Escalation :: by Matt Ward

World changing events lay before us and potentially a war unlike any seen since the Second World War. Syria is becoming increasingly volatile and unpredictable; there is a bloodletting ahead in the Middle East.

The news that Turkish F-16’s have engaged and shot down a Russian fighter jet inside Syrian airspace, has rocked the world. Apparently the two Russian pilots ejected safely although one was killed before he reached the ground. It also subsequently appears that a Russian marine has died in the rescue and retrieval operation.

Vladimir Putin is fuming and the world, collectively, is holding its breath.

The Middle East is a powder-keg and this incident serves as a stark reminder of the explosive situation that currently exists inside Syria. Just enough of a spark and chaos will ensue.

The air forces of twelve separate sovereign nations are currently operational inside one single airspace above the Syrian landscape. In battle, mistakes happen regularly and these mistakes often lead to an escalation in tension and confrontation. Having so many different competing air forces operational in the same airspace at the same time is inheritably dangerous. Wars start this way; world wars start this way.

We are, no doubt, on the brink of witnessing far reaching and world defining events in Syria.

While these events play out in real time Vladimir Putin has been in Tehran meeting Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Syria is front and center of their agenda and these two leaders have been open about a desire to develop ways they can deepen their grip on Syria and how they can secure the regime of Bashir al-Assad.

Apparently, as a side note, they are also discussing ways Russia can further bolster Iran’s ever developing nuclear program. The Russian-Iranian relationship is a growing and flourishing one, formed around nuclear cooperation, a mutual hatred for ISIS and a desire to pillage the Middle East. This same nuclear program has Israel dead center in its sights and no doubt Israel will soon be obligated to take military action.

What a spark that will be.

Likely, though, there will be a number of very real consequences involved in the shooting down of this Russian warplane by Turkey, in the short term. First, this incident has seen and will continue to demonstrate the further decline of America under the current administration as a genuine leader on the world stage. Barack Obama’s response thus far to this incident, the first time a NATO aircraft has shot down a Russian enemy aircraft in 65 years, has been lackadaisical at best.

This crisis is also now morphing into a contest between Western allies and Russia’s Putin over the future of Bashir al-Assad. The West believe Assad must go before an agreement can be reached, Putin believes fervently that he must stay. What was once, even two weeks ago, a unified aim of destroying ISIS has now developed into a set of entirely different competing war aims for both sides involved. These competing war aims are increasingly hostile to those of our once Russian anti-ISIS partners in Syria.

This situation has the potential for rapid and extremely dangerous escalation. Russia have ordered the giant missile cruiser, Moskva (one of the largest warships on earth), to the coast of Syria, and also off the coast of Turkey. Its publically stated mission in the Russian press is to “destroy any target posing danger.” That definitely now includes Turkish warplanes straying near the Syrian border, no doubt. Turkey is a member of the NATO alliance, I wonder what their response would be to number of downed Turkish aircraft?

Countering this measure the USS Harry S. Truman is said to be on route to the Mediterranean with its entire strike group to join with the French aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle. This means that very soon there could be two NATO warships and strike groups facing off against substantial Russian naval assets in the small area of the Mediterranean off the coast of Syria. Each naval battle group has different and competing war aims.

Again, wars start this way.

World events are now moving at a fast pace. Bible prophecy is literally jumping out of Scripture and being fulfilled before our very eyes. We know from prophecy that is eons old that this region is destined for war at the time of the end. We also know, through Bible prophecy, who the main protagonists are. These protagonists are in the Middle East right now, and the alliances necessary to bring about this conflagration are forming as we speak.

Bible prophecy also clearly details the ultimate future of this Russia-Iranian axis, in Ezekiel 38 and 39. They will come against God’s holy people and when they do make their move, which they surely shall at the right time, they will meet their complete doom on the mountains of Israel.

Events now are moving at some pace. The stage is almost set.