Russia and Turkey: Battling it Out in Syria?

Hi friends! There is plenty going on in Syria, particularly in the region of Idlib which, according to the Sochi agreement between Russia and Turkey, provides a safe place for Sunni Arabs in the midst of the chaos in Syria.

Recently, Russia and Turkey have played cat and mouse games in the region (see A Very Busy Weekend in Syria) and things seem to be escalating quickly.

Following the events of that weekend (last weekend of February 2020), Erdogan headed to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin this past Thursday. Putin used the occasion to totally humiliate Erdogan, thus escalating the situation even more.

Reports have since surfaced that Turkey moved the longest convoy of military equipment ever in the Syrian crisis overnight last night. Some 300 vehicles are believed to have been moved into the area of Idlib.

By the way, the US is backing the Turkish position regarding enforcement of the Sochi agreement, providing a safe place for the Sunni rebels in Idlib.

Could this escalate into war on a greater scale? If so, to what extent will the US participate?

Finally, keep in mind, though Russia, Iran and Turkey will unite in the ultimate invasion of Israel, as prophesied in Ezekiel 38-39, the nations really don’t like one another, and are in the midst of killing soldiers on every side. Each is after power, but with very different motivation. Putin is longing to re-establish Russia as a world superpower, with him as the czar. He needs oil and gas (found in parts of Syria and in Israeli waters off the Mediterranean coast) to under gird an economy that is in dire straights and preventing him from seizing power.

Erdogan longs to re-establish, and even expand, the old Ottoman Empire, where he would rule the Sunni Muslim world. He must conquer Syria (which is backed by Russia).

Meanwhile, Iran wants to establish a worldwide caliphate, under Shia Muslim ideology. Theirs is a spiritual pursuit, as they believe Allah has called them specifically to destroy the infidels (basically, anyone who does not embrace Shia theology) and create chaos that will enable the Shi’ite messiah to come on the scene.

Militarily, it is a very mixed up world in the Middle East. Add to that a very real political push by Israel’s Blue and White party to unseat Benjamin Netanyahu as Israel’s Prime Minister, even if it means allowing the Arab party (Joint List) into a left-wing coalition led by Benny Gantz and two other former IDF chiefs of staff. The animosity toward Netanyahu makes the American liberals’ disdain for President Trump seem to be child’s play.

My friends, I believe we are seeing an all-out attack, filled with hatred rooted in deception, to destroy the fabric of society in both Israel and America. Hold on, for we may be in for the ride of our lives, and things could change very dramatically.

But there is HOPE! Jesus, our Redeemer, has promised to return for us! It doesn’t mean we will not go through any tough times. Indeed, I suspect we will. However, we will not endure God’s wrath that will be poured out upon the earth during the Tribulation. He will spare us from that.

… wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

~1 Thessalonians 1:10

As I have considered the news swirling around us in light of God’s faithfulness, I have an assignment for you! Please carve out 10 minutes to read the entire book of 1 Thessalonians, looking in each of the five chapters for words of encouragement about the coming of our Lord! I promise you will be blessed! (Why not share your thoughts in the comment section so we can encourage one another as 1 Thessalonians 5:11 commands!)

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