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30 Apr: The IDF has imposed a general lockdown on the occupied territories and closed the Gaza crossings, starting from Saturday night, April 4 until Wednesday, May 3. During those three days, Israel marks its annual day of mourning for the fallen in battle and terrorist attacks with national events taking place Sunday night and Monday, followed by Independence Day celebrations Tuesday.
The Israeli Air Force has openly intervened in the Syrian war launching a series of attacks on the Syrian army’s 90th Brigade and a Hezbollah force advancing against rebels from the Mt. Hermon village of Hader towards Quneitra near Israel’s Golan border.
Russia rejects US attack on North Korea as completely unacceptable since there are still years available for talks before NK is anywhere near producing a deliverable weaponized nuclear device. The US says it will talk with the North, but only after North Korea agrees to all US demands first.
Trump obliquely threatens a military attack on North Korea if any more missile tests take place. Allies and South Korea are conducting another week of naval exercises while THAAD is being activated.
29 Apr: A Blessed Sabbath for all God’s faithful!
28 Apr: North Korea accused of conducting another failed missile test.
Trump threatens to scrap trade deals with South Korea if the South will not back war on North Korea.
Israeli Right pushing massive Jerusalem building project to celebrate Six Day War, which project would end hopes for Trump plans to start Mideast peace talks at the May 22 Summit in Jerusalem. Israeli cabinet also highly unlikely to pass proposal for talks putting the governing coalition in crisis once again. Elections could be called soon.
27 Apr: New Moon Announcement: Despite hazy conditions the first light of the new moon was seen at Jerusalem this evening making sunset tonight the beginning of the first day of the second biblical month.
According the Biblical Calendar that God gave to Moses [not the modern Rabbinic Calendar finalized in 1178 A.D. which is based on the unscriptural darkness of molads] the first day of the second biblical month is expected at sunset this evening. For a study of the Biblical and modern Rabbinic Calendars download our “Biblical Sabbath and Calendar” book for free from the side bar at TheShiningLight School of Biblical Studies site. We are commanded to observe the New Moons with Bible Studies and with blasting the shofar in rejoicing.
THAAD system to go active within one week.
Many months of rumors of Kim overthrow increasing exponentially as US ratchets up pressure. Kim family may fall in consequence of present crisis.
Trump to visit Israel 22 May.
Israel launches a heavy airstrike on Damascus airport damaging or destroying several buildings. At least five missile strike warehouses used to supply Iranian forces fighting Western backed rebels inside Syria.
Syria launches general offensive against Israeli backed rebels occupying villages on Syrian Golan heights.
Firefight breaks out on Gaza border with Israel.
26 Apr: Trump making tentative plans to visit Israel as soon as late May.
The United States violates treaty agreements slapping a 24% import duty on Canadian lumber. The tariff will not hurt Canada but will add thousands to the cost of even a modest American home.
25 Apr: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Russia Thursday for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, where they hope to sign a peace treaty ending WW II and normalizing relations between Japan and Russia.
North Korea deployed a large number of long-range artillery units in the region of Wonsan on its east coast on Tuesday, conducting a large-scale, live-fire drill. North Korea test fired about 400 long range artillery pieces. The move was an apparent face saving gesture after warnings against missile or nuclear tests by the international community including China.
South Korea’s Navy is conducting a live-fire exercise with U.S. Navy destroyers on Tuesday in waters west of the Korean peninsula and would soon join the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group
US VP Pence rushing home from Asia trip to attend White House briefing of all 100 senators on North Korea which begins at 19:00 GMT Wednesday.
The United States to try for blockade of North Korea at UNSC Friday, pushing Resolution with a threat of launching an immediate attack if it is not approved. This is the same approach that Bush used for Iraq; demand a resolution authorizing war, backed by a threat to attack anyway.
The USS MIchigan missile submarine arrives in South Korea.
24 Apr: Iraqi forces are advancing strongly in Mosul and many remaining Islamic State fighters are fleeing both Mosul and the nearby city of Tel Afar.
Heavy fighting is underway in the Raqqa, Syria area as the American sponsored Kurdish force advances against the Islamic State. The Islamic State government has fled Raqqa for Deir Ezzor and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by the international coalition, reports that the Islamic State (IS) has began to break down in Raqqa and is executing many of its foreign elements who are trying to flee the city. Raqqa is surrounded and under siege by the SDF which is preparing to liberate the city.
Syria is also making huge progress against the foreign sponsored insurgency in that country. A sixth round of evacuations took place on Monday rebels from the neighborhood of al-Waer in Homs. The government will retake control of the neighborhood after the last of 12 rounds of evacuations are complete, in three to four weeks.
Areas all over Syria have surrendered to the government in exchange for exile to the rebel-held province of Idlib. Tens of thousands have accepted to leave from areas around Damascus, Homs, and Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. Another 8,000 people have left two pro-government towns in northern Syria, besieged by rebels.
This population transfer liberates most non Islamic State insurgent held areas inside Syria and concentrates the Western sponsored rebels in Idlib province bringing the Western created civil war in Syria to an end.
The fight is not over yet however because Israel will so0on attack Gaza, Hezbollah and destroy the power of Syria allowing the rebels to advance in strength from idlib to change the regime in Damascus.
Trump administration ratchets up anti Iran propaganda.
US continues to reject any investigation of the Syrian chemical incident.
The US and Egypt cement their alliance with joint military exercises.
Staunch Catholic pro Europe Macron in position to win French presidency
23 Apr: Israel bombs Syrian base in support of Israeli backed Syrian rebel militias on Golan.
Its Macron and LePen for the May 7 French presidential final.
Two Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers left Sasebo port in southern Japan on Friday to join the USS Carl Vinson strike group in the Sea of Japan. The USS Nimitz and Reagan with British and Australian ships are also headed for North Korea.
22 Apr: A Blessed Sabbath for all God’s faithful!
21 Apr: All US Senators will be briefed on North Korea on April 26. The highly unusual move will fulfill the law concerning reporting and consulting with the senate on new not yet authorized military action.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and director of national intelligence Dan Coats will brief all 100 senators Wednesday on North Korea’s recent threats and U.S. policy toward the country.
Guidance sent to lawmakers Friday rescheduled the location of the meeting, moving it from the Senate to the White House, according to Politico. No congressional staffers will be allowed at the briefing.
Consulting with the entire senate instead of with senate leaders by the State and Defense Secretaries and the venue at the White House, has a very ominous tone in light of the massive military buildup in the Korean theatre.
President Hassan Rouhani was among six candidates approved by Iran’s Guardian Council for the May 19 presidential elections, the others are Ebrahim Raisi and Mostafa Mirsalim, Tehran mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, moderate Mostafa Hashemitaba and Rouhani’s ally and vice-president Eshaq Jahangiri.
20 Apr: Tens of thousands of Russian troops with tanks and armored vehicles arrived today on Russia’s 18-kilometer-long border with North Korea from the military base in Vladivostok. China has dispatched over 150,000 troops to its border with North Korea. The troops are being deployed to seal the border dur9ng the imminent conflict.
Media reports that Trump made a gaff by announcing the deployment of the USS Carl Vinson to Korea are absurd. The media are well aware that a deployment does not necessarily mean a direct course to the objective. It was a media error not an error by Trump. The USS Carl Vinson Strike groups did one last attack practice before heading north to join the USS Reagan and Nimitz in the vicinity of Korea ETA April 25.
April 25 is North Korean “Army Day” around which missile or even a nuclear test are considered a possibility. Any such test could be considered a strong enough pretext by the allies to attack the North Koreans if that decision is taken.
Egyptian military sources reported today that 19 fighters including senior figures from the ISIS affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula, Ansar Bayt al Maqdis, were killed in an airstrike by the country’s forces. Egypt is trying to tighten security ahead of next week’s visit by Pope Francis following suicide bombings at two Coptic churches on April 9 and Tuesday’s attack by ISIS at Saint Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai.
Syria moves many of its aircraft to a Russian air base to protect them from any further attacks.
19 Apr: Posting has been suspended for today out of respect for the Biblical High Holy Day, the seventh [and last] day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread; which began at sunset ending 18 April according to the calendar that God gave to Moses. See “The Biblical Sabbath and Calendar” and “The Biblical Spring Festivals” series at our School of Biblical Studies site.
18 Apr: US South Korean exercise Max Thunder kicked off Monday, the event goes until Apr. 28.
Roughly 1,000 American and about 500 South Koreans are taking part in the air force exercise. The exercise will bring together US Air Force F-16s, Marine AV-8B Harriers, Navy EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft, and various aircraft from South Korea, to include the F-15K, F-16, F-5E, F-4E, and others.
British PM Theresa May seeks to take advantage of 46% to 25% poll lead calling a general election to be held on June 8. She will put the motion to the House of Commons Wednesday where it requires a two-third majority to pass. May says she needs a strong mandate to negotiate Brixet.
US Defense Secretary James Mattis arrives in Cairo on Wednesday, high on the agenda is an American take out of the Islamic State headquarters cave system in the Jabal Halal wilderness of Sinai. The Sixth Fleet is standing by for a decision to be made as to whether to use the MOAB bomb or a multitude of cruise missiles to destroy the IS headquarters and supply depot cave system and finally bring an end ot the Islamic State in Sinai.
VP Pence in Tokyo consults with Japan on North Korea.
Kim In Ryong, North Korea’s deputy United Nations ambassador, said Monday the US has created “a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any minute.” “[North Korea] is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US,” he said.
Vice Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol told the BBC that more missile tests would take place “on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis.” An “all-out war” would result if the US took military action.
US State Department Acting Assistant Secretary Susan Thornton warned Monday that there would be a “significant international response” if North Korea were to mount another nuclear test.
17 Apr: North Korea to hold Army Day on April 25, Chinese diplomacy given a few more days until then. US warns of strike if any missile or nuclear tests conducted, Russia warns US about breaking international law
Yes wins Turkey referendum by 1.3%, “No” side claims irregularities and rejects decision bringing more political unrest.
1,000 Palestinian prisoners begin hunger strike.
16 Apr: Russia is taking steps to protect its major base at Vladivostok, just 13 km from the border with North Korea. The movement of tanks and missiles was observed by witnesses living in the border city and posted on social media. According to reports, the military convoy caught on camera included air defense missiles.
North Korean missile test failed. US officials before and after the North Korean missile detonated: “We had good intelligence before the launch and good intelligence after the launch,” was one. The US Pacific Command said it had detected and tracked what it assessed to be a North Korean ballistic missile launch. Another US official remarked: “It’s a failed test. It followed another failed test.
The missile tests could have naturally failed or been sabotaged by sending powerful electromagnetic pulses to disrupt communications with the missile or a cyberattack against the missile’s control system.
Previous North Korean missile tests in March and April were also unsuccessful. Is the US testing out its countermeasures on the missile launches?
A Palestinian team heads to Washington April 23rd to facilitate a visit by president Abbas on 3 May. The focus of the May 3 meet will be on starting new Mideast peace talks with Israel.
The United States has been consulting with British officials for weeks on attacking North Korea. Today US VP Pence is in Seoul consulting with South Korean officials on the war plans before heading to Japan for the same purpose. Then Pence is off to Australia and Indonesia. The attack is planned to be massive, to put the North Koreans off balance and keep them in a state of confusion to prevent any counterattack on the South until the North collapses. Japan and others are currently dusting off plans to evacuate their nationals should the need arise.
15 Apr: A blessed Sabbath for all God’s faithful!
14 Apr: Trump gives ultimatum to North Korea as war tensions escalate sharply.
Today Russia, Syria and Iran strongly warned the United States against launching new strikes on Syria and called for an international probe into last week’s chemical attack there. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, warned that any further such action would entail “grave consequences not only for regional but global security.”
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will visit Israel and Egypt to discuss regional security in the course of a Middle East tour starting next Monday in Saudi Arabia. In Riyadh, his talks will focus on the Saudi-US security partnership and discussions on the war in Yemen. In Israel, he will meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman. Mattis’ trip will conclude April 23 in Djibouti where Mattis will meet with President Ismail Omar Guelleh
Turkey referendum Sunday.
13 Apr: Posting has been suspended for today out of respect for the Biblical High Holy Day, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread; which began last evening at sunset according to the calendar that God gave to Moses. See “The Biblical Sabbath and Calendar” and “The Biblical Spring Festivals” series at our School of Biblical Studies site.
12 Apr: North Korea preparations underway to test nuclear weapon as early as Saturday morning. The test device is expected to be about 19 times the Hiroshima bomb yield.
After extensive talks the US and Russia agree to temporarily set aside other differences to concentrate on the Islamic State.
China calls for peaceful pressure on North Korea suggesting joint US China cooperation on North Korea. Trump rejects the call threatening military action. Several ships from the Japanese defense force join the USS Carl Vinson for sabre rattling off the North Korean coast.
Besides the USS Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Force armada augmented by allied war ships heading to N Korea, “ground, air, naval and special operations are taking part in several joint and combined field training operations in South Korea which involve at least 17,000 US troops including Army Rangers, Delta Force and Green Berets along with 300,000 South Korean and thousands of other allied forces.
The training commenced one day after the US deployed its state of the art THAAD missile defence system to the region. The Foal Eagle and Key Resolve exercise are being carried out from March 7 to April 30 in South Korea
South Korea’s JoongAng Daily has claimed the teams are taking part in a drill to simulate the removal of North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. US Korean war preparations in pictures.
11 Apr: The Russian, Iranian and Syrian foreign ministers, Sergey Lavrov, Mohammed Javad Zarif and Walid Moallem will meet in Moscow Friday to draft a reply to the Tillerson proposals being made to Russia today. Tillerson is trying to drive a wedge between Moscow and Syria / Iran by making generous offers to Russia to abandon the alliance.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday said North Korea “is looking for trouble” and vowed to get the murderous regime of dictator Kim Jong-Un under control, with or without China’s help. Shortly after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump tweeted: “I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the US will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!”
G7 meet fails with Europeans demanding a full honest investigation of Syria chemical incident and the US refusing. Tillerson heads to Moscow needing Russian cooperation against Islamic State far more than Russia needs the US. Look for differences to be sidelined until after Korea and Islamic State issues resolved.
North Korea plans nuclear test 19 times more powerful than Hiroshima bomb in lead up to Army Day Apr 25. US warned China / Korea that the US will attack if the test takes place. Chima deploys 150,000 troops to Yalu River border with North Korea. The force includes Field Hospitals and refugee facilities. Both North and South Korea preparing for war, which should be devastating for the North. See 9 Apr news.
10 Apr: Special prosecutor appointed to Netanyahu corruption case indicating that charges likely.
Tillerson at G7 meet in Italy trades barbs with Russia. The G7 scheduled a special session to discuss Syria, to be attended by the seven members and the foreign ministers of Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Qatar. The meeting is to establish joint demands before Tillerson is scheduled to travel to Moscow to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
After consulting with Tokyo and Soul Trump sends threat to North Korea.
An Islamic State rocket fired from Sinai midday Monday caused no casualties but damaged a tomato greenhouse in the Eshkol district. Israel closes Sinai crossing after warnings of pending Islamic Sate attacks on Sinai tourist spots.
Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported that hard-line cleric Ebrahim Raisi a close ally of the country’s supreme leader has announced he will run in the May 19 presidential election. A win or a close election will open the way for the American funded National Endowment for Democracy to organize and finance a “grass roots” street uprising in Iran.
9 Apr: Update 14:00 PDT: Trump informed Chinese president Xi that he will act to denuclearize and neutralize North Korea. State Secretary Tillerson said that China agrees that US must take military action against North Korea. The logical course would be for the US to take down the NK military and for China to enter the country to stabilize it before reunification talks of a possibly a neutral united Korea.
Trump has ordered the super Carrier Strike Group USS Carl Vinson to deploy to waters off North Korea. The Strike Group, including two Missile Frigates, is now sailing from the Singapore area after Trump’s talks with Chinese leader and the NK leader Kim’s condemnation of the Trump attack on Syria using it to justify ramping up nuclear weapons research.
The US naval move is in advance of celebrations and a huge military parade scheduled for April 15 and 25, marking the 105th birthday of its founding president, Kim Il Sung, and the 85th anniversary of the creation of the Korean People’s Army. Missiles are expected to be launched and other tests may be made during the celebrations; to which Trump may want to react as a means of bringing down the regime. Rumors abound of a planned assassination of the North Korean president as well.
Copt churches in Tanta and Alexandria, Egypt were bombed by Islamic State killing at least 37 people.
See new article: US Mideast War Preparations and a Kurdish State
Icelandic low-cost airline WOW Air to operate low-cost flights between Israel and the US is approved by the Israeli transportation ministry, round trip tickets will cost approximately $500. WOW plans to operate four weekly flights from Tel Aviv to North America via the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik starting June 9.
8 Apr: A Blessed Sabbath for all God’s Faithful. Biblical Passover April 12, first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread April 13.
7 Apr: Russia to make extensive upgrades to Syria air defenses.
Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from two Navy destroyers — the USS Ross and USS Porter — in the eastern Mediterranean. Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said Friday that the Tomahawks attacked “aircraft, hardened aircraft shelters, petroleum and logistical storage, ammunition supply bunkers, air defense systems, and radars” at Shayrat airfield. “The places we targeted were the things that made the airfield operate. It’s the petroleum facilities, it’s the aircraft radar, what they use for take-off and landing, as well as air-defense radar, as well as the aircraft.” Davis said. ”
Nine Syrian planes appear to have been destroyed in preliminary assessments.
The attack without any investigation or UNSC resolution breaks international law as well as being a serious blow to US Russia relations. It appears that Russia is making countermoves short of a military response at this time.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday night on Twitter that steps are being taken to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
A coalition military attack is in the final preparatory phase and the US and Russia locked in intense negotiations over targets and the precise limits of any strike on Assad, with Russia announcing that they will no longer unconditionally back Assad.
It is reported that a substantial but limited military strike on Syria is quickly approaching.
The strike will be punishment for the recent chemical incident although there is no proof and it is very unlikely that Syria used chemical weapons. In addition the coalition will pressure Assad to step down.
For the past year certain Western entities have been air lifting Sarin gas into Turkey and Irbil for transport to the Al Nusrah Front inside Syria.
To preempt any use of the chemicals, this week the Syrian air force bombed the Al Nusrah chemical weapons site and unfortunately some of the gas escaped bringing tragedy.
Trump immediately claimed that Syria had dropped chemical weapons and announced that he had changed his position on not overthrowing the Assad regime and promised a coalition attack against Syria.
6 Apr: There are early morning initial reports of multiple Israeli airstrikes on Hezbollah units deep inside Syria.
Russia decries assumptions and false information in UNSC draft and insists on a resolution setting up a proper investigation.
The attack could have been carried out by any one of several rebel factions producing chemical weapons or as Syria claims the event could have been leaks from a chemical weapons storage site being bombed. The allies betray their intentions to change the Assad regime by making claims of responsibility without waiting for even a minimal proper investigation.
Many Gazans responding to Hamas amnesty offer for Israeli agents, this has resulted in a trove of information for Hamas including the arrest of the perpetrators of the recent murder of a senior Hamas official.
5 Apr: Breaking 08:55 PDT: The US informs the Security Council that they will act against Syria even without UN approval. The speed this is moving without a proper investigation makes it obvious that the chemical attack was a false flag attack designed to justify American actions against Syria.
During its spring recess, the Knesset is holding a special session on “Prime Minister Netanyahu’s attempts to take over the media in Israel” – i.e. on the crisis over the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC). Yedioth reported that Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit wrote that he didn’t give his moral stamp to the deal that Netanyahu made to take over the IPBC’s independent news broadcast, he simply did not have a legal reason to block the deal. Haaretz+ already reported that another top justice official opposed the deal. The coalition government fears that the new broadcast law, which will limit free press, won’t be passed before the new broadcast corporation law goes into effect on May 15.
US complete building airbase at Kobani Syria to avoid Turkey while supporting the Kurds. This US is completely alienating Turkey with its Kurdish policies and its unwarranted invasion of Iraq by Bush – which began all of this violence in the first place.
Russia; there was NO chemical attack in Syria. Syria bombed a rebel bomb making factory and various chemicals were released into the air when the warehouse burned.
Shades of pre Iraqi war propaganda US, Britain and France blame Syria for chemical attack with absolutely no proof and not even an investigation. Claims Syria used sarin even though Syria was declared chemical weapons free after the UN destroyed Syria’s chemicals a year ago; just like Iraq was chemical weapons free but was invaded on that pretext anyway.
Trump threatens to attack North Korea.
4 Apr: A crude gas attack in Syria, apparently by a rebel faction is being blamed on Syria to help set the public mood against Assad.
With the Islamic State on the ropes and likely to fall in the next three to six months the US backed rebel groups are setting up and are being upgraded and supplied by the US to again attack the Assad regime. Once the Islamic Stater has been sufficiently weakened Israel is to demolish Hezbollah allowing these American backed rebels to overthrow the Assad regime.
Israeli police say that due to difficulties in interviewing witnesses outside Israel, the corruption investigation of Netanyahu is well behind schedule and could last for several more months.
3 Apr: Initial report 14 dead 60 injured in bomb explosion in St Petersburg subway. Second large bomb found and deactivated.
Trump to hold summit with Chinese leader Xi on April 6 and 7. Besides economics the focus will be on North Korea’s nuclear program, with Trump promising to go iot alone on NK of China does not control its ally. The promise to go it alone includes promising actions on Chinese companies.
Israel and EU nations promise world’s longest undersea gas pipeline. The $6.2 billion subaquatic conduit will take offshore natural gas reserves from the eastern Mediterranean to southern Europe
2 Apr: David’s Sling, jointly developed by Israel and the US to counter medium-range missiles, drones and cruise missiles was declared operational Sunday. The new system completes Israel’s three-tier missile defense system that includes the Arrow, designed to intercept long-range ballistic missiles [from Iran] in the stratosphere, and the short-range Iron Dome rocket interceptor. David’s Sling is designed to shoot down missiles with ranges from 40 to 400 km like those in the armories of Hezbollah and the Syrian army.
- Trump Seeks to ‘Reboot’ U.S. Relations With Egypt at Sisi Meeting on Monday – President Donald Trump interested in rebuilding bilateral relationship with key ally that had suffered under Obama. (Agencies, Haaretz)
- Trump to meet Jordan’s king for second time in Washington next week – King Abdullah is the first world leader to be granted a second meeting with the president since he took office. Visit comes amidst meetings with Egyptian and Palestinian leaders. (Haaretz)
US Air Force massively short of pilots. Air Force secretary expects confirmation soon.
US demands NATO countries present plans for increased spending within two months.
Germany says no. Trump should factor in the costs to Germany of refugees and help for the US in other areas, not fixate on NATO alone.
Iraqi airstrikes kill Islamic State War Minister 200 fighters.
1 Apr: A Blessed Sabbath for all God’s faithful!
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