The Impending Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

An illustration of a seismogram

Massachusetts struck by 4.0 magnitude earthquake felt as far as Long Island

By Jackie Salo

November 8, 2020 

A 3.6-magnitude earthquake shook Bliss Corner, Massachusetts, on Sunday morning, officials said — startling residents across the Northeast who expressed shock about the rare tremors.

The quake struck the area about five miles southwest of the community in Buzzards Bay just after 9 a.m. — marking the strongest one in the area since a magnitude 3.5 temblor in March 1976, the US Geological Survey said.

With a depth of 9.3 miles, the impact was felt across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and into Connecticut and Long Island, New York.

“This is the strongest earthquake that we’ve recorded in that area — Southern New England,” USGS geophysicist Paul Caruso told The Providence Journal.

But the quake was still considered “light” on the magnitude scale, meaning that it was felt but didn’t cause significant damage.

The quake, however, was unusual for the region — which has only experienced 26 larger than a magnitude 2.5 since 1973, Caruso said.

Around 14,000 people went onto the USGS site to report the shaking — with some logging tremors as far as Easthampton, Massachusetts, and Hartford, Connecticut, both about 100 miles away.

“It’s common for them to be felt very far away because the rock here is old and continuous and transmits the energy a long way,” Caruso said.

Journalist Katie Couric was among those on Long Island to be roused by the Sunday-morning rumblings.

“Did anyone on the east coast experience an earthquake of sorts?” Couric wrote on Twitter.

“We are on Long Island and the attic and walls rattled.”

Closer to the epicenter, residents estimated they felt the impact for 10 to 15 seconds.

“In that moment, it feels like it’s going on forever,” said Ali Kenner Brodsky, who lives in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Hamas warns of Tel Aviv plots outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Hamas warns of Tel Aviv plots against West Bank

TEHRAN, Dec. 22 (MNA) – One of the leaders of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) warned of the Zionist regime’s conspiracies against the occupied West Bank.

Mehr News Agency

TEHRAN, Dec. 22 (MNA) – One of the leaders of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) warned of the Zionist regime’s conspiracies against the occupied West Bank.

Salih al-Aruri Political Deputy Chief of Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) reiterated that the Zionist regime is trying to take full control of the West Bank.

He added that Tel Aviv will try to dominate the entire West Bank through the implementation of the annexation plan.

Al-Arouri continued that after the implementation of this annexation plan, the Zionist regime will think about changing population structure of the West Bank.

He went on to say that Zionist regime seeks complete domination of the West Bank through the annexation plan, which will be the most dangerous part of implementing the annexation plan scenario.

Resumption of security relations and cooperation between the Zionist regime and Palestinian Authority has further created serious problem for Palestinian resistance in the West Bank, he added.

“We hope that the agreement with Fatah movement on national reconciliation will be reached so that all Palestinians can play a role in decisive national decisions,” he added.

MA/5101701

The US prepares for nuclear war in the Persian Gulf

US nuclear submarine transits Strait of Hormuz amid tensions

The United States Navy says one of its nuclear-powered guided-missile submarines has traversed the strategically vital waterway between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula

ABC News

ByThe Associated Press

December 21, 2020, 11:34 AM

NOTIFIED: Dec. 22, 2020

Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.

The Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — An American nuclear-powered guided-missile submarine traversed the strategically vital waterway between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula on Monday, the U.S. Navy said, a rare announcement that comes amid rising tensions with Iran.

The Navy’s 5th Fleet based in Bahrain said the Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Georgia, accompanied by two other warships, passed through the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow passageway through which a fifth of the world’s oil supplies travel.

The unusual transit in the Persian Gulf’s shallow waters, aimed at underscoring American military might in the region, follows the killing last month of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian scientist named by the West as the leader of the Islamic Republic’s disbanded military nuclear program. It also comes some two weeks before the anniversary of the American drone strike in January that killed top Iranian military commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Iran has promised to seek revenge for both killings.

The Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine’s presence in Mideast waterways signals the U.S. Navy’s “commitment to regional partners and maritime security,” the Navy said, demonstrating its readiness “to defend against any threat at any time.” The USS Georgia is armed with 154 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles and can host up to 66 special operations forces, the Navy added.

Earlier this month, the U.S. military flew two bomber aircraft to the Middle East in a mission that U.S. officials described as a message of deterrence to Iran. The displays of military might are meant to signal the United States’ continuing commitment to the Middle East even as President Donald Trump’s administration withdraws thousands of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 5th Fleet covers an area of 2.5 million square miles (6.5 million square kilometers), running through the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.

Iran Takes Aim at US Embassy in Iraq ahead of Soleimani anniversary

Rockets hit near US Embassy in Iraq ahead of Soleimani anniversary

20.12.2020

The US Embassy has intercepted at least three rockets fired into Baghdad’s Green Zone. The attack comes ahead of the one-year anniversary of the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

The US Embassy in the Baghdad Green Zone was targeted in a rocket attack on Sunday, according to reports.

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Iraqi security officials told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that the embassy’s C-RAM defense system shot down the rockets in midair, causing minor damage to a residential complex and parked cars. There were no reports of casualties.

“The US Embassy confirms rockets targeting the International Zone (Green Zone) resulted in the engagement of embassy defensive systems,” said a statement released by the embassy.

“We call on all Iraqi political and governmental leaders to take steps to prevent such attacks and hold accountable those responsible,” the statement said.

Explosions heard across Baghdad

Joyce Karam, correspondent for The National based in the United Arab Emirates, shared a video on Twitter of the rockets being intercepted and wrote that the embassy had been “targeted with barrage of Katyusha Rockets and mortar shells.”

Reporters with Agence France-Presse in Baghdad heard at least five loud explosions followed by whistling sounds.

“Everyone is screaming and crying. My wife is losing it from all the terrifying sounds,” a local Iraqi man, whose house was hit, told AFP.

Soleimani assassination lingers

The attack took place two weeks ahead of the one-year anniversary of the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, which was directed by Washington.

The US withdrew some staff from its Baghdad embassy earlier in December in expectation of reprisals.

“We are prepared to defend ourselves, our friends and partners in the region, and we’re prepared to react if necessary,” said General Kenneth McKenzie, head of US forces in the Middle East, speaking with journalists after the attack.

Sunday’s attack was the third apparent violation of a truce agreed in October by Western and Iraqi authorities with hard-line and pro-Iran groups.

Several groups have unexpectedly condemned Sunday’s attack, including the populist cleric and former militant leader Moqtada al-Sadr. Iraqi Shia paramilitary group Kataeb Hezbollah, which itself has been accused of carrying out previous attacks, said that “bombing the (US) embassy of evil at this time is considered out of order.”

The Trump administration has accused Iran of being behind a recent spate of attacks on US interests in the country and has warned Baghdad that it will close its embassy unless Iraq can get the attacks under control.

In November, President Donald Trump announced a reduction of US troops in Iraq by January, before he leaves office.

ab/dj (AP, Reuters, AFP)

The Nuclear Intent of the Iranian Horn: Daniel 8

Iran’s investment in missile technology shows its real plan all along

What is Iran’s real goal with the nuclear option? It appears that it is quite different from the nuclear weapons obtained by Pakistan or India, or the US and Soviet Union

A little noticed comment by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani about Iran’s missile program should have raised eyes abroad. He said that the country’s missile program is non-negotiable. Iran’s President had a larger point. He said that US President-elect Joe Biden is “aware” of how Iran feels about its missiles.

This is an example of how Iran’s nuclear program became such a topic that it obscured what Iran was really up to. Iran’s nuclear program has been seen as important by western countries for decades and Israel has warned about Iran’s threats. The nuclear program is indeed a threat and Iran has sophisticated sites designed to hide the program and its military elements. However, the program is only one part of a much more sophisticated Iranian military industrial complex that threatens the region and stability of many countries.What is Iran’s real goal with the nuclear option? It appears that it is quite different from the nuclear weapons obtained by Pakistan or India, or the US and Soviet Union, which were generally seen to create a kind of parity of threats between rival countries. Once parity was achieved the actual threat of nuclear conflict was reduced. Actually, these countries may have become more responsible actors once they had nuclear weapons.

Iran’s goal is more complex. Its nuclear program is not the end game, it is only part of a much wider military industrial complex and the tip of that spear is actually the drone and missile program. Iran has invested heavily in missiles, probably more per capita than many other countries. Why missiles? Missiles don’t win wars. Never in history has a country won a war with missiles. Strategic bombing might have won wars, but not missiles. Iran decided long ago that while its conventional military forces could not face down all its adversaries, it could invest in missiles to spread havoc. Missiles give you an ability to project power without an air force. Iran’s air force is based on planes inherited from the Shah which are themselves US military equipment. Iran had trouble getting parts for these planes, and they have been aging. So if you’re Tehran what you can do, in the absence of being able to get more military imports, you create an indigenous weapons industry.

Missiles were a way for Iran to build a real arsenal and to export it to its militia allies across the region. Iran likes to partner with sub-state entities, including militias. Iran has learned it can festoon Hezbollah, the Houthis and even Iraqi-based militias, with missiles and now drone technology. That is why the Iranian missile program is non-negotiable for the regime. The regime likes to negotiate the nuclear program, because it knows creating an actual nuclear weapon is complex. So it can basically slow-play the international community regarding the nuclear issue while using the missiles as a bait-and-switch.

Iran has improved its long range precision ballistic missiles. Since 2017 it has made real strides on a variety of liquid and solid fuel rockets. It has used missiles to target Kurdish dissidents in Iraq and ISIS in Syria, as well as US bases in Iraq. It used cruise missiles and drones to target Saudi Arabia and has exported technology to Yemen to aid the Houthis against Saudi Arabia. Iran is constructing larger and larger missiles and has worked with North Korean experts to share information. It has constructed a variety of missiles, such as the Qiam that was derived from the Shahab, which itself is derived from Scud and North Korean variants. It also built the Zulfiqar, which is derived from the Fateh 110 which itself is based on early models dating to the Soviet-era. Iran has launched a military satellite this year and continues to build new facilities for missiles. One of those facilities, at Khojar, may have been a victim of some kind of sabotage in June. Iran is clear that its missiles are a red line. It wants to keep them, and it is happy to discuss nuclear issues until the cows come home, but the missile program will continue.As the program grows in complexity and precision Iran believes it has an asymmetric threat that can somehow deter the US or Israel from any kind of action and also project power that will somehow neutralize the capabilities of its adversaries, such as the hi-tech F-35 warplane that the US and Israel have been training with. The missile program is Iran’s game changer in its view, the weapon system that will make it one of the most powerful players in the region. That power is built on a relatively weak economy. But in terms of technology its investment has paid off in the missile and drone sphere.          

The Pakistani and Saudi Horns Divide: Daniel

The historic Saudi-Pakistan alliance comes to an end

Veteran Arab journalist Abdel Bari Atwan says Pakistan has taken a decisive shift away from Saudi Arabia and towards China, Turkey and Iran.

A small news item appeared on the business pages of Arab newspapers this week which shed light on a major strategic crisis that has been developing in the relationship between Saudi Arabia and long-time ally Pakistan.

It could mark a turning point in the close partnership that has lasted for more than seven decades (ever since Pakistan’s separation from India in the late 1940s) between the Kingdom that revels in its custodianship of Islam’s holiest shrines and the Islamic world’s only nuclear-armed power.

The news was that Pakistan repaid Saudi Arabia $1billion of a $3 billion loan it provided in late 2018. An earlier billion-dollar tranche was reimbursed in July, leaving a further billion which the Pakistani government intends to refund in January after securing alternative financing from China.

Different views were offered about why the Saudis demanded early repayment of the loan and simultaneously suspended a $3.2 billion credit facility for oil purchases by Pakistan.

Some attributed the move to Saudi Arabia’s financial difficulties: with its economy in recession due to the slump in oil sales it needs every dollar it can get, so it may have pressed Prime Minister Imran Khan – no great friend – to repay the money.

Others viewed it as politically-motivated, related to Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning strategic partnership with India and Pakistan’s growing rapprochement with Iran.

Deteriorating relations

Relations between the two countries have been worsening for some time.

The first big downturn came in 2015 when Pakistan refused to send troops to take part in the Saudi-led war on Yemen. This also signaled Pakistan’s rejection of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin-Salman’s idea of forming an “Islamic NATO” under Saudi leadership.

Tensions rose further over the ultra-sensitive issue of Kashmir. Islamabad was dismayed by Riyadh’s non-committal response to India’s decision to revoke the special autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir. This was viewed as de facto Saudi approval for India’s annexation of the disputed province.

Indian occupation forces in Kashmir

Saudi Arabia also blocked efforts to get the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (which it effectively controls) to take action on Kashmir. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi warned at the time that if Riyadh would not act on the issue, Islamabad would seek a meeting of Muslim-majority countries outside the OIC framework to provide it with backing.

This affront to Saudi Arabia’s Islamic leadership pretensions appears to have prompted its decision to recall the $3 billion loan.

The Pakistani army’s Chief of Staff, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, tried to use his good offices to ease the mounting tension between the two countries. He flew to Riyadh for talks, but was denied a meeting with the Crown Prince and returned empty handed. This snub deeply offended both the Pakistani government and the traditionally pro-Saudi military establishment.

Iran

Saudi Arabia, for its part, is wary of Pakistan’s improved relationship with Iran, fearing among other things that it could involve the transfer of Pakistani nuclear technology.

It balked at Imran Khan’s agreement to attend the “alternative’ Islamic summit convened by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad – in close coordination with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — in December 2019 to discuss problems facing the Islamic world.

The Kingdom put enormous pressure on the Pakistani Prime Minister not to attend. He eventually succumbed, fearing the Saudis would cut off financial support or retaliate against the millions of Pakistani expatriate workers in the Gulf states whose remittances are crucial to sustaining the Pakistani economy.

Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Saudi Arabia, for its part, feels it no longer needs Pakistan. It invested billions of dollars in supporting the country’s economy — and its nuclear program – over many years. In return, it acquired political allegiance, military personnel and expertise that were vital for its armed forces, and a proxy nuclear deterrent against any potential military threat, such as from Iran.

But times have changed. Pakistan and Iran are on good terms, and Saudi Arabia has spearheaded the process of normalisation between Gulf states and Israel – a far more potent nuclear power, which shares its enmity towards Iran.

So the historic strategic alliance between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and other Gulf is drawing to a close. Pakistan is looking elsewhere: to China, Turkey and Iran and their allies. These include forces deeply antagonistic to Saudi Arabia: Yemen’s Ansarullah (Houthi) movement, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Iraq’s Hashd ash-Shaabi, and Qatar’s Al Jazeera TV channel, plus any other Muslim country or entity that might want to join.

A powerful Islamic coalition opposed to Saudi Arabia might take shape during the course of 2021. It could join forces with Russia and China in a bid to mount a global pushback against U.S. hegemony.

At a time of American retrenchment and deep domestic problems, some U.S. clients in the Middle East think Israel could serve as an alternative protector. That explains all their normalisation moves, but they will surely, eventually, be disappointed.

Kashmir is the flash point for the first nuclear war: Revelation 8

Kashmir emerges as flashpoint among 3 nuclear powers

On Nov. 13, Imtiyaz Ahmad, 47, was at work in a passport office in Srinagar, the main city in Indian-controlled Kashmir, when his phone alerted him to shelling between India and Pakistan across Jammu and Kashmir’s Line of Control (LoC). He immediately called home to his wife in Sirankote, a village on Pakistan’s doorstep, but there was no answer.