In a recent post I mentioned how events in Egypt right now are basically just noise. Both Egypt and Turkey will be pulled into their rolls in the Third Signpost, forming their confederacy, with internal pressures of steering their governments into Islamism. What happens between now and then is the result of the ebb and flow between Islamist and Secularist forces in those nations. These nations are not to be involved as the main players in a major event – yet.
Syria on the other hand may be quite different. Though Syria will eventually join Egypt and Turkey in the Sunni Confederacy, I say “may be quite different” because right now Syria is a potential powder keg that could be the trigger of the next big event, the Second Signpost, the invasion by Iran. Syria is one of the nations allied with Iran. Iranian leadership looks upon its alliance with Iraq, Syria and Lebanon (via Hezbollah) as something near and dear to them, to be defended. The reason is that in those countries there are Shia militant groups keeping those countries in orbit about Iran, Shia Islam dominates otherwise Sunni regions, and those countries form a land bridge to the border of Israel.
On September 4, Iranian president Rouhani stated, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is charged with a very important responsibility [in seeing] a stable and secure Syria….” On the same day, Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani said, “Some criticize why we support Syria so much; [one] must respond to them that we do not pay attention to enemy propaganda because Syria has been the front line of Resistance and this reality is undeniable. We have a duty to support Muslims because they are under pressure and oppression.” They view both Israel and the Syrian rebels as the oppressors.
If there be any doubt that this whole strategic scenario of having this land bridge to Israel is important to Iran, they named one of the five branches of their IRGC after Jerusalem (al-Quds in Arabic) itself, the “Quds” Force.
There have been some developments to indicate that if the U.S. attacks Syria, Iran will retaliate which of course would widen the war. And once a war begins to widen, who knows what kind of war it ends up being. This war could even result in the start of the Second Signpost.
We can see clues that this is indeed the case if the U.S. strikes Syria. It was reported in the Wall Street Journal that the “U.S. has intercepted an order from Iran to militants in Iraq to attack the U.S. Embassy and other American interests in Baghdad in the event of a strike on Syria.” The message came from Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani who gave an order to potentially strike a range of targets with the American embassy in Iraq being the most visible.
It was also reported in WorldNetDaily, “Should the U.S. launch a Mideast attack, the Islamist Hezbollah has threatened, its ‘23,000 … martyrdom-seeking forces’ are prepared to fight back by attacking Saudi Arabia and western oil interests in the region.” In addition, “Sheikh Wathiq al-Battat, the secretary-general of the Shi’ite Hezbollah in Iraq, has warned that his Jaysh al-Mukhtar army will target oil installations and ports in predominantly Sunni Saudi Arabia if the U.S. attacks Syria or, by implication, should there be an attack on Iran.”
Both of these reports, one concerning Iraq and the other Saudi Arabia are reminders that Iran has varying degrees of control on various regions and countries within the Middle East. It does control Iraq and Lebanon. It has great influence in eastern Saudi Arabia due to the Shia population living there.
There are also signs of something going on behind the scenes in Iran, as hinted at in a report by one AEI analyst who watches Iran. He noted Gen. Suleimani’s lack of presence and “…dearth of coverage of one the Islamic Republic’s most powerful and revered security officials discussing critical and timely events is highly unusual.” The analyst then speculated Suleimani may simply be tending to his responsibilities as commander of the Quds Force during this critical time. I found the article’s next statement interesting, “Why is something seemingly so trivial important? Because it is the only real aberration in Iran’s official response during the Syria crisis.” So what would otherwise be a “normal” crisis is different because strangely Suleimani is busy? It is being reported that this is not normal behavior – that something may be different this time.
At the same time, IRGC Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami, speaking at a conference where neither his boss Gen. Suleimani the head of the Quds Force, nor Gen. Jafari the head of the entire IRGC attended, was reported as stating, “We are on the verge of a strategic turning point for this region’s future, and in a sense, for the world of Islam.” What might that statement mean?
To the person who does not know the Signposts this statement could be taken as just one more instance of Iranian rhetoric and is ignored. However, to those who know the Second Signpost and the event it holds which is the imminent invasion by Iran of the Middle East, Salami’s statement might sound rather ominous. The Second Signpost is the major paradigm shift in the region and in Islam that is to occur next, which is exactly what Salami was talking about. So is Salami giving us a hint that we are on the verge of the Second Signpost? Are we on the verge of what amounts to the major paradigm shift in the Middle East and in Islam, as Salami states? The question we must ask is, are we really on “the verge”?
In conclusion, Brig. Gen. Salami’s statement about a strategic turning point being “on the verge”, and of Iranian leadership’s threats to Saudi Arabia and the American embassy in Iraq, are all a response to the U.S. threat of an attack on Syria. Will America trigger the Second Signpost by attacking Syria?