Russia is on the Move: Ukraine, Iran

 

114943-f213a86c-a1fe-11e3-8534-2426eac7dfe0Russia is making headlines for two aggressive moves this week: first, in forming alliances with both Iran and Turkey in the fight against ISIS; and second, in readying its military, perhaps in preparation to invade Ukraine.

As reported on August 15, Russia’s Putin and Turkey’s Erdogan agreed to work together in the fight against ISIS. This is troubling, as this puts Turkey on the opposite side of the conflict from NATO and the U.S., who are trying to end the Assad regime and assist the rebel forces, some of whom are allied with ISIS.

Su-34

 

Then, the very same day, Russia began flying SU-34 bombers out of Iran’s Hamadan air base to bomb those anti-Assad forces. This is the first time since World War II that a foreign military has operated on Iranian soil. Analysts say this could expand Russia’s political influence in the Middle East.

 

On Wednesday, a Pentagon official admitted to having witnessed as many as 40,000 Russian troops, with tanks, armored vehicles and air force units lining up along border with Ukraine. One U.S. defense official suggested the Russians may conduct military exercises in the coming days that could be used as cover for an attack. This would be similar to what happened when they took over the Crimean peninsula in 2014.


Swiss Currency Bank Notes (Swiss Francs). Pile of 100 CHF

Swiss Francs were among the currency used as payment to Iran for the release of prisoners

The Wall Street Journal released a story reporting that it had detailed accounts of the $400 million payment of cash to Iran in exchange for the release of American hostages in January. According to the WSJ, U.S. officials didn’t let the Iranians take the cash until a Swiss Air Force plane carrying three American prisoners took off and went “wheels up.” The Obama administration has insisted the money was unrelated to the prisoner release.

 


Update on California and Louisiana

Fires continue to consume acreage and homes in Southern California. As of Wednesday evening, 25,000 acres have been burned. High winds, high heat and low humidity are contributing factors; also, California has been in a drought for five years. Pray for the safety of the firefighters, the end to the fires, and that spiritual revival would come to California.

Louisiana is beginning the clean-up from historic flooding. More than 40,000 homes have been destroyed and 70,000 people have applied for federal assistance. Less than 90 percent of homeowners in the affected areas have flood insurance. The American Red Cross has dispatched crews to help care for the homeless. Thank God for turning away further rain. Pray for those who’ve been affected to get back in their homes quickly.


From the Campaign Trail

Donald Trump gave a speech on Tuesday night to a packed house near Milwaukee. His theme of being the “law and order” candidate hit a home run with the mostly suburban audience. He said that Clinton shares directly in the responsibility for the unrest in Milwaukee because she peddles the narrative of “cops as a racist force.”

On Wednesday, Trump received his first intelligence briefing, a courtesy given to presidential nominees, which will continue regularly until election day.

Hillary Clinton spoke to a crowd in Philadelphia on Tuesday, promising to stand up to the gun lobby, create jobs, invest in education, fix the country’s infrastructure–and pay for it by “going after” the corporations and Wall Street. She accused Trump of having a loophole in his tax plan that he would use to line his own pockets.

Father, You have called us Your sons and daughters. You have told us to stay awake and keep our lamps filled with oil (Mark 25). Make us wise in how we use the time, and may we occupy until Jesus returns. Teach us the things we should know and remind us of what we’ve learned. Thank You for hearing and answering our prayers!

Luke 19:12-13 – He said therefore, A certain nobleman went to a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

Micah 6:8 – He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

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