Bad News for Peace in Syria

Hospital_bombingOn Monday, the Turkish government accused Russia of an “obvious war crime” after several missile attacks in northern Syria. Up to 50 people were killed when missiles hit five medical facilities and two schools. The attacks happened in rebel-held areas and the bombing was carried out even after Russia denied it was targeting civilians. Turkey’s foreign ministry said serious consequences would be inevitable if Russia did not immediately end such attacks. Turkey and Russia are on opposite sides of the Syrian conflict between Syrian President Assad and rebel forces.
     Meanwhile, Germany’s Angela Merkel agreed with Turkey that there should be a no-fly zone over parts of Syria, saying that will alleviate the issue of Syrian refugees. Germany expects another 500,000 Syrian refugees this year.
The White House condemned the bombing saying the attacks on civilians casts doubt on Russia’s willingness and/or ability to help end the continued brutality of the Assad regime. On Sunday, President Obama urged Russia to stop its airstrikes against mainstream Syrian rebels.
     This attack has also emboldened the Kurdish fighters, who are rebel forces within Turkey. They are taking land within Syria that has been abandoned as Syrian rebels lose territory.
     Russia has denied any targeting of civilians and civilian facilities in Syria. Russia resumed airstrikes on Monday in Syria, near the Turkish border and in Aleppo, hitting rebel positions to prepare for a regime advance.

     Why this Matters: The prospect of a temporary cessation of hostilities in Syria seems impossible, even though a deal was reached last week. Russia continues to support Syrian President Assad and has succeeded in giving new life to the five-year conflict. As a result, tens of thousands of people are fleeing their homes and seeking refuge in the West, including the U.S.

     Father, only You know if this conflict is part of the fulfillment of prophecy. We pray for Christians in Syria and Turkey. Protect them, strengthen them, and guide their steps. 
1 Peter 2:21 – For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us,
leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

Machete-attack
A man named Mohammed Barry walked into a Columbus, Ohio restaurant with a machete and started stabbing people. Terrified customers tried to fight back, throwing chairs at him. Others hid in the back or ran away. At least four people were injured before police fatally shot Barry. Barry was from the West African nation of Guinea and a practicing Muslim. The FBI investigated Barry four years ago for his radical Islamic views.
     The Nazareth Restaurant and Deli is owned by Hany Baransi, an Israeli Christian Arab, who had gone home sick earlier in the day. The staff say Barry came in earlier and inquired about Baransi’s Israeli background and asked when he’d be back. He also took particular notice of the Israeli flag hanging by the cash register. Baransi believes he was the victim of a hate crime, as he often argued with local Arabs about his pro-Israel views. Baransi left the Middle East 27 years ago.
     Father, we lift up the people who were injured and ask for their healing. Thank You for protecting Hany Baransi. Help the FBI and the police to find and prosecute radical Islamists. We exalt You as King and head over all.
1 Chron. 29:11 Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the heaven and in the earth [is thine]; thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.
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