Russia Pounds Last Rebel Strongholds in Syria and Germany’s New Mission in Iraq

On Tuesday, Russian jets hit a number of targets in the Syrian province of Idlib, a sign that a fresh offensive is soon to begin in the last rebel stronghold.

There is an estimated 20,000 rebel fighters in Idlib, which has a civilian population of close to 3 million people.

The Russian action is seen as a precursor to a massive ground offensive by the Syrian government. The United States fears Syria will use chemical weapons in this offensive.

This battle will not be easy as the rebel fighters have withdrawn to Idlib for their final stand. Complicating it further is the massive civilian population. The United Nations fears up to a 800,000 people could be displaced in the fighting.

Given the mass human migration that could result from this battle, there are fears in Turkey and Lebanon that more refugees will be coming. Europe also fears the battle could exacerbate its refugee crisis.

The offensive comes at a time when Russia has been reaching out to Europe to become involved in Syria to fund the country’s reconstruction. So far, Europe has generally said that it will not fund the effort. However, it’s possible that Moscow will leverage the Idlib offensive, and the threat of further migration into Europe, to motivate the EU to help.

This is indicated by Moscow’s request this week to discuss Syria’s future with Turkey, France and Germany.

As we reported last week, Bible prophecy indicates that Europe will get involved in Syria. This battle for Idlib, and the desire to limit the resulting humanitarian crisis, may be another motivating factor for Europe to act.

Germany Begins New Mission to Train Iraqi Military

German media is reporting that the German military is now directly training parts of the Iraqi Army. This is part of a mission that doesn’t have UN backing, nor is it led by nato.

After being stalled for numerous months due to Germany’s election saga, the mission officially began on August 11. German soldiers will fly out of a base in Jordan to a location just outside of Baghdad where it is training.

Up to 800 soldiers are approved for the mission, which will focus on training “logistics, troop management, demining and sanitation.”

German troops have been training Iraqi Kurds since 2014, so why is this different and significant?

Germany trained the Kurds largely to push back at the Islamic State in Iraq. Although that threat has been dealt with, the Germans are continuing their activity in Iraq.

Furthermore, when dealing with the Kurds, the German troops were confined to the north of Iraq. This latest move puts them in and around the Iraqi seat of government and close to the military command structure of the nation.

It also gives the German military a closer look at Iran’s involvement in Baghdad, which may be concerning for Iran’s interests.

Germany has said that this mission will not include training the specific parts of the Iraqi military that answer to Iran.

As we have noted, Bible prophecy indicates that Germany has a military strategy to contain Iran through various troop deployments close to Iranian interests. This latest move by Germany should be considered in that light. To read more about Germany’s strategy to encircle Iran, please read Watch Jerusalem editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s booklet Germany’s Secret Strategy to Destroy Iran.