US Military Completes Initial Planning For Syria Attack As Israel Considers Military Action Against Syria’s Chemical Stockpiles
By Barbara Starr, CNN – “The U.S. military has completed its own planning for how American troops would conduct a variety of operations against Syria, or to assist neighboring countries in the event action was ordered, officials tell CNN.
In recent weeks, the Pentagon has finalized its assessment of what types of units would be needed, how many troops, and even the cost of certain potential operations, officials tell CNN.
Multiple military officials say initial planning is complete with a full understanding of what types of troops and units would be needed. This has been done so that if President Obama were to ask for options the military would be ready to present them. But officials say additional detailed work would have to be done before forces could be deployed.
The planning comes as the U.S. has become increasingly concerned that the violence in Syria is verging on civil war. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the recent series of bombings have heightened the worry.
Dempsey said it reminded him of the escalating violence during the Iraq war.
The violence ‘gives us all pause that have been in Iraq and seen how these issues become sectarian and then they become civil wars and then they become very difficult to resolve,’ Dempsey told CNN in an exclusive interview on Thursday.
A senior U.S. official said the developments have been a matter of discussion in the Obama administration.
‘There is a sense that if the sectarian violence in Syria grows, it could be worse than what we saw in Iraq,’ the official said.” Read more.
Israel may use military force ‘to secure’ Syria’s alleged chemical arsenal – “The Israeli army is considering using military force to prevent Syria’s alleged chemical warfare stockpiles from getting into the hands of Hezbollah or Al-Qaeda. Tel-Aviv believes that Damascus is no longer capable of securing its arsenal. Syria has never declared it possesses chemical weapons stocks, but the Israeli military does not put its existence under question. Tel Aviv believes Syria has been busy producing mustard and nerve gas for the last 40 years. On Monday Israeli Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh, the country’s deputy military chief, warned that Syria could pose a threat to Israel with its chemical weapons.” Read more.
Russia Prepares Army for Syrian Deployment – “Given the worsening crisis in Syria, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper reported that the Russian army is apparently being prepared for a mission in Syria. Citing anonymous sources in the military leadership, the newspaper said that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the general staff to work out a plan for military operations outside Russia, including in Syria. The units being prepared for an intervention are the 76th Division of airborne forces (an especially experienced unit of the Russian army), the 15th Army Division, as well as special forces from a brigade of the Black Sea fleet, which has a base in the Syrian port of Tartus.” Read more.
Britain Could Send in Troops to Syria Says William Hague – “Britain could be forced to send troops into Syria if the bloodshed escalates into all-out civil war, William Hague warned yesterday. The Foreign Secretary said that time for a diplomatic solution is rapidly running out and the country is ‘on the edge’ of a Bosnia-style sectarian conflict. Britain will ‘greatly increase’ support for the Syrian opposition if attempts to end President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal repression fail, Mr Hague said. Admitting that our troops may be called into action, the Foreign Secretary said: ‘The reason I don’t rule things out is because we really don’t know how this situation is going to develop or how terrible it is going to become.’” Read more.
If enough American citizens won’t vote for you, then let’s create more who will …
ICC – “By now, many of you know about the unspeakable level of violence against Christians in Nigeria. But I warn you: do not be fooled by what the media tells us. The truth is, you cannot fully grasp the plight of the persecuted Christians in Nigeria until you actually visit them. That is why I decided to fly to Nigeria to see to myself what is really happening to the persecuted church there. Nothing prepared me to what I saw.
I experienced the pain of the Christians in northern Nigeria in less than an hour after I landed in the country. My host Rev. Samuel Ayoba (name changed for security reasons) picked me up from the airport and we started driving to the city of Kaduna. As we drove, my mind started to wonder to the different stories I have read about attacks on Christians. Hoping that it was just me, I asked Rev. Ayoba, ‘How safe is this road? Are we going to be stopped by the Islamic radicals and get killed?’ Instead of reassuring me of our safety, the reverend looked into my eyes and said, ‘Anything could happen. All we could do is to entrust ourselves to God.’ As soon as I heard those words, I felt the pain of living in constant fear. I noticed that we were the only car on the road, and my mind became clouded with suspicion and questions: It’s getting late. Where are the other cars? When will we get there? But I told myself not to be shaken and focus on trusting the Lord.
As we drove towards Kaduna, I saw several mosques. A friend told me that Muslims receive funds from Saudi Arabia and other wealthy Muslim countries to build the mosques. Some of those mosques are then used for teaching hatred against Christians.
When we finally arrived in Kaduna, it was obvious to see evidence of violence in the city. There were check points every few miles. Shortly before I arrived, Islamists carried out a suicide bomb attack targeting a church. They missed their target, but the attacker killed over 40, mainly Muslims who happened to be near the church.
I stayed in Nigeria for 10 days. During my time there, I spoke with dozens of victims of persecution. I visited villages decimated by Islamic violence. One of the saddest days of the trip was when I was asked to speak at the funeral of a Christian who was killed. The man was killed after he visited his father, an evangelist who is living among Muslims.
I came face to face with what it means to go through persecution. I was also reminded of how important it is to stand with the body of Christ that undergoes persecution. I came back from Nigeria with the passion to work more to help the oppressed. One of the victims that ICC helped said to me, “You make us feel that somebody cares for us.” Let us continue making them feel that they are loved!” Source – Persecution.org.
“Syria (CAM) ― An indigenous missionary from nearby Lebanon crossed the border to baptize a believer last week. Instead, he had to bury the believer — shot in the head as a martyr for his recently-found faith in Jesus Christ.
Native missionaries continue to share Gospel CD’s, baptizing new believers, and delivering food and medical aid to suffering Christians in Syria while violence rages around them. More help is needed each day according to one of the ministries in Syria being assisted by Christian Aid Mission based in Charlottesville, Virginia. A Lebanese team is preparing to deliver more aid as soon as funds arrive from the USA to buy supplies at the local market.*
‘Right now,’ said the missionary leader at his base in Lebanon,’there is no food or medicine left. The economy has come to a standstill, and there is no work.’ Many Christians are sick and starving, along with other minorities such as the Bedouins and Gypsies.
‘This has been one of the longest weeks of my life,’ the missionary told Christian Aid. ‘To visit Syria, I had to sneak in through the mountains and not go by normal roads.
‘I went there to bury a friend who died last week. I was supposed to be baptizing him, but I ended up doing his funeral. I led him to Christ two years ago. He was a key helper in the ministry. He was shot in the head. Why? Because he had become a Christian. Now revenge is taking place.’
The slain Christian had been witnessing to many friends and neighbors and had led a growing house church that met in his home with 43 other believers. He was actively involved in delivering aid to some 600 Syrian Christians in his area.
‘Lots of people came to the funeral. In the beginning, I did not know how to start the service. Then I decided to share some letters of encouragement from the churches. I invited several of the believers to read in front of the meeting. They were so encouraged to know that they are not alone. By the time we were done, there were tears of joy instead of sadness. As it says in the Word, when one member suffers, all suffer.’
The Lebanese leader of the mission is preparing now to go back to Syria with Bibles, CD’s, food and medicine.” Read more.
By Ian O’Neill, Discovery News – “For the second day in a row, an active region on the sun has erupted with a coronal mass ejection (CME), blasting a beautifully dynamic magnetic bubble of energetic plasma in the direction of Earth. It is powering through interplanetary space at a breakneck speed of 1,360 kilometers per second (that’s over 3 million miles per hour!)
A NASA spacecraft — one of two solar satellites called the Solar-Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) that are orbiting the sun in opposite directions — watched the CME expand and get launched into interplanetary space from a perfect vantage point.
On June 13, AR1504 erupted, producing a M1 class flare that was accompanied by a CME. According to Spaceweather.com, that CME will hit Venus on June 15th, Earth on June 16th and Mars on June 19th. Today’s CME, launched from the same location, is predicted to also slam into the Earth’s magnetic field on June 16, potentially generating a geomagnetic storm.
If the conditions are just right, a CME’s magnetic field can compress and distort the magnetic field of our planet, called the magnetosphere. If the rotation of the CME’s magnetic field is aligned just right, it may become ‘geoeffective,’ causing the CME’s field to connect with the Earth’s magnetic field.
Should this occur, a geomagnetic storm may result, causing the injection of energetic solar particles into the magnetosphere and a rapid release of stored energy. The result is often spectacular displays of aurorae at high latitudes and potentially some interference to modern technology. Communication interference may occur and, during extreme geomagnetic storms, airliners may be directed away from polar regions and electrical surges in national power grids may be detected.” Read more.
UPI – “Dallas residents set to work Thursday cleaning up and repairing damage from a sudden hailstorm forecasters called one of the city’s worst in 10 years.
Tennis ball-sized hailstones began to shower down with alarming speed around 6 p.m. Wednesday, smashing windows and skylights, tearing apart trees and denting cars — although no injuries were reported — The Dallas Morning News reported Thursday.
‘This will definitely be up there in the rankings of Dallas’ worst hailstorms in the last 10 years,’ said Nick Hampshire of the National Weather Service.” Read more.