Archive | February 2016

Fatah Facebook Page Presents Murderers As ‘Role Models’

News Image

 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Fatah party on Wednesday praised the three terrorists who perpetrated the attack in east Jerusalem that left one Israeli Border Policewoman dead and another seriously wounded, Palestinian Media Watch reported.
.

Fatah posted a photo of the three 20-year-old Palestinians on its official Facebook page, saying they were “role models” for “carrying out the self-sacrifice operation.”
The three Palestinian terrorists aroused the suspicion of Border Police on Wednesday as they approached the the Damascus Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem. When asked to provide identification, one of them opened fire. Border Police, among them the officer who subsequently died of her wounds, shot and killed the terrorists, who were identified as Ahmad Abu Al-Rub, Ahmad Zakarneh and Muhammad Kmeil.
.
The father of one of the terrorists lauded his sons death on an official PA TV broadcast, according to PMW. He said: “We received the news with joy, a Martyr, our Lord chose him from among the people to be a Martyr, Allah will pardon him, and we hope he will be among the people of Paradise, Allah willing. Praise Allah in any case.”
The news broadcast opened with a reporter saying that the Palestinian terrorists died from the occupations bullets at the Damascus Gate. The reporter emphasized that the young Palestinians died as “martyrs” and failed to mention their plot to kill the Israeli officers at the gate. Later in the broadcast, the reporter noted there was a “shooting and stabbing operation… that caused the death of one soldier.”
In the same broadcast, a Fatah activist from the town of Qabatiya, the area in Jenin from where the terrorists hailed, said the young men were executed in cold blood.
Posted with permission from Algemeiner
.

This is the Palestinian Authority that we are told are the voice of moderation, Israel’s partners for peace! They are funded by your taxes. Invited to sit at tables of government. Given legitimacy in the international arena.

.
So whether you are a French citizen touched by recent terrorism. Or an American the same. Or from any other country that has suffered this evil. Just remember, the oldest, and longest running terrorism is supported and funded by your government with your money!  

Advertisements

Day Of Reckoning: The Collapse Of The Too Big To Fail Banks In Europe Is Here.

News Image

 

There is so much chaos going on that I dont even know where to start.  For a very long time I have been warning my readers that a major banking collapse was coming to Europe, and now it is finally unfolding.
.

Lets start with Deutsche Bank.  The stock of the most important bank in the “strongest economy in Europe” plunged another 8 percent on Monday, and it is now hovering just above the all-time record low that was set during the last financial crisis.  Overall, the stock price is now down a staggering 36 percent since 2016 began, and Deutsche Bank credit default swaps are going parabolic.  Of course my readers were alerted to major problems at Deutsche Bank all the way back in September, and now the endgame is playing out.
.
In addition to Deutsche Bank, the list of other “too big to fail” banks in Europe that appear to be in very serious trouble includes Commerzbank, Credit Suisse, HSBC and BNP Paribas.  Just about every major bank in Italy could fall on that list as well, and Greek bank stocks lost close to a quarter of their value on Monday alone.  Financial Armageddon has come to Europe, and the entire planet is going to feel the pain.
.
The collapse of the banks in Europe is dragging down stock prices all over the continent.  At this point, more than one-fifth of all stock market wealth in Europe has already been wiped out since the middle of last year.  That means that we only have four-fifths left.  The following comes from USA Today&
The MSCI Europe index is now down 20.5% from its highest point over the past 12 months, says S&P Global Market Intelligence, placing it in the 20% decline that unofficially defines a bear market.
.
Europes stock implosion makes the U.S.’ sell-off look like childs play. The U.S.-centric Standard & Poors 500 Monday fell another 1.4% but its only down 13% from its high. Some individual European markets are getting hit even harder. The Milan MIB 30, Madrid Ibex 35 and MSCI United Kingdom indexes are off 29%, 23% and 20% from their 52-week highs, respectively as investors fear the worse could be headed for the Old World.
.
These declines are being primarily driven by the banks.  According to MarketWatch, European banking stocks have fallen for six weeks in a row, and this is the longest streak that we have seen since the heart of the last financial crisis&
The regions banking gauge, the Stoxx Europe 600 Banks Index FX7, -5.59% has logged six straight weeks of declines, its longest weekly losing stretch since 2008, when banks booked 10 weeks of losses, beginning in May, according to FactSet data.
.
“The current environment for European banks is very, very bad. Over a full business cycle, I think its very questionable whether banks on average are able to cover their cost of equity. And as a result that makes it an unattractive investment for long-term investors,” warned Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank.
.
Overall, Europe’s banking stocks are down 23 percent year to date and 39 percent since the peak of the market in the middle of last year.
.
The financial crisis that began during the second half of 2015 is picking up speed over in Europe, and it isnt just Deutsche Bank that could implode at any moment.  Credit Suisse is the most important bank in Switzerland, and they announced a fourth quarter loss of 5.8 billion dollars.  The stock price has fallen 34 percent year to date, and many are now raising questions about the continued viability of the bank.
.
Similar scenes are being repeated all over the continent.  On Monday we learned that Russia had just shut down two more major banks, and the collapse of Greek banks has pushed Greek stock prices to a 25 year low&
.
Greek stocks tumbled on Monday to close nearly eight percent lower, with bank shares losing almost a quarter of their market value amid concerns over the future of government reforms.
.
The general index on the Athens stock exchange closed down 7.9 percent at 464.23 points a 25-year-low while banks suffered a 24.3-percent average drop.
.
This is what a financial crisis looks like.
.
Fortunately things are not this bad here in the U.S. quite yet, but we are on the exact same path that they are.
.
One of the big things that is fueling the banking crisis in Europe is the fact that the too big to fail banks over there have more than 100 billion dollars of exposure to energy sector loans.  This makes European banks even more sensitive to the price of oil than U.S. banks.  The following comes from CNBC…
.
The four U.S. banks with the highest dollar amount of exposure to energy loans have a capital position 60 percent greater than European banks Deutsche Bank, UBS, Credit Suisse and HSBC, according to CLSA research using a measure called tangible common equity to tangible assets ratio. Or, as Mayo put it, U.S. banks have more quality capital.
.
Analysts at JPMorgan saw the energy loan crisis coming for Europe, and highlighted in early January where investors might get hit.
.
“Standard Chartered and Deutsche Bank would be the most sensitive banks to higher default rates in oil and gas,” the analysts wrote in their January report.
.
There is Deutsche Bank again.
.
It is funny how they keep coming up.
.
In the U.S., the collapse of the price of oil is pushing energy company after energy company into bankruptcy.  This has happened 42 times in North America since the beginning of last year so far, and rumors that Chesapeake Energy is heading that direction caused their stock price to plummet a staggering 33 percent on Monday&
.
Energy stocks continue to tank, with Transocean (RIG) dropping 7% and Baker Hughes (BHI) down nearly 5%. But those losses pale in comparison with Chesapeake Energy (CHK), the energy giant that plummeted as much as 51% amid bankruptcy fears. Chesapeake denied its currently planning to file for bankruptcy, but its stock still closed down 33% on the day.
.
And let’s not forget about the ongoing bursting of the tech bubble that I wrote about yesterday.
.
On Monday the carnage continued, and this pushed the Nasdaq down to its lowest level in almost 18 months…
.
Technology shares with lofty valuations, including those of midcap data analytics company Tableau Software Inc and Internet giant Facebook Inc, extended their losses on Monday following a gutting selloff in the previous session.
Shares of cloud services companies such as Splunk Inc and Salesforce.com Inc had also declined sharply on Friday. They fell again on Monday, dragging down the Nasdaq Composite index 2.4 percent to its lowest in nearly 1-1/2 years.
.
Those that read my articles regularly know that I have been warning this would happen.
.
All over the world we are witnessing a financial implosion.  As I write this article, the Japanese market has only been open less than an hour and it is already down 747 points.
.
The next great financial crisis is already here, and right now we are only in the early chapters.
.
Ultimately what we are facing is going to be far worse than the financial crisis of 2008/2009, and as a result of this great shaking the entire world is going to fundamentally change.
.
British people are voting on whether to leave or stay in the European Union this coming June. The choice couldn’t be clearer. Leave and avoid sinking with the European Titanic. Or Stay and go down with the ship.

 

The New Face Of Terrorism

News Image

 

The recent wave of Palestinian terrorism no longer seems like a short-lived violent episode, but rather like something that is here to stay for the foreseeable future. On Wednesday, the violence took a new, disturbing and dangerous turn: the attack near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, which killed border policewoman Cpl. Hadar Cohen and wounded another border policewoman, means the next phase of hostilities — major terrorist attacks — may be lurking right around the corner.
.

Until now, terrorist attacks were the work of lone wolves — individuals who woke up one day and, for a myriad of reasons known only to them, and compounded by the Palestinian Authority’s incessant incitement, decided to kill Jews. In the absence of organizational infrastructure, logistical resources and funds, these individuals used basic, unsophisticated weapons, carrying out stabbing attacks and the occasional ramming attack. These measures have proven lethal, but for the most part, they only allowed the terrorists to harm a small number of Israelis prior to being neutralized.
.
Wednesday’s attack was a different story: It was not the work of a lone wolf who, barring preliminary indication, is almost impossible to stop, but the work of a group, one that had to plan its moves prior to carrying their nefarious plan out; it was not limited to improvised, crude weapons, but included automatic weapons and pipe bombs with mass-casualty potential; and its target was not one of the checkpoints near the terrorists’ hometown of Qabatiya — it was Jerusalem, chosen no doubt to maximize the impact, both figuratively and literally.
.
Mass-casualty attacks are what Hamas has been trying to orchestrate for the past few months, so far to no success. Pressured by its own operatives in the Gaza Strip and by its Turkey-based headquarters, Hamas is frantically trying to establish infrastructure in Judea and Samaria and east Jerusalem in order to abduct and kill Israelis. The organization’s attempts to sink its claws into both areas have recently been thwarted before taking any tangible shape, but the Shin Bet security agency’s working assumption is that Hamas has not given up, and that it still has various cells in both areas, in different stages of organization.
.
The investigation into the Damascus Gate attack has yet to determine the scope of the organization, whether the terrorists had accomplices who harbored them or drove them to the scene, and who supplied then with weapons. The only thing that is clear so far is that none of them had any known affiliation with any of the major terrorist groups. It seems no one had recruited them to carry out the attack — it was an independent initiative.
.
The question of motive also remains unanswered at this point in time. There is no shortage of youths just like Wednesday’s three assailants in Judea and Samaria, and Qabatiya has a long history of spurring violence. In fact, hundreds of Palestinians involved in terrorist activities since the First Intifada have called the Jenin-adjacent village their home, including six terrorists involved in the current hostilities.
.
Terrorism, of course, is nothing without its copycats. Terrorists have the tendency to repeat patterns of assault, especially those proven successful. For example: Early in the current wave of terrorism there was a series of stabbing attacks in Jerusalem, followed by a series of ramming attacks in the capital. The security crackdown shifted the terrorists’ focus to Hebron, which saw a prolonged bout of violence, before the focus shifted again, this time taking the shape of terrorist infiltrations into Judea and Samaria communities.
.
The defense establishment’s main effort at this time is to curtail the killing spree, thus reducing the number of Palestinians who rush to repeat terrorist attacks.
.
The natural concern is that Palestinian youth will try to launch more complex terrorist attacks, combining knives, firearms and explosives, like the trio at Damascus Gate, with the sole intent of killing as many Israelis as possible. On the one hand, an organization of this nature may prove easier to uncover, as its plans require equipment, coordination and travel — all steps that would enable the Shin Bet to gather intelligence and thwart danger; but on the other hand, such an organization entails far deadlier potential, and in the absence of prevention, each attack may result not only in casualties but also in further security escalation.
.
Since the onset of the current wave of terrorism in October, Israel has been careful to avoid two key issues, namely harming innocent Palestinians and undermining the coordination with Palestinian security forces. The former seeks to maintain the Palestinian fabric of life and minimize their desire to join the cycle of violence, and the latter seeks to retain the Palestinian Authority as a functioning entity, as well as ensure its security forces undercut terrorism of their own volition. After all, destabilizing or disbanding the Palestinian security forces may push some of its troops into dangerous corners.
.
A mass-casualty attack, or a series of them, may force Israel to deviate from its plan. Changes to current operational procedures will require imposing various limitations on the Palestinian population, both as a punitive action as well as one meant to generate deterrence. Such measures will undoubtedly lead the Palestinians to pressure the Ramallah government, which in turn will become more adversarial toward Israel.
.
Should Hamas be the one instigating such attacks, this process could prove even more dangerous. An example of how quickly things can spiral out of control dates back as recently as the summer of 2014, when the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers in Judea and Samaria led to a series of Israeli moves that culminated in Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip. The current situation is similar, as an incident that begins in Israel or in Judea and Samaria could end with another military campaign on the southern border.
.
Hamas is not interested in a confrontation at this time, but that does not stop it from gearing up for a new round of hostilities. The change in the balance of power between Hamas’ political and military wings was evident to anyone paying attention to a recent speech by Hamas political leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh, whose belligerent rhetoric made him sound less like a politician and more like a general.
.
The aggressive tone indicates that Hamas understand that fresh fighting in Gaza may erupt at any moment. This is also why Hamas is sparing no effort to rebuild its grid of terror tunnels, as it fully plans to use it to exact a heavy price from Israel.
This shift, and the potential escalation it harbors for both Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip, mandates Israel go back to the drawing board and ask itself what it really wants — from the Palestinian Authority, from Hamas and, on a wider spectrum, from the Arab nations and the West.
.
Such discussions have been taking place in the defense establishment but not in the cabinet, where some ministers are busy reprimanding military commanders, sometimes in the ugliest of ways, and searching for micro-tactic solutions, as if they were the commanders in the field and not policy makers. This process is dangerous not only because it distorts the systems involved, but because it lacks the in-depth discussion that could prevent the situation from escalating further; and if, heaven forbid, it does — to emerge victorious.
.
Posted with permission by Israel Hayom

 

British Hypocrisy On Arab Terror

News Image

 

The British government says Israel is being too harsh in giving prison sentences of 15 years each to five Palestinians who murdered a Jewish toddler. Yet when the British had to deal with Palestinian terrorists, they themselves were a lot harsher.

The current controversy has to do with five Palestinian Arab teenagers from the village of Hares who ambushed an Israeli automobile near Ariel in March 2013.
Of course, Palestinians ambush Israeli traffic all the time. They throw rocks, they hurl firebombs, and they shoot rifles at Israeli motorists who are guilty of what we might call “driving while Jewish.” Very few of these attacks are reported in the American news media.
Except on the occasion when they are particularly “successful.” As in the March 2013 attack, when the ambushers caused the Biton familys car to crash. Their 4-year-old daughter, Adele, was paralyzed and suffered additional injuries. After two years of countless surgeries and suffering, she died as a result of complications from the injuries.
The Palestinian killers should have been tried for murder. But the Israeli prosecutors in this case offered them a plea bargain of 15 years. The killers accepted what has to be one of the most lenient punishments on record for murdering a child.
Yet that wasn’t lenient enough for the British government. Last November, a British diplomat in Israel took the extraordinary step of personally confronting the Israeli prosecutor to “raise our concerns” about the punishment that the killers might receive.
After the murderers recently received the agreed-upon 15-year terms, the British government again expressed its “concern” about what it called “Israels child detention policy.” The British don’t seem too concerned about the Palestinians child-murder policy. For some reason, their interest is limited to the welfare of the killers, whom they dub “children” because they happen to have been 16 and 17 at the time of the attack.
British Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood is vowing to “continue to monitor developments in the case of the Hares boys and raise the issue with the Israeli authorities.”
Why in the world would the British government take such a special interest in Palestinian baby-killers? According to the British embassy in Tel Aviv, the issue is of interest and concern to the British public. I find that difficult to believe. I doubt the average Englishman has even heard of the Hares killers or Adele Biton.
It’s not just that the British government is displaying outrageous indifference to Jewish suffering and immoral sympathy for Arab killers. Its also the hypocrisy of it all. Because when it was the British who were being targeted by Palestinian Arabs, they weren’t very sensitive about Arab feelings.
Just read Prof. Monty N. Penkowers masterful new book, “Palestine in Turmoil: The Struggle for Sovereignty, 1933-1939,” and youll see what I mean. There he describes the response of the British when a Palestinian Arab from Jenin (in what is now called the West Bank) assassinated a British assistant district commissioner in 1938.
The main suspect in the assassination was taken into custody, and then shot dead “when he tried to escape.” Sure he did. According to the book, “The British military authorities decided that ‘a large portion’ of Jenin should be ‘blown up’ as well. A heavily armed convoy carrying 4,200 kilograms of gelignite carried out the demolition.”
The severe British response in Jenin was not some one-time occurrence. In numerous Palestinian Arab villages where there was rioting or terrorism in the 1930s, the British used Arab-driven “minesweeping taxis”what we would call human shields to reduce British land mine casualties.
The British also routinely dynamited the houses of Arab villages from which there had been attacks on British soldiers or police, the book says.
Was all this dynamiting and minesweeping the work of rogue forces? Hardly. It was advocated and defended by senior British government officials.
For example, Lord Dufferin, undersecretary of state for the colonies, said nobody had a right to complain about the minesweeping taxis because British lives are being lost and I dont think that we, from the security of Whitehall, can protest squeamishly about measures taken by the men in the frontline.
Prof. Penkower also quotes a particularly striking remark by Sir John Shuckburgh, undersecretary in the Colonial Office. He said the British were confronted with not a chivalrous opponent playing the game according to the rules, but with gangsters and murderers.
“Gangsters and murderers.” Thats exactly whom Israel is facing right now. That’s exactly who killed little Adele Biton. So before any British officials today start lecturing Israel, maybe they ought to take a look in the mirror.
.
.
British Parliamentary democracy hypocrisy  at it’s lowest!
Britain has a history of incarcerating children that commit murder. And rightly so! Nobody who is aware of the facts concerning the wicked premeditated murder of toddler – Jamie Bulger by two young boys could raise a moral objection to their imprisonment.
So here’s one concerned Brit that says don’t forget to demolish the homes of those murderous scum.

THE DEAFENING SILENCE FROM THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL AND THE “QUARTET”


(Arutz Sheva News) by David Singer
The UN Security Council and the Quartet – Russia, America, the United Nations and the European Union – have ended any expectations they had of successfully negotiating a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization – after failing to categorically reject UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s highly offensive remarks before the Security Council and in the New York Times.
Ban told the Security Council on January 26:
“Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of a half century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process. Some have taken me to task for pointing out this indisputable truth.   Yet, as oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism.”

Reacting to “occupation” can never justify the murder of Israeli civilians in their own homes, shopping in supermarkets, meeting in bars, or waiting at bus stops.

Such acts of murder are despicable and inhumane – and the Security Council and the Quartet should have said so clearly and unequivocally.
Following Israel’s trenchant criticism of these statements a clearly piqued Ban ran off to the New York Times on 31 January claiming he had been misrepresented:
“Some sought to shoot the messenger – twisting my words into a misguided justification for violence.   The stabbings, vehicle rammings and other attacks by Palestinians targeting Israeli civilians are reprehensible.   So, too, are the incitement of violence and the glorification of killers.”
In writing that way, Ban had dug himself an even deeper hole.
Failing again to call such stabbings, vehicle rammings and other targeted attacks on Israeli civilians as “murder” – was reprehensible.
The Security Council and the Quartet should have made it absolutely clear that until such murderous acts ceased – the Quartet’s further participation in assisting and facilitating the implementation of the two-state solution envisaged by the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap would be indefinitely suspended. That role had been specifically assigned to the Quartet in 2003 when the Bush Roadmap was released:
“A two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror and willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty, and through Israel’s readiness to do what is necessary for a democratic Palestinian state to be established…The Quartet will assist and facilitate implementation of the plan … including direct discussions between the parties as required.”
In July 2015 the Quartet’s role was deliberately changed when:
The Quartet’s representative Tony Blair stood down with no replacement whilst his office – the Office of the Quartet Representative (OQR) – was renamed the Office of the Quartet (OQ).   The OQ’s stated mandate was:   “to support the Palestinian people on economic development, rule of law and improved movement and access for goods and people, as they build the institutions and economy of a viable and peaceful state in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”
An independent non-partisan Quartet had overnight been transformed into a biased and hostile Quartet – ignoring Israel’s territorial claims and security needs whilst solely supporting the “Palestinian people”.
No longer were the “democratic Palestinian state” or “practicing democracy” mentioned in the Roadmap considered non-negotiable end objectives.
Changing the name had certainly changed the game – with the murder of Israeli civilians and the glorification of their killers beginning soon thereafter.
Whilst the Security Council and Quartet take no decisive action to effectively end these ongoing murders – the two-state solution – and the Quartet’s role – will be doomed to political oblivion.
……………………………..
* There never will be a two state solution. The Fakestinians don’t want it. They want all the land, and the annihilation of the Zionist Entity (as they prefer to call Israel).
That is the very reason for their existence! Their motivation has nothing to do with occupation. They were attacking and massacring Jews years before Israel’s formation in 1948. Their motivation is an age old hatred. If it is the resistance of a disenfranchised people, why wasn’t it happening when the West Bank was occupied by Jordan, and Gaza by Egypt?
They are Arabs! Syrians, Egyptians, Iraqis etc. Not Palestinians, which is a Western name adopted by them to con the world into believing they have some legitimate claim to the land.

World War III Approaches: An Invasion of Syria Is Imminent

The truth is that ISIS has been using Turkey as a home base for years, and hundreds of millions of dollars of ISIS oil has been shipped into Turkey where it has then been sold to the rest of the world.

Most bible scholars who have aired there views concerning the prophesied destruction of Damascus have pointed to Israel as the destroyer. Syria has attacked Israel more than once in the past, and remains in a state of cold war with the Jewish state. So they view this as the inevitable outcome.

I have never been comfortable with this view. I don’t think Israelis could bring themselves to utterly destroy that entire city, and be responsible for such an enormous death toll.  

But I do think those mentioned in the following article might…

 

by Michael T. Snyder

As you read this article, Turkish forces are massing along the border with Syria, and the largest “military exercises” in the history of the Middle East are being held in northern Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are publicly warning that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “will be removed by force” if a political solution cannot be found, and Turkey is claiming that it may have to establish a “safe zone” in northern Syria “for humanitarian purposes.” Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their Sunni allies have poured massive amounts of money and arms into the conflict in Syria, and now that their Sunni insurgents are on the verge of total defeat, they are trying to come up with a way to justify going in there and doing the job themselves.

The following comes from the London Independent:

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will be removed by force if the peace process fails, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister has said.

Bashar al-Assad will leave – have no doubt about it,” Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told CNN. “He will either leave by a political process or he will be removed by force.”

Saudi Arabia has sent troops and fighter jets to a Turkish military base ahead of a possible ground invasion of Syria.

So precisely who will be doing the “removing” if force is necessary?

Are the Saudis ready to send in ground troops?

Apparently they are. Just consider what Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told CNN.

Saudi Foreign Minister Jubeir made clear that his country’s troops would not go it alone.

I can tell you that there is some serious discussion going on with regards to looking at a ground component in Syria, because there has to be a possibility of taking and holding ground, that one cannot do from the air.

“We are saying we will participate within the U.S.-led coalition, should this coalition decide to send ground troops into Syria, that we are prepared to send special forces with those troops.”

But if the Saudis try to take Damascus and remove Assad by force, the Syrians and their allies will certainly fight back. That means that the Saudis will be fighting Hezbollah, the Iranians and the Russians.

Needless to say, Saudi Arabia is going to need a lot of help to do that.

So that may explain why Saudi Arabia has organized the largest “military exercise” in the history of the Middle East. CNN finally reported on this gigantic gathering of military forces in northern Saudi Arabia recently.

Saudi Arabia launched a massive military exercise that will include troops from 20 nations, state media reported Monday.

The drill, dubbed North Thunder, involves Arab and Muslim countries, according to the Saudi Press Agency. It’s taking place in King Khalid Military City in northeastern Saudi Arabia.

The news agency did not provide much information on what the exercise entails but called it “the largest in the region’s history.” The agency said it will involve air, sea and land forces.

This is the list of nations that are reportedly participating in these “exercises” so far:

-Saudi Arabia

-Jordan

-Bahrain

-Senegal

-Oman

-Qatar

-United Arab Emirates

-Sudan

-Kuwait

-the Maldives

-Morocco

-Pakistan

-Chad

-Tunisia

-Comoro Islands

-Djibouti

-Malaysia

-Egypt

-Mauritania

As I discussed yesterday, 350,000 soldiers, 20,000 tanks, 2,450 warplanes and 460 military helicopters are reportedly gathering for these “military exercises.”

To me, that seems to be a great deal of overkill if the goal is just “training.”

Here is more about these “exercises” from RT:

The Saudi state agency made the announcement on Sunday, adding that participating troops will begin arriving in “the next few hours.”

The oil-rich nation described the exercises as “the largest and most important” military drills in the region’s history.

The so-called “Northern Thunder” exercise will take place in the north of the country and will include air, sea and land forces. SPA said that it will show that Riyadh and its allies “stand united in confronting all challenges and preserving peace and stability in the region.”

So are these forces massing for a ground invasion of Syria?

We shall see.


In the end, we probably won’t have to wait too long before we find out the answer.

Meanwhile, Turkish officials continue to assert that they may have to establish a “safe zone” for refugees in northern Syria. Since thousands of refugees are continually pouring their direction, they claim that they have no other choice but to go in and take control of the situation.

In fact, Turkey has already established several very large refugee camps on the Syrian side of the border.

Some 100,000 Syrian refugees are being looked after in camps inside Syria close to the Turkish border, including 35,000 who this month fled a Russian-backed regime offensive in northern Aleppo province, a top Turkish official said Friday.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan, whose country has come under increasing pressure to open its border to people fleeing the violence, said the refugees were being accommodated in nine camps just across the border with Syria.

But make no mistake—this is not just about helping refugees.

The truth is that ISIS has been using Turkey as a home base for years, and hundreds of millions of dollars of ISIS oil has been shipped into Turkey, where it has then been sold to the rest of the world. Barack Obama knows about all of this, and yet he has refused to do anything to stop it.

At this point, the cooperation between ISIS and Turkey has become so obvious that even CNN is admitting that ISIS militants are being resupplied from Turkey.

To the east of Aleppo, Kurdish forces are, with American support, eyeing the remaining ISIS strongholds along the Turkish border — Jarablus and Manbij. The U.S. wants ISIS out, to remove its access to resupply of materiel and fighters from Turkey.

Meanwhile, Turkey, America’s NATO ally that is engaged in a brutal but often unseen war with the Kurds’ allies in Turkey’s southeast, doesn’t want the Kurds to advance, and may stop at nothing to prevent that.

Fortunately, the Russian bombing campaign has pretty much put an end to the endless parade of ISIS oil trucks that were entering Turkey, and now the primary supply line to Sunni militants in the strategically important city of Aleppo is about to be cut off.

The corridor that runs through the city of Azaz is vitally important, and the prime minister of Turkey recently insisted that the Turkish government “will not allow Azaz to fall.”

Turkey shelled YPG positions for a third straight day on Monday to try to stop its fighters seizing Azaz, just 8 km from the border. Ankara fears the Kurdish militia, backed by Russia, is trying to secure the last stretch of around 100 km along the Syrian border not already under its control.

We will not allow Azaz to fall,” Davutoglu told reporters on his plane on the way to Ukraine. “If they approach again they will see the harshest reaction,” he said.

Unfortunately for the Turkish government, it appears that Azaz is already slipping away from the militants. The following was reported by an Iranian news source:

Ankara is likely to take action to counter the Syrian military and allied groups on choking up a supply link on which militants relied to get weapons and logistics.

Syrian troops and Lebanon’s Hezbollah fighters have retaken the town of Azaz, located to the northwest of Aleppo, prompting Saudi Arabia and Turkey to hint at deployment of ground forces to the region.

Asked if Ankara might act to reverse the gains, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (seen below) said on Friday, “Wait for the next few days and you will have the answer,” Turkish paper Hurriyet reported.

Wait for the next few days and you will have the answer?

That sounds rather ominous.

Like I said yesterday, I don’t think that I have ever seen a scenario which was more likely to lead to World War III than the one we are watching play out right now.

Do Saudi Arabia and Turkey actually expect to waltz into Syria and start taking territory without a response from the Syrians, Hezbollah, the Iranians and the Russians?

And if fighting does break out, how is the United States possibly going to stay out of it?

The truth is that Saudi Arabia and Turkey would never invade Syria in the first place without the express approval of the Obama administration.

The next couple of weeks are key. If we can get into early March without an invasion, by that time, Saudi Arabia and Turkey may have missed their window. The troops who are gathered for the massive military exercise in northern Saudi Arabia will start to go home, and by then, the Sunni militants remaining in Aleppo will probably be pretty much completely defeated.

But will Saudi Arabia and Turkey really be willing to walk away after pouring so much time, effort and money into the conflict in Syria? They had dreamed of turning Syria into a full-blown Sunni nation, and if they give up now, Syria will end up being dominated by Iran and Hezbollah. It will be a result that is far worse than if they never tried to overthrow Assad in the first place.

So my gut feeling is telling me that Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their Sunni allies are not done in Syria. But their obsession with that country threatens to plunge us into World War III. If that happens, the consequences will be felt by every man, woman and child on the entire planet.

Michael T. Snyder is the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and author of The Beginning of the End.