Putin positions himself as Middle East broker as US retreats

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The Times of Israel: After watching for years as the United States called the shots in the region, Russian President Vladimir Putin is seizing the reins of diplomacy in the Middle East, establishing footholds and striking alliances with unlikely partners.

From the battlefields of Syria to its burgeoning relationships with Iran and Turkey to its deepening ties with Saudi Arabia, Russia is stepping in to fill a void left by the United States first under the Obama administration and now in the vastly inconsistent and largely hands-off policies of Donald Trump.

Embroiled in controversy at home and loath to engaging in the strife-riddled region beyond fighting the Islamic State group, Trump has largely stayed on the sidelines of attempts to help find a political settlement for Syria’s long-running civil war. more …

Opinion: Russia has been stepping up its role in the Middle East since Barack Obama’s red line fiasco of 2013. Obama warned Bashar Assad not to use chemical weapons. Assad did –Obama did nothing — and Vladimir Putin inserted himself as broker. Putin guaranteed the removal of Syria’s formidable chemical weapons, that many believe were originally the property of Saddam Hussein.

According to the Independent (here) Assad still has hundreds of tons of chemical weapons and Vox reports (here) that the Assad regime used sarin in its April 4 attack on civilians, which killed nearly 100 people.

This past week Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei declared that the US is Iran’s #1 enemy, no doubt emboldened by Vladimir Putin’s second visit in 8 months. Putin is the first Russian president to visit Iran, ever.

Russia has gained Iran’s trust having delivered the coveted S300-400 missile defense systems, and last week Putin warned the US against cancelling the Iran nuclear deal.

What we can plainly see is a bone-chilling relationship that was prophesied to take place in the last days just before the tribulation. Ezekiel 38:1-2 prophesied a Russian prince called Gog would form an alliance with Iran, Turkey, and at least 4 North African nations (Ezekiel 38:3-6) to attack Israel to take her vast wealth (Ezekiel 38:13).

As Vladimir Putin continues to grow Russian influence in the Middle East, and particularly in Iran, the possibility grows that he could well be the Biblical Gog.

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This war has been the subject of hundreds of posts on this website. The war of Gog and Magog can also be found in our study Bible Prophecy 101 (here) and our e-book Blood Feud (here).