Mark 13:8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
A sudden build-up of Russian forces at a base in Syria is raising an alarm in the halls of power in the U.S. and Israel along with commanders at NATO.
The Russian naval base in Tartus has been flooded with new troops and units. Two tank landing ships arrived at the base along with four transport aircraft with various pieces of equipment. Russian aircraft have also been using a joint airbase in Latakia in northwestern Syria.
Officials within the Obama administration say they believe the Russian move has nothing to do with their stated goal of taking out ISIS, but keeping their ally Bashir al-Assad in power. Moshe Ya’alon, the Israeli defense minister, echoed the administration’s views.
“The Russians’ intentions are to keep Assad in power, not to fight ISIL,” one administration official told Bloomberg. “They’ve shown their cards now.”
Even the President has hinted he sees the situation the same way.
“I think they get a sense that the Assad regime is losing a grip over greater and greater swaths of territory inside of Syria [to Sunni jihadist militias] and that the prospects for a [Sunni jihadist] takeover or rout of the Syrian regime is not imminent but becomes a greater and greater threat by the day,” President Obama told the New York Times. “That offers us an opportunity to have a serious conversation with them.”
NATO’s Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, said Russia’s move destabilizes the situation.
“I am concerned about reports about the increased Russian military presence in Syria,” Stoltenberg told reporters during a visit to Prague. “That will not contribute to solving the conflict. I think it is important to now support all efforts to find a political solution to the conflict in Syria.”
Russian leaders are dismissing the concerns of the world. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marie Zakharova called the concern “strange hysteria.”