Moscow on the Mediterranean :: by Howard Green

At this time Russia has moved nearly 30 fighter jets, 14 helicopter gunships, a substantial number of T-90 tanks, and artillery into Syria. They have placed numerous S-300 surface to air missiles in country as well. Armored personnel carriers are on the ground and there are enough containerized housing units in place to house at least 1,500 soldiers.

Speculation abounds on what endgame the Russian leadership has in mind.

One thing is certain, Russia is successfully dictating the geopolitical status quo in the Middle East and by default becoming the military powerhouse in the region almost overnight. The Russian resurgence is due in large part to Washington politicians who prefer to view the realities of the world through rose colored glasses.

Let’s take a look at these recent developments and how they may be setting the stage for a prophetic showdown as Syria is beginning to resemble Moscow on the Mediterranean.

While Russia claims to be confronting ISIS targets, real time information on the ground shows otherwise. Russia is clearly targeting opposition forces who were gaining the upper hand against President Bashar Assad’s army. This action by the Russians is troubling for many reasons but the main reason is twofold.

In one swift movement, Putin has largely undermined and unseated the the region.Now President Putin (former KGB) is the main powerbrokerin the Middle Eastand he is dictating political outcomes in the most dangerous part of the world.

As we consider these events through the lens of Bible prophecy, we need to take the 10,000 foot view because there are many things to consider. There are alliances being forged between Russia, Iran, Syria, China, and others that is very concerning. In our 10,000 ft. view of the region, there are a few key factors we should consider: In regard to the recent so-called “nuclear deal.”

Iran gains an estimated additional $150 billion in funds to do what they want with. People with any realistic understanding of recent history understand that Iran will continue to finalize their nuclear weapons program, threaten Israel and the US, fund Hezbollah and the many other terrorist groups that shed the blood of many innocent people including the blood of US military personnel.

Another key factor to consider is the large amount of SAMS (surface to air missiles) Russia has brought into Syria. As others have pointed out, ISIS has no airpower that we know of, so the next question is this: What are the SAMS intended for? One can only speculate, but I have considered them as a possible deterrent to anyone threatening Russian interests.

Cash-strapped Russia is selling military equipment and providing strategic knowhow to Iran for a price and both countries are benefitting.

As Iran is inching closer to a nuclear threshold, Israel has not made it a secret that it will defend itself from its enemies. Prime Minister Netanyahu has right issued repeated pleas for help in combating an Iranian regime that’s bent on Israel’s destruction. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s voice of reason has sadly been ignored by most of the world.

Since Israel has left a preemptive strike against Iran on the table, one has to consider the real reason behind the Russian SAMS in the area. Could they be considered as a deterrent against an Israeli attack on Iran? The missiles could also be meant to send a message to NATO to stand down in the region. The scenarios I presented are purely speculation, but in light of recent events… anything is possible.

Here is an interesting and unprecedented development…China has deployed several warships to the region to assist the Russian military. Chinese military vessels passing through the Suez Canal and taking up positions along the Mediterranean coast of Syria is unheard of. While the Russian and the People’s Liberation Army have conducted war games together before, this “military support” is much different.

This is an active theatre of war and not the place to sit as a casual supporter. It will be interesting to watch and consider what the level of China’s involvement is in the coming weeks.

One of the greatest and matter of fact statements I’ve ever heard was when Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress earlier this year and was referencing the quagmire and foolishness of foreign policy in the Middle East when he said: “The enemy of your enemy… is your enemy.”

When the Prime Minister made that statement, he was referring to the fact that just because Iran and ISIS are at odds, it doesn’t make Iran an ally. That same clear logic applies to the current situation in Syria and the Middle East. Even (if) Russia was truly going after ISIS…which is questionable (at this time), the main thingisthey are continuing to bolster the Assad regime.

The Assad government is responsible for the deaths of nearly 250,000 people in Syria. Regardless of whether Russia fights ISIS, the Syrian Opposition, or others… they are continuing to prop-up an evil dictator who hasn’t hesitated to use chemical weapons on his population.

How do these recent developments tie together and how might they fit into the end time scenario? No one can be certain, but I have noticed that this is the first time in history when the events written in Ezekiel38could possibly take place. Israel is back in her rightful place and that wasn’t the case until 1948 when her modern rebirth occurred.

Going back to our 10,000 foot view of the Middle East, we must consider the strategic alliances being forged. My wife and I were watching a major news outlet report on the “coalition” forming in the Middle East. The graphic showed Russia, Iran, and Syria. We just looked at each other knowingly because of the possible prophetic implications.

Time will tell whether Russia’s only objective is solidifying the Assad regime or if there is a long term goal at the core. Russia finally has firmly established its foothold and gained a second warm water port city in Latakia after recently establishing a naval base in Tartus.

It is worth noting that in the last few years (2010) Israel has discovered a vast natural gas field off of its Mediterranean coast. The Leviathan gas field is scheduled to begin production in 2017. An even more stunning discovery was announced just this week.

Massive oil reserves were discovered in Israel’s Golan region. As the linked article states: “This is a potential game changer.”Click herefor the full story.

The current crisis in Syria may or may not be laying the groundwork for an eventual invasion by a Russian led coalition, but one thing is certain: There is a day coming when a coalition of nations led by Russia will come down to plunder the wealth of Israel (Ezekiel 38:1-12).

Russia is currently in poor financial straits due mainly to plummeting oil prices among other things. Russia needs to bolster its economy to remain a viable world power. The nation has projected its power most recently in Ukraine and seized Crimea along with its assets.

So we can see how and why the scenario in the Bible could unfold very easily. Whether the invasion by Russia, Iran, and others happens in the near future or decades from now… it will certainly take place because the Bible describes it in great detail.

Russia has always poked around in the Middle East. It has been an ally of the Assad regime for years, has had dealings with Iran, and projected limited influence. This came to a head in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War and everything eventually quieted down.

In the future, possibly even sooner than we think; Russia, Syria, Iran, and others won’t relent. There will be no brokered peace deal and this evil coalition will swoop down to seize riches from the nation of Israel.

What a glorious day because the Lord God Himself will destroy the advancing armies with a great earthquake, hailstones, fire, sulphur, throwing the enemy soldiers into confusion, and they will turn against each other.God’s Name will be great in the Land of Israel and they will know He is the Lord on that day of victory.

Looking at our daily papers, television, and Internet news…we should be able to recognize that this world will not continue as it is for much longer. Iran is threatening Israel with total destruction and acquiring the means to carry it out. Russia is setting up shop in the region and judging by the large amount of equipment and personnel they are bringing, they may plan on being there for the long haul.

The current conditions in the Middle East is certainly an indicator that God’s judgment will soon fall on this unrepentant, sinful world. The coalitions forming, the violence in the region, and the constant threat of all out war is proof that God’s prophetic Word is spot on accurate.

In the coming weeks and months, keep your eyes on Middle East events, especially Iran, Syria, and Russia. It’s looking like Moscow on the Mediterranean.