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North Korea and Iran Threat Updates

Discussion in 'The Signs of the Times' started by Carol55, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    U.S. ultimatum on nuclear deal, new sanctions draw Iran threat
    January 13, 2018 Andrey Ostroukh

    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Iran said on Saturday it would retaliate against new sanctions imposed by the United States after President Donald Trump set an ultimatum to fix “disastrous flaws” in a deal curbing Tehran’s nuclear program.

    Trump said on Friday he would waive nuclear sanctions on Iran for the last time to give the United States and European allies a final chance to amend the pact. Washington also imposed sanctions on the head of Iran’s judiciary and others.

    Russia - one of the parties to the Iran pact alongside the United States, China, France, Britain, Germany and the European Union - called Trump’s comments “extremely negative.”

    The ultimatum puts pressure on Europeans, key backers of the 2015 nuclear deal, to satisfy Trump, who wants the pact strengthened with a separate agreement within 120 days.

    While approving the waiver on U.S. sanctions related to the nuclear deal, Washington announced other sanctions against 14 Iranian entities and people, including judiciary head Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, a close ally of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    Describing sanctions against Larijani as “hostile action”, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said the move “crossed all red lines of conduct in the international community and is a violation of international law and will surely be answered by a serious reaction of the Islamic Republic,” state media reported.

    It did not specify what any retaliation might involve.

    Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had earlier said on Twitter that the deal was “not renegotiable” and that Trump’s move “amounts to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement.”

    Iran says its nuclear program has only peaceful aims and says it will stick to the accord as long as others respect it. But it has said it would “shred” the deal if Washington quit.


    Trump, who has sharply criticized the deal reached in Barack Obama’s presidency, had chafed at having to once again waive sanctions on a country he sees as a threat in the Middle East.

    “Despite my strong inclination, I have not yet withdrawn the United States from the Iran nuclear deal,” Trump said in a statement, saying the options were to fix “the deal’s disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw.”

    FILE PHOTO - U.S. President Donald Trump speaks before signing a proclamation to honor Martin Luther King Jr. day in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 12, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

    “This is a last chance,” Trump said, pushing for a separate agreement and saying the United States would not waive sanctions again to keep Iran in the pact without such an agreement.

    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called Trump’s remarks ”extremely negative“, RIA state news agency reported. ”Our worst fears are being confirmed,” he said.

    The EU said in a statement it had taken note of Trump’s decision and would assess its implications. “It’s going to be complicated to save the deal after this,” said one European diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    Britain, France and Germany had called on Trump on Thursday to uphold the pact.

    Slideshow (2 Images)

    Senior U.S. administration officials told reporters Trump would work with Europeans on a follow-on deal to enshrine triggers that the Iranian government could not exceed related to ballistic missiles.

    Republican Senator Bob Corker said “significant progress” had been made on bipartisan congressional legislation to address “flaws in the agreement without violating U.S. commitments.”


    Trump laid out conditions to keep Washington in the deal. Iran must allow “immediate inspections at all sites requested by international inspectors,” he said, and “sunset” provisions imposing limits on Iran’s nuclear program must not expire.

    Related Coverage
    Trump said U.S. law must tie long-range missile and nuclear weapons programs together, making any missile testing by Iran subject to “severe sanctions.”

    The president wants U.S. Congress to modify a law that reviews U.S. participation in the nuclear deal to include “trigger points” that, if violated, would lead to the United States reimposing its sanctions, the official said.

    This would not entail negotiations with Iran but would be the result of talks with European allies, the official said.

    A decision to withhold a waiver would have effectively ended the deal between Iran and the other international signatories. The other parties to the agreement would have been unlikely to join the United States in reimposing sanctions.

    Two EU diplomats said EU foreign ministers would discuss next steps at their next regular meeting on Jan. 22 in Brussels.

    Additional reporting by by Andrey Ostroukh in Moscow, Jeff Mason, Doina Chiacu, David Alexander and Arshad Mohammed in Washington, Robin Emmott in Brussels, John Irish in Paris and Parisa Hafezi in Ankara; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Alexander Smith

    Our Standards:
    The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
  2. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert days after Hawaii's false alarm
    January 16, 2018 http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-japan-mistaken-missile-alert-20180116-story.html
    North Korean leader Kim John Un is seen in this undated video from a news bulletin aired by KRT. (Associated Press)

    Japan's public broadcaster mistakenly sent an alert Tuesday warning citizens of a North Korean missile launch and urging them to seek immediate shelter, then minutes later corrected it, days after a similar error in Hawaii.

    NHK television issued the message on its internet and mobile news sites as well as on Twitter, saying North Korea appeared to have fired a missile at Japan. It said the government was telling people to evacuate and take shelter.

    "North Korea appears to have fired a missile," NHK said, adding that a government warning had been issued. "The government: Seek shelter inside buildings and basements."

    The false alarm came just days after Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency sent a mistaken warning of a North Korean missile attack to mobile phones across the state, triggering panic.

    NHK said the mistake was the result of an error by a staff member who was operating the alert system for online news, but did not elaborate. NHK deleted the tweet and text warning after several minutes, issued a correction and
    apologized several times on air and on other formats.

    "The flash was a mistake," NHK said. "We are very sorry."

    Tension has grown in Japan over North Korean missile tests as they have flown closer to Japanese coasts. NHK and other Japanese media generally alert each missile test, and the government has issued emergency notices when the missiles flew over Japan.

    Japan also is stepping up its missile intercepting capabilities and conducting missile drills across the country in which residents, including schoolchildren and elderly people, rush to community centers, cover their heads and duck to the floor. A major drill is planned in downtown Tokyo next week.

    Unlike the mistaken Hawaii warning, the NHK alert did not contain the statement, "This is not a drill." NHK was able to correct its error in a few minutes, far faster than the nearly 40 minutes that lapsed before the Hawaii alert was withdrawn.

    The Hawaii agency has changed its protocols to require that two people send an alert and made it easier to cancel a false alarm.


    8:05 a.m.: This article was updated with NHK’s apology and context of the tension in Japan over North Korea’s missile tests.

    This article was originally published at 7:10 a.m.
  3. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    The Latest: Russia warns against failure of Iran nuke deal
    Associated Press January 18, 2018 http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/01/18/latest-russia-warns-against-failure-iran-nuke-deal.html

    UNITED NATIONS – The Latest on the U.N. Security Council (all times local):

    12:15 p.m.

    Russia's foreign minister is warning that a failure of the Iran nuclear deal, especially as a result of action by the Trump administration, would send "an alarming message" to North Korea and impact all international agreements.

    Sergey Lavrov told the Security Council on Thursday in a clear message to President Donald Trump that "we cannot for the benefit of political agendas of certain countries abandon a genuine achievement of international diplomacy."

    Last Friday, Trump kept the Iran agreement alive by extending sanctions waivers. But he warned that the U.S. would pull out in a few months unless "terrible flaws" in the deal are fixed.

    Lavrov again pushed a Russian-Chinese "roadmap for an exclusively peaceful settlement" of the North Korea nuclear issue.

    He also expressed grave concern at "the growing threat of chemical terrorism in the Middle East, specifically on the territories of Iraq and Syria."

    11:10 a.m.

    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the threat from weapons of mass destruction "seems to be gathering force" and is urging expanded diplomatic efforts to tackle the security challenge posed by North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

    The U.N. chief told the Security Council on Thursday that the international community must build on the "small signs of hope" from recent contacts between the two Koreas to pursue diplomacy and denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

    Guterres said "global anxieties about nuclear weapons are the highest since the Cold War," and warned of "unimaginable consequences" from "the growing risk of military confrontation."

    He also expressed concern at the "ebb" in trust on nuclear and other weapons-related issues between the U.S. and Russia, and the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict.

    Here is are two more articles on this topic,

    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  4. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    Please keep praying...

    1 Thessalonians 5:3 (DRA)
    3 For when they shall say, peace and security; then shall sudden destruction come upon them, as the pains upon her that is with child, and they shall not escape.

    Turkey's 'Operation Olive Branch'

    Iran calls for end to Turkish offensive in Syria
    January 21, 2018 Reuters Staff https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...d-to-turkish-offensive-in-syria-idUSKBN1FA0O0

    DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran on Sunday called for a quick end to a Turkish incursion into northern Syria’s Afrin province, saying it may help “terrorist” groups, state news agency IRNA reported.

    “Iran hopes that this operation will be ended immediately to prevent a deepening of the crisis in the border regions of Turkey and Syria,” it quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi as saying. “A continued crisis in Afrin may boost ...terrorist groups in northern Syria.”

    Reporting by Dubai newsroom; editing by John Stonestreet

    Turkey's Erdogan warns pro-Kurdish not to protest Afrin operation
    January 21, 2018 Reuters Staff https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...-not-to-protest-afrin-operation-idUSKBN1FA0K7

    ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan warned supporters of the pro-Kurdish opposition not to protest the military’s operation in northern Syria, saying security forces would intervene if they demonstrated.

    “Know that wherever you go out on the streets our security forces are on your necks,” Erdogan said, referring to members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), parliament’s second-largest opposition.

    Erdogan was speaking to thousands of supporters in the northwestern city of Bursa. Turkish ground forces pushed into Syria’s Afrin province on Sunday, part of Ankara’s operation targeting a U.S.-backed Kurdish militia at its southern border.

    Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Mattthew Mpoke Bigg

    Turkish forces push into Syria, Kurdish militia says attacks repulsed
    January 20, 2018 Dominic Evans https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-turkey/turkish-forces-push-into-syria-kurdish-militia-says-attacks-repulsed-idUSKBN1F90RQ

    AZAZ, Syria (Reuters) - Turkish ground forces pushed into northern Syria’s Afrin province on Sunday, the army said, after Turkey launched artillery and air strikes on a U.S.-backed Kurdish militia it aims to sweep from its border.

    The Syrian-Kurdish YPG militia, supported by the United States but seen as a terrorist organization by Turkey, said it had repulsed the Turkish forces and their allies after fierce clashes.

    It marked the second day of fighting after Ankara opened a new front in the nearly seven-year-old Syrian war. Under what the Turkish government has called “Operation Olive Branch”, Turkish air strikes on Saturday pounded YPG positions in Afrin.

    Turkey is targeting the U.S.-backed fighters at a time when ties with ally Washington appear close to breaking point.

    Turkey sees the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has carried out a deadly, three-decade insurgency in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast. The United States is backing the YPG in Syria, seeing it as an effective partner in the fight against Islamic State.

    “Our jets took off and started bombing. And now, the ground operation is underway. Now we see how the YPG ... are fleeing in Afrin,” President Tayyip Erdogan said. “We will chase them. God willing, we will complete this operation very quickly.”

    Erdogan said some of Turkey’s allies had provided the YPG with 2,000 plane shipments and 5,000 truckloads of ammunition, comments that appeared to be aimed at the United States.

    The attacks follow weeks of warnings against the YPG in Syria from Erdogan and his ministers. Turkey has been particularly outraged by an announcement that the United States planned to train 30,000 personnel in parts of northeast Syria under the control of the YPG-spearheaded Syrian Democratic Forces.

    Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the Turkish military, NATO’s second-largest, would create a 30-km (19-mile) “safe zone” in the region, according to broadcaster HaberTurk.


    Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army rebel factions had captured a Kurdish village with no resistance and were clearing landmines, a Turkish official said.

    The YPG said it had repulsed the Turkish forces.

    “All the Turkish military’s ground attacks against Afrin have been repelled so far and they have been forced to retreat,” Nouri Mahmoudi, a YPG official, said. Since the morning, the combatants have exchanged shelling and clashed along several frontlines around Afrin, he said.

    Thousands rallied against the attacks in the border town of Amuda in northwest Syria, vowing to stand against “Turkish occupation”, according to a local witness.

    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan greets his supporters during a rally in Bursa, Turkey, January 21, 2018. Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

    The Turkish military said it had hit 153 targets so far, including shelters and hideouts used by Kurdish militants. The YPG has said Turkey’s strikes killed six civilians and three of its fighters and wounded 13 civilians.

    The YPG has also accused Turkey of striking civilian districts and a camp for the displaced in Afrin.

    Intense Turkish artillery fire and strikes continued to hit some villages, the YPG said. Fierce battles raged to the north and west of Afrin against Turkish forces and their Syrian rebel allies, said Birusk Hasaka, the YPG spokesman in Afrin.

    Western governments have largely urged calm, with the United States saying the focus should be on fighting Islamic State in Syria.

    France asked Turkey to act with restraint, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said after speaking by phone with his Turkish counterpart. He said France would call for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

    Russia, which backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, will demand in the United Nations that Turkey halt it’s military operation in Afrin, RIA news quoted Franz Klintsevich, a member of the upper house of the Russian parliament’s security committee, as saying on Saturday.


    At a training camp near the border, about 200 fighters from the Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army factions drilled on a parade ground. Some were in different khaki-colored uniforms, some in jeans and sneakers.

    Lieutenant-colonel Mohammad al Hamadeen, a rebel spokesman, said a ground offensive was due to begin within hours against the YPG.

    “The military operation started this morning with the invasion of the northwestern areas of Afrin. And they will start in the eastern area of Afrin,” he told Reuters.

    Related Coverage
    A Reuters reporter on the outskirts of the northern Syrian town of Azaz, under the control of rebels from the Free Syrian Army factions, heard several blasts and saw smoke rising from a hill to the west, where a fighter said the YPG were.

    There were no signs of conflict in the town itself, where life appeared to continue as normal with traffic on the muddy, potholed roads and uniformed rebel police at the main roundabouts. Still, Azaz was bleak and the toll from the war was plainly seen in some of its crumbling buildings.

    At one of the car repair workshops on the outskirts of the town some men were fixing a gun-loaded vehicle.

    On Saturday, a Pentagon official said: “We encourage all parties to avoid escalation and to focus on the most important task of defeating ISIS (Islamic State).”

    Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported that four rockets fired from Syria hit the border town of Kilis overnight, damaging houses. Turkish security forces retaliated, it said.

    Additional reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun in Istanbul; Orhan Coskun, Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay in Ankara; Ellen Francis in Beirut; Geert De Clercq in Paris; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Janet Lawrence
    Our Standards:
    The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
  5. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    France asks Turkey to act with restraint in Syria
    January 21, 2018 Reuters Staff https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...-to-act-with-restraint-in-syria-idUSKBN1FA0KF

    PARIS (Reuters) - France has asked Turkey to act with restraint in Syria, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Sunday after speaking by phone with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

    FILE PHOTO - French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, January 5, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

    “France calls on Turkish authorities to act with restraint in a difficult context, with the humanitarian situation deteriorating in several regions of Syria as a consequence of the military actions of the Damascus regime and its allies,” Le Drian said in a statement.

    Turkish ground forces pushed into northern Syria’s Afrin province on Sunday, the army said, after Turkey launched artillery and air strikes on a U.S.-backed Kurdish militia it aims to sweep from its border.

    Le Drian also said that France condemned indiscriminate bombing by the Syrian regime in Idlib province and asked for the immediate access of humanitarian aid to eastern Ghouta, where 400,000 citizens are in a critical situation.

    He confirmed that France would call for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

    Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Susan Fenton

    FSA commander says 25,000 Syrian rebels back Turkish force in Syria
    January 21, 2018 Suleiman Al-Khalidi https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...els-back-turkish-force-in-syria-idUSKBN1FA0OK

    AMMAN (Reuters) - Around 25,000 Free Syrian Army rebels are joining the Turkish military operation in northern Syria with the goal of recapturing Arab towns and villages seized by the YPG Kurdish militia almost two years ago, a rebel commander said on Sunday.

    Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army fighters are seen at a training camp in Azaz, Syria January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

    Major Yasser Abdul Rahim, who is also the commander of Failaq al Sham, a main FSA rebel group in the operations room of the campaign, said the rebels did not seek to enter the mainly Kurdish city of Afrin but encircle it and expel the YPG.

    “We have no interest in entering the city only the military targets inside the city and the villages around it. We aim to encircle the city and ensure the militias are evicted. We won’t fight in the city as we have no problem with civilians,” he said.

    A main goal of the military operation was to recapture Tel Rifaat, a town southeast of Afrin, and a string of Arab villages the YPG captured from rebels in February 2016, driving out tens of thousands of inhabitants, Abdul Rahim said.

    “The task of the Free Syrian Army is first to regain sixteen Arab towns and villages occupied by the foreign militias (YPG) with the help of the Russian air force,” Abdul Rahim told Reuters in a phone interview from inside Syria.

    Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army fighters are seen at a training camp in Azaz, Syria January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

    The fighting forced at least 150,000 residents of these villages to flee to Azaz. They are sheltering in camps at the Turkish border and rebels say they have not been allowed to go back to their homes.

    The mainly Arab rebels accuse the Syrian Kurdish militia of forcibly displacing Arabs from the villages in what they say is a deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing. The YPG denies these allegations.

    Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army fighters are seen at a training camp in Azaz, Syria January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

    Tel Rifaat and nearby areas including the Menigh air base fell to the YPG as the rebels were trying to fend off a major assault by Syrian government forces backed by the Russian air force and Iranian-backed militias.

    It was a prelude to the rebels’ defeat in eastern Aleppo - their biggest single setback of the civil war.

    Turkish troops have targeted these YPG-held Arab villages in artillery and aerial attacks on the U.S.-backed Kurdish militia it aims to sweep from its border, rebels said.

    The rebels taking part in the assault are mainly the same factions that took part in the Turkey-backed operation launched in 2016 to drive Islamic State from the border and to prevent further expansion of YPG influence.

    Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Janet Lawrence
    Our Standards:
    The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
  6. Fatima

    Fatima Powers

    Seems we are full swing into Matthew 24: [6] And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that ye be not troubled. For these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. [7] For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes in places: [8] Now all these are the beginnings of sorrows. [9] Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall put you to death: and you shall be hated by all nations for my name's sake. [10] And then shall many be scandalized: and shall betray one another: and shall hate one another.
    Byron likes this.
  7. Luan Ribeiro

    Luan Ribeiro Angels

    I read a few times that Trump hopes to end the winter games to start a military action, so if a nuclear test occurs after the games end, I believe it will be the most dangerous time
  8. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    Luan, I haven't heard anything like this in regards to what I think you have stated about President Trump. In addition, I don't think that he believes in making these sort of announcements. I am praying that the Winter Olympics experiences no problems like those you have mentioned. I think we should pray for the athletes, their families and anyone attending.
    Exclusive: North Korea earned $200 million from banned exports, sends arms to Syria, Myanmar - U.N. report
    Michelle Nichols February 2, 2018

    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - North Korea violated United Nations sanctions to earn nearly $200 million in 2017 from banned commodity exports, according to a confidential report by independent U.N. monitors, which also accused Pyongyang of supplying weapons to Syria and Myanmar.

    The report to a U.N. Security Council sanctions committee, seen by Reuters on Friday, said North Korea had shipped coal to ports, including in Russia, China, South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam, mainly using false paperwork that showed countries such as Russia and China as the coal origin, instead of North Korea.

    The 15-member council has unanimously boosted sanctions on North Korea since 2006 in a bid to choke funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, banning exports including coal, iron, lead, textiles and seafood, and capping imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products.

    “The DPRK (North Korea) is already flouting the most recent resolutions by exploiting global oil supply chains, complicit foreign nationals, offshore company registries and the international banking system,” the U.N. monitors wrote in the 213-page report.

    The North Korean mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the U.N. report. Russia and China have repeatedly said they are implementing U.N. sanctions on North Korea.


    The monitors said they had investigated ongoing ballistic missile cooperation between Syria and Myanmar, including more than 40 previously unreported North Korea shipments between 2012 and 2017 to Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Centre, which oversees the country’s chemical weapons program.

    The investigation has shown “further evidence of arms embargo and other violations, including through the transfer of items with utility in ballistic missile and chemical weapons programs,” the U.N. monitors wrote.

    They also inspected cargo from two North Korea shipments intercepted by unidentified countries en route to Syria. Both contained acid-resistant tiles that could cover an area equal to a large scale industrial project, the monitors reported.

    One country, which was not identified, told the monitors the seized shipments can “be used to build bricks for the interior wall of a chemical factory.”

    Syria agreed to destroy its chemical weapons in 2013. However, diplomats and weapons inspectors suspect Syria may have secretly maintained or developed a new chemical weapons capability.

    FILE PHOTO: A North Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva October 2, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/Files

    The Syrian mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the U.N. report.

    The U.N. monitors also said one country, which they did not identify, reported it had evidence that Myanmar received ballistic missile systems from North Korea, along with conventional weapons, including multiple rocket launchers and surface-to-air missiles.

    Myanmar U.N. Ambassador Hau Do Suan said the Myanmar government “has no ongoing arms relationship, whatsoever, with North Korea” and is abiding by the U.N. Security Council resolutions.


    Under a 2016 resolution, the U.N. Security Council capped coal exports and required countries to report any imports of North Korean coal to the council sanctions committee. It then banned all exports of coal by North Korea on Aug. 5.

    The U.N. monitors investigated 16 coal shipments between January and Aug. 5 to ports in Russia, China, Malaysia and Vietnam. They said Malaysia reported one shipment to the council committee and the remaining 15 shipments violated sanctions.

    After the coal ban was imposed on Aug. 5, the U.N. monitors investigated 23 coal shipments to ports in Russia, China, South Korea and Vietnam. The U.N. monitors said all those shipments “would constitute a violation of the resolution, if confirmed.”

    “The DPRK combined deceptive navigation patterns, signals manipulation, transshipments as well as fraudulent documentation to obscure the origin of the coal,” the monitors said.

    The U.N. monitors “also investigated cases of ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products in violation (of U.N. sanctions) ... and found that the network behind these vessels is primarily based in Taiwan province of China.”

    The monitors said one country, which they did not name, told them North Korea had carried out such transfers off its ports of Wonsan and Nampo and in international waters between the Yellow Sea and East China Sea between October and January.

    The report said several multinational oil companies, which were not named, were also being investigated for roles in the supply chain of petroleum products transferred to North Korea.

    Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by James Dalgleish and Cynthia Osterman
    Luan Ribeiro likes this.
  9. BrianK

    BrianK Resident Kook, Crank, Curmudgeon - & Mod Staff Member

    The South Korea winter games are scheduled February 9 - February 25. Kim won't start anything while his star athletes are in South Korea, but for the period after February 25 through the end of March (St. Boscso's prophecies) all bets are off.
    Byron and Carol55 like this.
  10. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    Iran's Rouhani urges Turkey to halt Afrin operation
    Iranian president says Turkey's operation against the armed group YPG in Afrin will only result in more casualties.

    6 Feb 2018 http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/...key-halt-afrin-operation-180206135338412.html

    Iran, Turkey and Russia are involved in peace negotiations to end the seven-year civil war in Syria [AFP]
    more on Turkey-Syria border
    Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has called on Turkey to stop its military operation in the northern Syrian enclave of Afrin, saying it will only result in more deaths on both sides.

    In a wide-ranging press conference on Tuesday, the Iranian leader said his government believes "a military foreign intervention should be based on the authorisation of the host country and its people".

    "We wish that Turkey's operation in Syria will end at the earliest time," he told reporters in the capital Tehran.

    INSIDE STORY: How will Iran and Turkey deal with Kurdish dreams of their own country? (24:25)

    The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which is aligned with Iran, has condemned the Afrin operation.

    Rouhani's stand on Afrin puts Iran in an awkward position with the United States, which also opposes the military operation and supports the Syrian Kurdish armed group YPG.

    The armed group and its other Syrian Kurdish affiliates control a swathe of land in northern Syria, and were credited with defending the Kurds from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Qaeda.

    The YPG was also instrumental in retaking ISIL's stronghold of Raqqa last year.

    But Turkey considers the YPG and its political wing PYD to be "terrorist groups" with ties to the banned PKK, which has been fighting Ankara for decades.

    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated his call for the US to withdraw about 1,000 American troops stationed in Manbij, about 60km east of Afrin. He also suggested on Tuesday, he did not trust US statements that it had stopped arming the YPG.

    "If the United States says they are sending 5,000 trucks and 2,000 cargo planes of weapons for the fight against Daesh (ISIL), we don't believe this," Erdogan told members of his ruling AK Party in parliament.

    "It means you have calculations against Turkey and Iran - and maybe Russia."

    On January 20, Turkey and allied armed groups launched the operation against the YPG inside northwestern Syria. At least 14 Turkish troops were killed in fighting as of Sunday.

    Ankara said as many as 1,000 YPG fighters have died, while Syria claimed more than a hundred Kurdish civilians have been killed.

    Neighbouring Iran and Turkey are on the opposing sides of the seven-year civil war in Syria [File: AFP]
  11. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    February 8, 2018 / 2:58 AM / Updated 9 hours ago https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...yria-in-istanbul-turkish-source-idUSKBN1FS0Z1
    Turkey, Russia and Iran leaders to discuss Syria in Istanbul: Turkish source
    Reuters Staff 2 Min Read

    ANKARA (Reuters) - The leaders of Turkey, Russia and Iran agreed on Thursday to meet in Istanbul to discuss the conflict in Syria, a Turkish presidential source said.

    FILE PHOTO - Iran's President Hassan Rouhani together with his counterparts, Russia's Vladimir Putin and Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan, attend a joint news conference following their meeting in Sochi, Russia November 22, 2017. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS
    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan discussed the meeting in two phone calls on Thursday with the Russian and Iranian presidents, the source said. The date of the summit would be set in coming weeks.

    The three countries have worked together in recent months to try to reduce violence in Syria, even though they have backed rival sides in the nearly seven-year civil war and remain deeply involved in the conflict.

    Iran-backed militias and Russian air power have supported a Syrian army offensive in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib since November, and Turkish forces last month launched an offensive in northern Syria’s Kurdish region of Afrin.

    On Monday, Iran urged Turkey to halt the Afrin operation, saying it breached Syrian sovereignty and would increase tension. It was not immediately clear whether Erdogan and Rouhani discussed Afrin in their telephone call on Thursday.

    Erdogan and Putin also agreed to speed up the establishment of military observation posts in Syria’s Idlib region under an accord reached by Ankara, Tehran and Moscow last year to reduce fighting between President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and rebels.

    After the phone call, the Kremlin said in a statement that Putin and Erdogan agreed to strengthen coordination between the two countries’ military and security services in Syria in the fight against terrorism.

    (This version of the story fixes day in lead, second paragraph)

    Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz; Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Dominic Evans
    Luan Ribeiro likes this.
  12. jackzokay

    jackzokay Angels

    It seems that the so called rapture -Armageddon - end-times, call it what you will... but it has come to the poor people of these countries.

    How long before it comes to your door? To my door...? How long will we pointlessly debate who is in the wrong or who is in the right? Who the antagonist might be.
    Evil Russia; evil Assad; its Iran; its those pesky Chinese etc etc etc.

    Rome is burning folks...

    As the wars spread ever more ferocious, more frequent; we might each of us do well to put our house in order.
  13. Luan Ribeiro

    Luan Ribeiro Angels

  14. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    Yep, the only one I know of who walked on water, literally, was Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

    Keep watch and keep our lamps filled with oil.
  15. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    In an apparent first, Iran and Israel engage each other militarily
    By Noga Tarnopolsky Nabih Bulos Feb 10, 2018 | 2:30 PM | JERUSALEM http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-israel-syria-20180209-story.html

    A man views the remains of a missile that landed in the southern Lebanese village of Kaoukaba, near the border with Syria, after the Israeli attacks. (Ali Dia / AFP/Getty Images)

    A drone incursion into Israel early Saturday spiraled into a major confrontation that included the downing of an Israeli fighter jet and an extensive attack on Iranian military assets in Syria — the first known time that Israel has used force against Iran.

    The attacks and counterattacks also mark the first time since 1982 that Israel and Syria have engaged in direct combat.

    The chain of events threatened to escalate into active combat between Syrian government forces and Israel, which has remained an outsider in the 7-year-old Syrian civil war.

    The first hint that anything was amiss came at 4:15 a.m. Israel time, as air raid sirens wailed over the communities of the Beit Shean Valley in the lower Galilee.

    An automatic warning system was triggered by an Iranian drone — launched from Syria — that penetrated Israeli airspace in what appeared to be an attempt to collect intelligence.

    The Israeli army released a video showing the incursion. The drone, which was shot down by Apache helicopters, was "an advanced, low-signature model Israel has never before captured," said Brig. Gen. Tomer Bar, second in command of Israel's air force.

    In retaliation for the incursion, Israel bombed the Iranian drone control site in Syria.

    Returning from that mission, an Israeli F-16 fighter jet was downed over Israeli territory by Syrian anti-aircraft missiles. The Israeli army said the plane did not suffer a direct hit but was struck by shrapnel from a missile that blew up next to it.

    The pilots ejected and were injured but survived.

    The jet crashed next to a high school in the Galilean community of Hardouf, an ecological village. The school was empty early on the weekend morning.

    The Syrian state news agency SANA quoted an unnamed military source as saying that the army had hit more than one Israeli aircraft, but that could not be confirmed.

    In retaliation, Israel carried out what the army called "a large-scale operation" into Syria targeting 12 Syrian and Iranian military sites.

    "Syria and Iran are playing with fire," said Israel Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Jonathan Conricus.

    Syrian state television described the attack as a new "Israeli aggression" in the form of explosions close to the Syrian capital of Damascus. A community Facebook page that tracks attacks there reported strikes on military sites near the suburbs of Kiswah and Dimas.

    The Iranian foreign ministry said the Israeli claim that it intercepted a drone was "ridiculous."

    "Reports of downing an Iranian drone flying over Israel and also Iran's involvement in attacking an Israeli jet are so ridiculous .... Iran only provides military advice to Syria," Iran foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying on Iranian television.

    A statement issued by the commander of the joint Syrian-Iranian operations room said the drones had been "on a routine mission" over eastern Syria for operations against remaining Islamic State pockets in the area when the Israeli warplanes struck the control center at the Tiyas airport, a military airbase also known as T4, roughly 55 miles southeast of the Syrian city of Homs.

    "This action by the Zionist entity is a condemnable terrorist attack … and any new aggression will face a harsh and serious response," it said.

    Meanwhile, commentators on news channels supportive of the Syrian government hailed the downing of the F-16 as a major turning point in its relationship with Israel.

    "The Israeli entity is now convinced it is unable to bear the consequences of a confrontation," said Ghassan Mohammad, an analyst on the Syrian Ikhbariyah news channel.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long warned of the danger of Iran's growing military presence along Israel's northern border.

    In a video released by his office Saturday, he said: "Israel holds Iran and its Syrian hosts responsible for today's aggression. We will continue to do whatever is necessary to protect our sovereignty and our security."

    Russia, Syrian President Bashar Assad's most stalwart ally, which has established several military bases in Syria during the course of the civil war, said in a statement issued by the foreign ministry that it urged "all sides to exercise restraint and to avoid any actions that could lead to an even greater complication of the situation."

    "It is necessary to unconditionally respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and other countries in the region."

    The downing of the Israeli jet by Syria represents a sobering juncture in Netanyahu's intense efforts to avoid military entanglements with Russia through a so-called "deconfliction mechanism."

    At a Jan. 30 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Netanyahu said, "The most important thing I think is to make sure that we understand each other and that we don't shoot down each other's planes. And we decided to do what is called in this awful jargon deconfliction, which means not shooting each other. And we established a mechanism to do that, and that mechanism holds secure."

    In a statement Saturday, the Pentagon said that the U.S. did not participate in the Israeli military operation in Syria and that it fully supports "Israel's inherent right to defend itself against threats to its territory and its people."

    It called for "greater international resolve in countering Iran's malign activities."

    In a statement, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said, "Iran's calculated escalation of threat and its ambition to project its power and dominance, places all the people of the‎ region — from Yemen to Lebanon — at risk.‎"

    "The U.S. continues to push back on the totality of Iran's malign activities in the region and calls for an end to Iranian behavior that threatens peace and stability," the statement said.

    Dan Shapiro, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, said in an interview that the U.S. appears to be "ceding all the diplomacy to Russia" and in doing so, was making a mistake.

    "Thus far, the U.S. seems absent from the playing field, which does not serve its own interests or that of its closest regional ally, Israel.

    "Normally, in a moment of crisis or of potential escalation, American diplomacy coordinates very closely with Israel and is critical for containing these situations and deterring Israeli and U.S. enemies from acting aggressively," said Shapiro, currently a visiting fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.

    In an official statement, Hezbollah, the Lebanese-based militia and a close Iranian ally, announced that the downing of the Israeli jet represents "the start of a new strategic era."

    The last time Israel and Lebanon engaged in direct combat was June 1982, when Israel entered the south of Lebanon to uproot Palestinian guerrillas using the area as a staging ground for attacks into Israel.

    Amos Yadlin, a former Israeli air force general who once headed Israel's military intelligence, said that the downing of the plane Saturday in northern Israel raised the possibility that "Syria may have used a long-range missile that Israel has been worried about."

    In an interview, he noted, "This means Israeli jets are exposed and vulnerable within Israeli borders."

    Israeli observers noted that if there was any good news, it was that the pilots were not forced to eject over Syrian territory, where they could have been captured by Islamic State militias or the Syrian army. While the extremist militants and the Syrian army are fighting each other, they share a common enemy in the Jewish state.

    On Feb. 3, a Russian fighter jet was shot down in a rebel-held area of northern Syria. The pilot survived the initial attack by ejecting but was killed by militia fighters on the ground.

    In a further indication of regional volatility, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Saturday that one of his army's helicopters was shot down in Syria during a mission against U.S.-backed Kurdish forces. Turkey and the United States are NATO allies.

    Special correspondents Tarnopolsky and Bulos reported from Jerusalem and Amman respectively.


    2:30 p.m.: This article was updated with a statement from the U.S. State Department.

    12:45 p.m.: This article was updated with a statement from Netanyahu.

    10:55 a.m.: This article was updated with details about the various military actions, analysis and comment from the U.S., Syria and Iran.

    9:25 a.m.: This article was updated throughout with staff reporting.

    12:50 a.m.: This article was updated with details about the pilots and background information.

    Feb. 10, 12:20 a.m.: This article was updated with Syrians reporting two airstrikes.

    This article was originally published Feb. 9 at 10:30 p.m.
  16. Byron

    Byron Archangels

    Why would the Antichrist who according to Church father's may be a Jew join an anti pope to declare the truth about a Protestant church? Wouldn't a Jewish Antichrist need the help of Saudi Arabia to open the Temple Mount? That's the temple he's been wanting to raise for centuries.
  17. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers


    The Antichrist who is from Jewish ancestry could possibly be a convert to the Faith and then he may convince many people that he is the messiah by performing miracles or the appearance of miracles. This is just an option that appears to make sense.

    This man who convinces many that he is the messiah, by the nature of doing so will make the sacrifice of the mass no longer make sense to people who accept him as their messiah. Then the temple may rebuilt in Jerusalem, etc.

    I am thinking that he will be a convert because our Catechism states that the Jews convert prior to his reign.
  18. Byron

    Byron Archangels

    Carol, where in the Catechism does it say the Jews will be converted prior to his reign?
  19. jackzokay

    jackzokay Angels

    Why doesn't Russia and America just pull out. Take their guns with them, and leave these countries to it. After a few years they may get fedup fighting with one another and actually realise that getting along with one another might in fact not be too bad after all...
    Just a thought.
    heyshepard likes this.
  20. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers


    Page 176, http://ccc.usccb.org/flipbooks/catechism/index.html#176/z

    The Catechism provides us with a general order of events at the End [CCC 673-677]. Chronologically they are,

    1. the full number of the Gentiles come into the Church
    2. the "full inclusion of the Jews in the Messiah's salvation, in the wake of the full number of the Gentiles" (#2 will follow quickly on, in the wake of, #1)
    3. a final trial of the Church "in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth." The supreme deception is that of the Antichrist.
    4. Christ's victory over this final unleashing of evil through a cosmic upheaval of this passing world and the Last Judgment.


    There won't be true peace in the world unless everyone follows God's laws and repents when they don't. It's all related to sin and the lack of true repentance, imho.

    From Our Lady of Garabandal on October 18th, 1961:

    We must make many sacrifices, perform much penance, and visit the Blessed Sacrament frequently. But first, we must lead good lives. If we do not, a chastisement will befall us. The cup is already filling up, if we do not change, a very great chastisement will come upon us.
    sterph likes this.

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