed.  Needless to say, Iran is furious

Iran has told the United States that Israel should expect consequences for an attack on the Syrian-controlled Golan Heights that killed an Iranian general, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Revolutionary Guards General Mohammad Ali Allahdadi died alongside six fighters from Lebanon’s Hezbollah group in the January 18 attack on forces supporting President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war.

And we didn’t have to wait too long for a response.  An IDF convoy was hit by anti-tank missiles near the Lebanon border.  Two Israeli soldiers were killed and seven were wounded.  The following is how the Jerusalem Post described the attack.

The terrorists launched five or six anti-tank missiles from a distance of at least four kilometers from their targets, striking the vehicles as they drove two kilometers from the international border.

In the heavy Hezbollah ambush, a military D-Max vehicle containing a company commander and his driver from the Givati Brigade was the first vehicle hit.

This prompted all of those inside an IDF jeep behind it to quickly evacuate their vehicle before it, too, was hit and destroyed with missiles.

Just over an hour after that attack, mortar rounds struck an Israeli military position on Mt. Hermon.

In response to those strikes, the Israeli military hit back at Hezbollah positions on the other side of the Lebanese border…

Israel struck back with combined aerial and ground strikes on Hezbollah operational positions along the border, the military said.

At least 50 artillery shells were fired at the villages of Majidiyeh, Abbasiyeh and Kfar Chouba, according to Lebanese officials.

But Israel is probably not done.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promising a “disproportionate” response to the Hezbollah attacks, and he says that Hezbollah should consider what Israel recently did to Hamas before taking any more aggressive action…

“To all those trying to challenge us on the northern border, I suggest looking at what happened here, not far from the city of Sderot, in the Gaza strip.  Hamas absorbed the hardest blow since it was founded last summer, and the IDF is ready to act with force on any front.”

If things continue to escalate, we might not just be talking about another Hezbollah-Israel war.

In the south, tensions between Israel and Hamas remain near all-time highs.  In the event of a full-blown war, Hamas probably could be easily convinced to join the fray.  And if Hamas jumps in, the rest of the Palestinians might not be far behind.

In addition, ISIS now has territory near the border with Israel

Because of the strategic importance of the terrain, Iran and Hezbollah have been building infrastructure there for some time.  But their interest in the Golan skyrocketed in December.

The reason: ISIS gained a foothold there when the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade of the Free Syrian Army “defected” from the de facto alliance with the U.S.-Arab coalition against Assad, and declared its allegiance to ISIS.  The Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade had been one of the most active rebel factions holding territory directly adjacent to the “area of separation” between Syria and Israel administered (in theory) by the UN.  In particular, it has held the southern line of confrontation with Syrian regime forces, in the transit corridor leading to the Quneitra border crossing.

Needless to say, ISIS would be extremely interested in any conflict with Israel.

And of course there are all of the other surrounding Islamic nations that are not too fond of Israel either.

The truth is that the Middle East is a perpetual tinderbox.  One spark could set the entire region on fire.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama continues to do all that he can to undermine Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The animosity between the two is well known, and now an “Obama army” of political operatives has been sent to Israel to help defeat Netanyahu in the upcoming elections.

The “leader” of this “Obama army” is Jeremy Bird, who was the national field director for Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign.  But he has plenty of company.  Just check out the following list that was compiled by WND

—–

Besides Bird, the 270 Strategies team includes the following former Obama staffers:

  • Mitch Steward, a 270 Strategies founding partner who helped the Obama campaign build what the U.K. Guardian called “a historic ground operation that will provide the model for political campaigns in America and around the world for years to come.”
  • Mark Beatty, a founding partner who served as deputy battleground states director for the Obama campaign. He had primary responsibility for Obama’s election plans for the battleground states.
  • Marlon Marshall, a founding partner at 270 Strategies who joins the team after holding several key positions in national Democratic politics, most recently as deputy national field director for the 2012 Obama campaign.
  • Betsy Hoover, a founding partner who served as director of digital organizing on the Obama campaign.
  • Meg Ansara, who served as national regional director for Obama for America where she was responsible for overseeing the 2012 programs in the Midwest and southern states.
  • Bridget Halligan, who served as the engagement program manager on the digital team of the 2012 Obama campaign.
  • Kate Catherall, who served as Florida deputy field director for Obama’s re-election campaign.
  • Alex Lofton, who most recently served as the GOTV director of Cleveland, Ohio, for the 2012 Obama campaign.
  • Martha Patzer, the firm’s vice president who served as deputy email director at Obama for America.
  • Jesse Boateng, who served as the Florida voter registration director for Obama’s re-election campaign.
  • Ashley Bryant, who served most recently as the Ohio digital director for the 2012 Obama campaign.
  • Max Clermont, who formerly served as a regional field director in Florida for Obama’s re-election campaign.
  • Max Wood, who served as a deputy data director in Florida for the 2012 Obama campaign.

—–

As the first month of 2015 wraps up, our world is becoming increasingly unstable.

In addition to the oil crash, the collapse of the euro, looming stock market troubles, civil war in Ukraine, tensions with Russia, an economic slowdown in China and imploding economies all over South America, now we have more war in the Middle East.

And if lots of missiles start flying back and forth between Israel and Hezbollah, it could potentially spark the bloodiest war in that region that any of us have ever seen.

So what do you think about the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah?  Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

Who Benefits From A War Between The United States And Syria?

Saudi Arabia - Photo by KeepscasesSomeone wants to get the United States into a war with Syria very, very badly.  Cui bono is an old Latin phrase that is still commonly used, and it roughly means “to whose benefit?”  The key to figuring out who is really behind the push for war is to look at who will benefit from that war.  If a full-blown war erupts between the United States and Syria, it will not be good for the United States, it will not be good for Israel, it will not be good for Syria, it will not be good for Iran and it will not be good for Hezbollah.  The party that stands to benefit the most is Saudi Arabia, and they won’t even be doing any of the fighting.  They have been pouring billions of dollars into the conflict in Syria, but so far they have not been successful in their attempts to overthrow the Assad regime.  Now the Saudis are trying to play their trump card – the U.S. military.  If the Saudis are successful, they will get to pit the two greatest long-term strategic enemies of Sunni Islam against each other – the U.S. and Israel on one side and Shia Islam on the other.  In such a scenario, the more damage that both sides do to each other the happier the Sunnis will be.

There would be other winners from a U.S. war with Syria as well.  For example, it is well-known that Qatar wants to run a natural gas pipeline out of the Persian Gulf, through Syria and into Europe.  That is why Qatar has also been pouring billions of dollars into the civil war in Syria.

So if it is really Saudi Arabia and Qatar that want to overthrow the Assad regime, why does the United States have to do the fighting?

Someone should ask Barack Obama why it is necessary for the U.S. military to do the dirty work of his Sunni Muslim friends.

Obama is promising that the upcoming attack will only be a “limited military strike” and that we will not be getting into a full-blown war with Syria.

The only way that will work is if Syria, Hezbollah and Iran all sit on their hands and do nothing to respond to the upcoming U.S. attack.

Could that happen?

Maybe.

Let’s hope so.

But if there is a response, and a U.S. naval vessel gets hit, or American blood is spilled, or rockets start raining down on Tel Aviv, the U.S. will then be engaged in a full-blown war.

That is about the last thing that we need right now.

The vast majority of Americans do not want to get embroiled in another war in the Middle East, and even a lot of top military officials are expressing “serious reservations” about attacking Syria according to the Washington Post

The Obama administration’s plan to launch a military strike against Syria is being received with serious reservations by many in the U.S. military, which is coping with the scars of two lengthy wars and a rapidly contracting budget, according to current and former officers.

Having assumed for months that the United States was unlikely to intervene militarily in Syria, the Defense Department has been thrust onto a war footing that has made many in the armed services uneasy, according to interviews with more than a dozen military officers ranging from captains to a four-star general.

For the United States, there really is no good outcome in Syria.

If we attack and Assad stays in power, that is a bad outcome for the United States.

If we help overthrow the Assad regime, the rebels take control.  But they would be even worse than Assad.  They have pledged loyalty to al-Qaeda, and they are rabidly anti-American, rabidly anti-Israel and rabidly anti-western.

So why in the world should the United States get involved?

This war would not be good for Israel either.  I have seen a number of supposedly pro-Israel websites out there getting very excited about the prospect of war with Syria, but that is a huge mistake.

Syria has already threatened to attack Israeli cities if the U.S. attacks Syria.  If Syrian missiles start landing in the heart of Tel Aviv, Israel will respond.

And if any of those missiles have unconventional warheads, Israel will respond by absolutely destroying Damascus.

And of course a missile exchange between Syria and Israel will almost certainly draw Hezbollah into the conflict.  And right now Hezbollah has 70,000 rockets aimed at Israel.

If Hezbollah starts launching those rockets, thousands upon thousands of innocent Jewish citizens will be killed.

So all of those “pro-Israel” websites out there that are getting excited about war with Syria should think twice.  If you really are “pro-Israel”, you should not want this war.  It would not be good for Israel.

If you want to stand with Israel, then stand for peace.  This war would not achieve any positive outcomes for Israel.  Even if Assad is overthrown, the rebel government that would replace him would be even more anti-Israel than Assad was.

War is hell.  Ask anyone that has been in the middle of one.  Why would anyone want to see American blood spilled, Israeli blood spilled or Syrian blood spilled?

If the Saudis want this war so badly, they should go and fight it.  Everyone knows that the Saudis have been bankrolling the rebels.  At this point, even CNN is openly admitting this

It is an open secret that Saudi Arabia is using Jordan to smuggle weapons into Syria for the rebels. Jordan says it is doing all it can to prevent that and does not want to inflame the situation in Syria.

And Assad certainly knows who is behind the civil war in his country.  The following is an excerpt from a recent interview with Assad

Of course it is well known that countries, such as Saudi Arabia, who hold the purse strings can shape and manipulate them to suit their own interests.

Ideologically, these countries mobilize them through direct or indirect means as extremist tools. If they declare that Muslims must pursue Jihad in Syria, thousands of fighters will respond. Financially, those who finance and arm such groups can instruct them to carry out acts of terrorism and spread anarchy. The influence over them is synergized when a country such as Saudi Arabia directs them through both the Wahhabi ideology and their financial means.

And shortly after the British Parliament voted against military intervention in Syria, Saudi Arabia raised their level of “defense readiness” from “five” to “two” in a clear sign that they fully expect a war to happen

Saudi Arabia, a supporter of rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad, has raised its level of military alertness in anticipation of a possible Western strike in Syria, sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The United States has been calling for punitive action against Assad’s government for a suspected poison gas attack on a Damascus suburb on August 21 that killed hundreds of people.

Saudi Arabia’s defense readiness has been raised to “two” from “five”, a Saudi military source who declined to be named told Reuters. “One” is the highest level of alert.

And guess who has been supplying the rebels in Syria with chemical weapons?

According to Associated Press correspondent Dale Gavlak, it has been the Saudis

Syrian rebels in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta have admitted to Associated Press correspondent Dale Gavlak that they were responsible for last week’s chemical weapons incident which western powers have blamed on Bashar Al-Assad’s forces, revealing that the casualties were the result of an accident caused by rebels mishandling chemical weapons provided to them by Saudi Arabia.

“From numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families….many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the (deadly) gas attack,” writes Gavlak.

And this is someone that isn’t just fresh out of journalism school.  As Paul Joseph Watson noted, “Dale Gavlak’s credibility is very impressive. He has been a Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press for two decades and has also worked for National Public Radio (NPR) and written articles for BBC News.”

The Voice of Russia has also been reporting on Gavlak’s bombshell findings…

The rebels noted it was a result of an accident caused by rebels mishandling chemical weapons provided to them.

“My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry,” said Abu Abdel-Moneim, the father of a rebel fighting to unseat Assad, who lives in Ghouta.

As Gavlak reports, Abdel-Moneim said his son and 12 other rebels died in a weapons storage tunnel. The father stated the weapons were provided to rebel forces by a Saudi militant, known as Abu Ayesha, describing them as having a “tube-like structure” while others were like a “huge gas bottle.”

“They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them,” complained a female fighter named ‘K’. “We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”

“When Saudi Prince Bandar gives such weapons to people, he must give them to those who know how to handle and use them,” she warned. She, like other Syrians, do not want to use their full names for fear of retribution.

Gavlak also refers to an article in the UK’s Daily Telegraph about secret Russian-Saudi talks stating that Prince Bandar threatened Russian President Vladimir Putin with terror attacks at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if Russia doesn’t agree to change its stance on Syria.

“Prince Bandar pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord,” the article stated.

“I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” Saudi Prince allegedly told Vladimir Putin.

Yes, the Saudis were so desperate to get the Russians to stand down and allow an attack on Syria that they actually threatened them.  Zero Hedge published some additional details on the meeting between Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan and Russian President Vladimir Putin…

Bandar told Putin, “There are many common values and goals that bring us together, most notably the fight against terrorism and extremism all over the world. Russia, the US, the EU and the Saudis agree on promoting and consolidating international peace and security. The terrorist threat is growing in light of the phenomena spawned by the Arab Spring. We have lost some regimes. And what we got in return were terrorist experiences, as evidenced by the experience of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the extremist groups in Libya. … As an example, I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us, and they will not move in the Syrian territory’s direction without coordinating with us. These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role or influence in Syria’s political future.”

It is good of the Saudis to admit they control a terrorist organization that “threatens the security” of the Sochi 2014 Olympic games, and that house of Saud uses “in the face of the Syrian regime.” Perhaps the next time there is a bombing in Boston by some Chechen-related terrorists, someone can inquire Saudi Arabia what, if anything, they knew about that.

But the piece de resistance is what happened at the end of the dialogue between the two leaders. It was, in not so many words, a threat by Saudi Arabia aimed squarely at Russia:

As soon as Putin finished his speech, Prince Bandar warned that in light of the course of the talks, things were likely to intensify, especially in the Syrian arena, although he appreciated the Russians’ understanding of Saudi Arabia’s position on Egypt and their readiness to support the Egyptian army despite their fears for Egypt’s future.

The head of the Saudi intelligence services said that the dispute over the approach to the Syrian issue leads to the conclusion that “there is no escape from the military option, because it is the only currently available choice given that the political settlement ended in stalemate. We believe that the Geneva II Conference will be very difficult in light of this raging situation.”

At the end of the meeting, the Russian and Saudi sides agreed to continue talks, provided that the current meeting remained under wraps. This was before one of the two sides leaked it via the Russian press.

Are you starting to get the picture?

The Saudis are absolutely determined to make this war happen, and they expect us to do the fighting.

And Barack Obama plans to go ahead and attack Syria without the support of the American people or the approval of Congress.

According to a new NBC News poll that was just released, nearly 80 percent of all Americans want Congress to approve a strike on Syria before it happens.

And according to Politico, more than 150 members of Congress have already signed letters demanding that Obama get approval from them before attacking Syria…

Already Thursday, more than 150 members of Congress have signaled their opposition to airstrikes on Syria without a congressional vote. House members circulated two separate letters circulated that were sent to the White House demanding a congressional role before military action takes place. One, authored by Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), has more than 150 signatures from Democrats and Republicans. Another, started by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), is signed by 53 Democrats, though many of them also signed Rigell’s letter.

But Obama has already made it perfectly clear that he has no intention of putting this before Congress.

He is absolutely determined to attack Syria, and he is not going to let the U.S. Congress or the American people stop him.

Let’s just hope that he doesn’t start World War III in the process.

Will War With Syria Cause The Price Of Oil To Explode Higher?

F-16 Photo by TMWolfAre you ready to pay four, five or possibly even six dollars for a gallon of gasoline?  War has consequences, and a conflict with Syria has the potential to escalate wildly out of control very rapidly.  The Obama administration is pledging that the upcoming attack on Syria will be “brief and limited” and that the steady flow of oil out of the Middle East will not be interrupted.  But what happens if Syria strikes back?  What happens if Syrian missiles start raining down on Tel Aviv?  What happens if Hezbollah or Iran starts attacking U.S. or Israeli targets?  Unless Syria, Hezbollah and Iran all stand down and refuse to fight back, we could very easily be looking at a major regional war in the Middle East, and that could cause the price of oil to explode higher.  Syria is not a major oil producer, but approximately a third of all of the crude oil in the world is produced in the Middle East.  If the Suez Canal or the Persian Gulf (or both) get shut down for an extended period of time, the consequences would be dramatic.  The price of oil has already risen about 15% so far this summer, and war in the Middle East could potentially send it soaring into record territory.

We can always hope that cooler heads prevail and that a conflict is avoided, but at this point it does not look like that is going to happen.  In fact, according to Richard Engel of NBC News, a senior U.S. official has admitted that “we’re past the point of return” and that a strike on Syria can be expected within days.

Obama is promising that the U.S. will “take limited, tailored approaches”, and that we will not be “getting drawn into a long conflict, not a repetition of, you know, Iraq, which I know a lot of people are worried about”, but how in the world can he guarantee that?

Syria, Iran and Hezbollah have all threatened to attack Israel if the U.S. attacks Syria.

If missiles start raining down on Israeli cities, the Israelis are not just going to sit there and take it like they did during the first Gulf War.  In fact, according to the Los Angeles Times, “Israeli leaders are making it clear that they have no intention of standing down this time if attacked”.

If Israel is attacked, their military response will be absolutely massive.

And then we will have the major regional war in the Middle East that so many people have been warning about for so many years.  Hundreds of thousands of people will die and the global economy will be paralyzed.

So what will Obama do in such a situation?

Will he pack up and go home?

Of course not.  We would be committed to fighting a brutal, horrific war that there was absolutely no reason to start in the first place.

And we are already starting to feel the effect of rising tensions in the Middle East.  This week, the price of oil rose to a 10-month high

U.S. oil prices soared to an 18-month high as traders worried that a potential military strike against Syria could disrupt the region’s oil supplies.

October crude futures surged 2.9%, to $109.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, their highest close since February 2012. Brent futures ended up 3.2% at $114.28 a barrel, a six-month high.

Posted below is a chart that shows how the price of oil has moved over the past several decades.  Could we soon break the all-time record of $147 a barrel that was set back in 2008?…

The Price Of Oil

And of course we all remember what happened when the price of oil got that high back in 2008.  The global economy was plunged into the worst downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

A major conflict in the Middle East, especially if it goes on for an extended period of time, could send the price of oil to absolutely ridiculous levels.

Every single day, a massive amount of oil is moved through the Suez Canal.  The following is from a recent Wall Street Journal article

To the southwest is the Suez Canal, one such chokepoint, which connects the Red Sea and the Gulf of the Suez with the Mediterranean Sea. The canal transports about 800,000 barrels of crude and 1.4 million barrels of petroleum products daily, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Another regional oil shipping route potentially threatened by the Syria crisis is the Sumed, or Suez-Mediterranean, pipeline, also in Egypt, which moves oil from the Persian Gulf region to the Mediterranean. The Sumed handles 1.7 million barrels of crude oil per day, the EIA said.

And of course an enormous amount of oil moves through the Persian Gulf each day as well.  If the Suez Canal and/or the Persian Gulf were to be shut down, there would almost immediately be global supply problems.

So how high could the price of oil go?

Well, according to CNBC, some analysts believe that $150 a barrel could easily be hit if the U.S. attacks Syria…

Some analysts believe even U.S. crude, West Texas Intermediate (WTI crude) could get close to the $150 zone. “If oil prices spike on the Syria attack, and surge above $120, the next logical upside target is going to be the 2008 high of $147, which could easily be taken out,” said John Kilduff of Again Capital. “It’s the retaliation to the retaliation that we have to be worried about.”

If the price of oil soars up to that level and keeps going, we could see the price of gasoline go up to four, five or maybe even six dollars a gallon in some areas of the country.

You better start saving up lots of gas money.

It looks like you are going to need it.

What Would War Between Israel And Syria Do To The Already Fragile Global Economy?

War Between Israel And Syria?War is a horrible thing.  Just ask anyone that has ever been in the middle of it.  And in this day and age governments around the world possess weapons of such incalculable power that war should be unthinkable.  In future wars, we could literally see millions of people killed on a single day.  Nobody should want that or look forward to that.  Unfortunately, the next major regional war in the Middle East appears to be closer than ever.  But nobody should want it to actually happen.  During the next major regional war in the Middle East we will likely see death on a scale that is unprecedented.  It won’t be like the wars of 1967 or 1973.  It will likely be a fight to the death where nothing is held back.  You see, the truth is that most Americans have no idea what is really going on in the Middle East.  There are ancient grudges and ancient hatreds that go back for thousands of years.  There is no “peace plan” that is going to suddenly make everything okay.  The Middle East is a simmering volcano of hate and resentment that could erupt at any moment.  That is why what is happening in Syria right now is so important.  An Israeli airstrike in Damascus that reportedly was attempting to destroy a shipment of Fateh-110 missiles that Iran was sending to Hezbollah has brought Israel and Syria to the brink of war.  In fact, Syria is calling the airstrike a “declaration of war” and is vowing retaliation.  The Syrian government is saying that “Israeli aggression opens the door to all possibilities“, but they have not provided any specifics about what they plan to do.  Meanwhile, Israel has made it very clear that they will do whatever is necessary to keep Fateh-110 missiles from getting into the hands of Hezbollah.  With those missiles, Iranian-backed Hezbollah would have the capability of striking the heart of Tel Aviv with a very high degree of accuracy.  So it is definitely understandable why Israel would not want Hezbollah to have those missiles.  Just think about it – would you want Russia or China to deploy highly advanced missile systems in northern Mexico which could rain down hell on Los Angeles and Dallas in less than five minutes?  Unfortunately, this gives Iran the perfect way to provoke a war between Israel and Syria.  All they have to do is keep rolling trucks loaded with Fateh-110 missiles through war-torn Syria toward Hezbollah bases in Lebanon.  Israel will feel forced to intervene, and the rest of the Islamic world will get angrier and angrier.

The explosions that rocked northern Damascus on Sunday were absolutely massive.  It is being reported that they registered about two or three on the Richter scale, and enormous balls of fire that lit up the sky could be seen from all over Damascus.

The following is how the Washington Post described the attack…

Israeli warplanes bombed the outskirts of Damascus early Sunday for the second time in recent days, according to Syrian state media and reports from activists, signaling a sharp escalation in tensions between the neighboring countries that had already been exacerbated by the conflict raging in Syria.

Videos posted on the Internet by activists showed a huge fireball erupting on Mount Qassioun, a landmark hill overlooking the capital on which the Syrian government has deployed much of the firepower it is using against rebel-controlled areas surrounding the city.

So why did Israel do this?

Despite what the anti-Israel crowd is suggesting, Israel did not do this just to be mean.  As Reuters is reporting, Israel was specifically targeting Fateh-110 missiles that were on their way to Hezbollah…

Israel does not confirm such missions explicitly – a policy it says is intended to avoid provoking reprisals. But an Israeli official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that the strikes were carried out by its forces, as was a raid early on Friday that U.S. President Barack Obama said had been justified.

A Western intelligence source told Reuters: “In last night’s attack, as in the previous one, what was attacked were stores of Fateh-110 missiles that were in transit from Iran to Hezbollah.”

These missiles would significantly change the balance of power if they got into the hands of Hezbollah.  According to the Times of Israel, Fateh-110 missiles would be a very serious threat not only to Tel Aviv – these missiles would also threaten cities all the way down to Beersheba…

Uzi Rubin, a missile expert and former Defense Ministry official, told the Associated Press that if the target was a consignment of Fatah-110 missiles, then such weaponry did constitute a “game-changer”: Fired from Syria or south Lebanon, these missiles, he said, could reach almost anywhere in Israel with high accuracy.

Rubin emphasized that he was speaking as a rocket expert and had no details about the reported strikes.

“If fired from southern Lebanon, they can reach Tel Aviv and even [the southern city of] Beersheba,” Rubin said. He said the rockets are much five times more accurate than the Scud missiles that Hezbollah has fired in the past. “It is a game-changer because they are a threat to Israel’s infrastructure and military installations,” he said.

So that is why Israel carried out these airstrikes.  They feel like they simply cannot allow Hezbollah to have these weapons.  And with Hezbollah’s track record, that is very understandable.

Unfortunately, these airstrikes have also brought the Middle East much closer to the next war.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Syria is positioning units for a potential conflict with Israel…

Syria has stationed missile batteries aimed at Israel in the aftermath of alleged Israeli air strikes in the country, the website of Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen TV, considered close to the regime of President Bashar Assad, quoted a top Syrian official as saying on Sunday.

In response, Israel has deployed two Iron Dome batteries to northern Israel, they have closed off airspace in northern Israel to commercial traffic, and Israeli embassies around the world have been put on high alert.

But Syria may choose not to retaliate against Israel directly.  According to WND, Syria may decide to allow jihadist groups to carry out their vengeance for them…

The Syrian government will soon declare it is opening its borders with Israel for Palestinian and other jihad groups to carry out attacks against the Jewish state, a senior Syrian official told WND.

Separately, informed Middle Eastern security officials said the Syrian army held a meeting Sunday afternoon with the leaders of the military wing of the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad terrorist group to discuss retaliation against Israel for the recent air strikes near Damascus.

According to those officials, Islamic Jihad and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah are coordinating a possible reaction to Israel’s reported strikes.

In any event, things are definitely becoming more unstable over in the Middle East.

So what would a war between Israel and Syria do to the already fragile global economy?

Well, a war between Israel and Syria would likely paralyze the entire region.  Hezbollah and Hamas would almost certainly jump into the war on the side of Syria, and there is the potential that nations such as Iran, Egypt and even Jordan could get involved as well.

In such a scenario, the flow of oil from the Middle East could become interrupted for an extended period of time, and that would have serious consequences for the global economy.

But the bigger threat to the global economy would be the fear that a regional war in the Middle East would create.  Global financial markets respond very badly to fear, and right now the world economy is already teetering on the brink of disaster.  Much of Europe has already descended into a full-blown economic depression, and there are signs that the greatest debt bubble in the history of the planet is starting to burst.

The next major wave of the economic collapse is rapidly approaching, and a major regional war in the Middle East would greatly accelerate our economic problems.

Unfortunately, it appears that such a conflict is inevitable.

I don’t believe that it will happen yet though.  For the moment, I believe that cooler headers will prevail.

But as tensions continue to rise, I believe that we will see tempers boil over and the Middle East will descend into full-blown warfare at some point within the next several years.

Of course I could always be wrong about this.  We will just have to wait and see what happens.

So what do you think?

Do you believe that we will see a regional war in the Middle East soon?

Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…

The Beginning Of The End by Michael Snyder

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