Displaying items by tag: Threat of war
19 rockets fired by Hezbollah into northern Israel on 7 August sent local residents into the towns’ shelters. These barrages, the first since the 2006 second Lebanon War, followed similar attacks the previous day. More provocations from Tehran by the new hard-line leader, Ebrahim Raisi, and his proxies increase the likelihood of Israel’s retaliation. The defence minister recently indicated that Israel is ready to counter Iran's aggression. The UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon said the situation is ‘very serious’ and urged everyone to cease fire. But on 11 August rockets were fired again from Lebanon into Israel, which increases the threat of major hostilities after fifteen years. Pray for an end to these ongoing games of brinkmanship so that harmony between Israel and Hezbollah holds. May the prospect of full-scale war be a disincentive for either side to push too far.
A long-simmering conflict in eastern Ukraine is escalating into a flashpoint for superpower rivalry, as a Russian military build-up is met by the deployment of two American warships to the Black Sea. Putin has ordered the largest movement of troops, tanks and missiles along the Ukrainian border since the Crimea 2014 invasion. About 85,000 troops, tanks, missile trucks, armoured vehicles and long-range guns are being transported by train to Crimea and strategic locations near the disputed region. Amongst the armoury are anti-aircraft missile systems last used in 2014 to destroy a civilian Boeing 777 over Ukraine, killing 298 people. Many fear Moscow is on the point of a full-scale invasion, and see the Ukrainian authorities preparing for this possibility. Putin's deputy chief of staff said Ukraine faced 'disintegration' if it pushed Russia into war. Meanwhile Washington is flying reconnaissance planes to monitor Russian activity. See also
Greece and Turkey were on the verge of military confrontation last August, after Turkey launched its seismic survey ship and a small naval fleet to explore for undersea oil and gas in Eastern Mediterranean waters which Greece claims as part of its exclusion zone, but Turkey disputes this. Although these zones do not entail the absolute sovereignty that territorial waters do, they give countries rights of exploration and exploitation of mineral and living resources. Last week, Greece doubled the extent of its western territorial waters in the Ionian Sea to twelve nautical miles - the maximum allowed by the UN. The possibility of conflict has alarmed both NATO, of which Greece and Turkey are members, and the EU. However, on 25 January Greece and Turkey announced they will begin exploratory talks in Istanbul, with the aim of setting maritime boundaries.
The long-simmering conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region erupted on 27 September, with over 100 confirmed deaths already in the fiercest fighting in years. Many are asking, ‘Will it escalate into an all-out war that threatens regional stability and drags in major outside players?’ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-54356336 For years, mainly Christian Armenia and Muslim-majority Azerbaijan have been at odds over the rugged Nagorno-Karabakh highlands. Between 1988 and 1994 the two sides fought a bloody war to control the enclave, which was part of Azerbaijan but mainly populated by ethnic Armenian Christians. The conflict resulted in over 30,000 dead, a million displaced, and a fragile truce that left Nagorno-Karabakh as a de facto independent state, recognised by Armenia but not by most other countries, including Azerbaijan. The recent violence sparked an uproar in Azerbaijan. Thousands took to the streets calling for the army to ‘recapture’ Nagorno-Karabakh.
Lithuania has been investing in defence, introducing conscription, and rebuilding a standing army in preparation for the worst. It may have started well before the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency, but has now become a matter of urgency, with the country preparing to erect a six-foot razor-wired fence between them and Russia. The country fears Russian aggression, two years after Putin invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea. With a US president who has sowed doubt in the country's NATO commitments, Lithuanians are concerned that they could see an echoing of the events of January 1991 when, in the course of three days, the Soviet Union tried to take back control of the country just one year after it declared independence. Meanwhile, across the border, President Putin has reinforced the garrison and sent missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. In response, Lithuania will build its fence. In 2002, President George Bush said: "Anyone who would choose Lithuania as an enemy has also made an enemy of the United States of America," but Lithuanians are unsure if that will remain true after Donald Trump. See also: http://prayercast.com/lithuania.html