Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Iran's Move Increases Tension on Lebanese Border

This from the Debkafile

Tension on Israel-Lebanese border rises as Iran sends Hizballah upgraded missiles

Israel, Lebanon and Iran have been trading charges of responsibility for the rising military tensions on the Lebanese-Israeli border in the past week. DEBKAfile's military sources disclose that the Lebanese Shiite Hizballah is preparing for the intake of self-propelled anti-air SAM-8 missiles and an upgraded version of the Iranian ground-ground Fateh-110 missile, whose warhead carries half a ton of explosives with a 200-kilometer range.

Iran appears concerned that President Barack Obama, whom Tehran sources see as frustrated by his failure to cut the Assad regime in Damascus away from its bonds with Tehran, may give Israel a green light to punish Hizballah. The Iranians have responded by pumping up allegations of Israeli threats and building up Hizballah's arsenal with deliveries of advanced air-to-air, ground-to-ground, and shore-to-sea missiles for crippling Israel's military and battering its civilian population in the event of a flare-up.

In Jerusalem, Israel's deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon said Sunday, Aug. 9, that Lebanon would suffer serious consequences from any Hizballah attempt to assassinate Israelis abroad.

Defense minister Ehud Barak also threatened to use "all necessary force" in the event of a fresh conflict on Israel's northern border.

A Hizballah spokesman countered: "If Barak's threats are serious - and I don't think they are - he should be aware that if he commits an error or stupid act against Lebanon… he will find that July and August 2006 were a bit of fun."

Meanwhile, the Iranians are rushing to their Lebanese proxy the anti-air SA-18 (which performs similarly to the US Stinger) and the self-propelled Sam-8, a few batteries of which Israeli believes have already been delivered.

Seven months ago, Israel warned Syria that if these missiles are allowed to cross its border into Lebanon, they would be judged to be a violation of the regional balance of strength and legitimate targets for attack before both before they leave Syria and at their Lebanese sites.

The Fateh-110, an upgraded Zelzal 2 - which in the 2006 war Hizballah used to strike the northern Israeli towns of Hadera, Afula and the Jezreel Valley - can reach northern Tel Aviv. The weapon also has greater accuracy due to a Chinese guidance system sold to Iran.

My Commentary

There have been subtle hints coming through articles in various Israeli media over the last few days, all of them revealing that Israel is getting nervous concerning the current state of calm. They know from experience that the calm tends to be prominent just before the storm.

The above article from the Debkafile indicates a reason for concern. The last round of rocket launching perpetrated by Hezbollah in 2006 was with Katyusha rockets that were the epitome of inferiority compared to the new ones being stockpiled.

It is obvious to me that Iran is doing everything it can to provoke an Israeli response, either against their nuclear facilities or their surrogates in Lebanon and Gaza. The question is how long Israel will hold out for some sort of nod from Obama. The likelihood of that is slim, especially since, as of yesterday, Syria has basically put the kaibosh on Obama's peace initiative.

I believe that Israel will respond soon, possibly this year. But this is exactly the opening that Iran seeks. It will portray itself as the offended party, and all Islam will rally against the common enemy. When that happens, look for the first wave of prophetic attacks to compress against Israel. It will be the prelude to Ezekiel's war of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38 and 39.

In the meantime we have a resonsibility as believers in Christ. It is one that many do not want to hear, but listen closely. The moment for the great showdown between Jehovah and Allah is approaching. Jehovah's response will be overwhelming. People will die! That means now is the time to pray and work for the revelation of Jesus Christ among the Muslim peoples of the world. We tend to focus on the Jews, but both desperately need Jesus. I have felt a renewed call to pray often for Muslims and their salvation before it is too late. Will you join me? As you pray for the peace of Jerusalem, pray for the peace of Yesu in the hearts of Muslims.

On another note: The release of Distant Thunder has come and gone. The Publisher has tweeted and emailed with a sense of excitement over the virtual tour. I don't know if that means a response in the form of book orders is taking place or what. But I do ask for your prayers that the book will find its way into the hands of as many people as possible. Not for money's sake, but for the message.

Thanks so much,
Jimmy Root Jr
Author of Distant Thunder Book One of the Lightning Chronicles A Prophetic Fiction Thriller
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