While the unrest is beginning to calm in South Africa, the scale of the violence and destruction continues to be discovered. Meanwhile, in Cuba the protests remain as so many there are without hope for their futures, particularly among the younger generations. Last Friday, we held a special prayer meeting for these two countries. Please continue to lift them up before the Lord.
In other non-Middle East news, the massive floods in Germany and western Europe have caused widespread devastation. More than 170 people have died and hundreds more are missing. Some of the visuals of nature’s fury are overwhelming. The people of the affected regions will need much prayer as they seek to dig themselves out of the mud and rubble.
As we move to the eastern end of the Mediterranean, we see Lebanon continuing their downhill slide. Over 55% of the nation is living below the poverty line thanks to the corruption and governmental interference by Hezbollah. To add even more instability, former prime minister and current prime minister-designate Saad al-Hariri, has stepped down claiming that he and President Michel Aoun will never see eye-to-eye. With the departure of this son of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, who was assassinated 16 years ago by Hezbollah, goes much of the hope for a separation from the terrorist organization’s stranglehold on the government. The current situation is unsustainable.
A parched population in Iran continues to protest. The water crisis is making the people desperate. As the masses chant “Death to Khamenei”, the regime is doing all they can to put down the rioting, including using live ammunition. At least two have died thus far that we know of, but that number is rising as the incidents increase. Sadly, one additional casualty was caused by the armed rioters themselves. As they fired their guns into the air in protest, one of the bullets descended back to the earth and struck a young boy, killing him at the scene.
On Monday, Israel launched a strike on Iranian-sponsored military interests in Syria. Although the Syrian state media claimed that the missiles fired at targets near Aleppo were destroyed, explosions were seen in the area and other sources claimed that there were multiple casualties. In response, rockets were fired from Lebanon into northern Israel. Most rockets lately have come from Israel’s southern border, so this was unusual. The speculation is that the rockets came from Lebanon instead of Syria in the belief that Israel would show more moderation in their response. Never one to leave an attack unanswered, Israel responded early this morning by firing missiles at Iranian targets near Homs in Syria. It wasn’t a full-scale assault. Instead, it was more of a way to warn Hezbollah not to mess with us. For my breaking news update about the Israeli strike and the missiles fired from Lebanon into Israel click here, and for the second attack click here.
In further proof that the only ones that militant Muslims hate more than the Israelis is each other, a Sunni female suicide bomber blew herself up in Al Sadr, Iraq, a suburb of Baghdad. She took at least 35 lives with her and wounded over a hundred more in the crowded market.
Afghans continue to make their exodus from their country. Thousands are fleeing through Iran to Turkey as they see the Taliban writing on the governmental wall. Turkey has begun detaining the immigrants as they prepare for a mass arrival. Meanwhile, the Taliban fired three rockets toward the presidential palace in Kabul during the Eid al-Adha prayers.
Speaking of an exodus, many are sending their Ben & Jerry’s cartons on a journey from their freezers to their trash cans after the ice cream maker declared that they will refrain from selling their product in what they call the Occupied Palestinian Territory (the West Bank and east Jerusalem). This cave to pressure from the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement has the Israeli government promising serious repercussions and ice cream lovers all over the world saying, “Pass me the Häagen-Dazs, please!”