I continue to grieve for the way the Kurds have been abandoned. They have been obliged to call in Syria to protect them, and their relatively rich region in Syria, together with its oil fields has come back under Syrian control, as it were without a shot being fired. From now, Kurdish children will be being taught in Arabic. The concern is that when things have settled, Assad will do what he always does, first arresting and then torturing leading Kurds.
The ‘policy’ of putting America first has effectively been to leave it increasingly isolated, creating a vacuum that other powers have been only too glad to occupy. The real winners of course are Assad and Putin – and, quite possibly ISIL itself.
President Putin has been playing as masterful a game of chess in the region as President Trump has been woeful and haphazard. Technically allied to both Syria and Turkey, Putin is speaking of reducing the amount of ground that Turkey is ‘allowed’ to possess. And whereas Erdogan might think little of defying the White House, he is far less likely to take such liberties with Putin’s red lines.
NBC reports that the Kurdish fighters who fought so bravely against ISIL and with American support are now to be part of the Syrian Army’s Fifth Corps, which itself is under Russian command. See this article.
Turkey, Russia and Iran: A dark alliance. Andrew Brunson’s dream
Do you remember Pastor Andrew Brunson, who was falsely charged with espionage and jailed in Turkey, and whose release President Trump helped secure? While he was in prison, he dreamed that Turkey, Russia and Iran would form a very dark alliance. It seemed highly improbable at the time, but now we see that it is indeed coming to pass. All the signs point toward Turkey becoming not only increasingly anti-American but also more anti-Christian too.
The murky and dangerous ramifications of this alliance are deeply concerning, but Pastor Brunson also believes that the Lord is preparing the way for a move of God in Turkey itself. Pray for Turkey at this time when it finds itself shamed and shunned by virtually every nation in the world for its incursion into northern Syria.
See CBN’s report.
Elsewhere in the Middle East
From here, let’s move on to pray for the whole Middle East scenario, including Syria and Israel, and also The Lebanon, which is struggling on many fronts.
Not only are its economic conditions deteriorating massively as it tries to assimilate huge numbers of Syrian refugees but it is also enduring its worst ever forest fires. (Reports suggest that over 3 million trees have been lost.) Alongside these major issues, it has a very strong pro-Hezbollah wing, which continues to direct its efforts against Israel.
A whiff of civil war in the air
If we look around the world today, region by region and country by country, and chalk up the number of nations currently convulsed in violent protests, the extent to which there is more than a whiff of civil war in the air becomes only too clear. I am not speaking primarily here, mercifully, of overt warfare, as in Syria, but rather in a sharp clash of ideologies that is leaving nations bitterly divided, and political systems all but paralysed, including Ecuador, Chile, Hong Kong, Catalonia and the Lebanon – to say nothing of les gilets jaunes in France, and the political deadlock in Spain Italy, Israel and now the UK too. There have always been ‘seasons’ when such social conflict escalates. 1848 was such a year, as indeed was 1968, which some of us are old enough to remember.
As always when unrest overflows onto the streets, the local police forces find themselves the butt of people’s anger – victims themselves and yet guilty of being victim makers.