Islamic State defeated in Raqqa, while al-Shabab kills around 200

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The Islamic State is losing another of its major cities:

October 15, 2017

A group of Islamic State fighters has evacuated the Syrian city of Raqqa under a withdrawal agreement with the U.S.-backed Syrian militias surrounding them.

A militia spokesman said Sunday the fighters had taken civilians with them to use as human shields.

Meanwhile, fighting has continued between the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and Islamic State militants. Reuters news agency quoted an SDF spokesman as saying “the operation has finished and the battle continues” against the militants who remained in the city.

Earlier, a spokesman said any Islamic State fighters left behind would be forced to “surrender or die.”

October 15, 2017

BEIRUT — U.S.-backed Syrian fighters launched an operation to retake the last Islamic State-held pocket of the northern city of Raqqa on Sunday after some 275 militants and their family members surrendered.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said the operation will continue “until all the city is cleansed from terrorists who refused to surrender.”

The SDF has been on the offensive in Raqqa since early June and now controls about 90 percent of the city that was once the extremist group’s self-styled capital. Most of the fighters who remain in the pocket are foreigners, according to the SDF and opposition activists.

The operation was named after Adnan Abu Amjad, an Arab commander with the SDF who was killed in August while fighting against IS in central Raqqa.

The loss of Raqqa would hand another major blow to IS, which has lost most of the territory it once held in Syria and Iraq. Iraqi forces captured the northern Iraqi city of Mosul — the largest ever held by the extremist group — in July, and Syrian government forces retook the eastern Syrian city of Mayadeen, near the border with Iraq, on Saturday.

IS still holds parts of Syria’s Deir el-Zour province and Iraq’s Anbar province, as well as small, scattered pockets elsewhere.

This should not come as a surprise to regular readers of this page. I have been writing for years that the group calling itself the Islamic State would be defeated.

However, I have also been writing for even longer (before ISIS formed) that a confederation of people from Islamic lands in the Middle East and North Africa would form–and it will (cf. Daniel 11:40-43).

At this moment, the Islamic State still exists, as do other Islamic terrorist groups like al-Shabab. The existence of such groups has encouraged Westerners and others to support the idea of a confederation of Islamic nations to attempt to put down such groups.

Today, the Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabaab/al-Shabab has killed again in Somalia:

Somalia Truck Bombings Kill Over 200, Officials Say

October 15, 2017

Two truck bombs in Somalia’s capital killed at least 189 people, the deadliest attacks in the country’s decade-long war with Islamist extremists, signaling that the insurgency is far from defeated despite years of U.S. counterterrorism operations.

Nearly all of the dead were killed by the first bomb, which exploded Saturday outside a popular hotel near a busy intersection in Mogadishu. The second truck bomb killed a few more people nearby.

The Somali capital is a frequent target of attacks by al-Shabab, an extremist group linked to al-Qaeda, but residents said they quickly discerned that the twin blasts were of a different order of magnitude.

The death toll continued to climb overnight. By Sunday afternoon, officials said they were still trying to calculate the number of victims. The Associated Press, quoting police and hospital sources, put the total at 189, while Somali lawmakers told Voice of America that it was 218.

A large swath of a city block appeared wiped out Sunday, and a tower of charred automobiles could be seen at the bombing site.

The death toll keeps changing, but seems to be over 200.

While I was in Nairobi, Kenya few years ago (in 2014), al-Shabaab committed a terrorist act there and several were killed. From a Church of God perspective, al-Shabaab creates difficulties in Kenya as it has heightened security and safety concerns in Kenya.

Security issues in Kenya (and elsewhere in Africa) remain because of al-Shabaab. My last trip to Kenya (which was in 2017) was affected by al-Shabaab related security concerns. Terrorists do not understand the truth of God and His ways (watch also: Nairobi Conference: All About Love).

While I am not aware that the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) had any members directly affected by this latest killing (as we do not have members we know of in Somalia), we do have thousands of members in Africa (with the greatest number in Kenya), and Kenya often gets affected by al-Shabaab.

As far as terrorism goes, it is horrible. Terrorism is wrong.

Consider the following prophecy for the last days:

1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:1-7)

While the above is not limited to terrorists, many of the statements above are applicable to them–especially those that claim to be religious terrorists.

Some of what groups like al Shabab, the Islamic State, and al Qaeda want (a united confederation of many currently Islamic nations) will come to pass per Daniel 11:40-43 and Ezekiel 30:2-8, but this will not end up well for those who support this according to those same passages of scripture.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Africa: Its Biblical Past and Prophesied Future What does the Bible teach about Africa and its future? Did the early Church reach Africa? Will God call all the Africans?
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
CCOGAFRICA.ORG This is a website targeted towards those in Africa. Here is a link to African Congregations of the CCOG.
The Philadelphia Remnant: It’s All About Love This is what CCOG teaches. It is important to remember. A related video is available: Nairobi Conference: All About Love.
How Will Middle East Peace be Brought About? Can humans bring peace to the Middle East? Here is a link to a related video: Middle East Peace? When?
Why Terrorism? Is Terrorism Prophesied? What does the Bible teach? Which nations may be affected? Here is a link to a related sermon: Terrorism, Christianity, and Islam.
The Arab and Islamic World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam? What about the Imam Mahdi? What lies ahead for Turkey, Iran, and the other non-Arabic Muslims? An item of possibly related interest in the Spanish language would be: Líderes iraníes condenan la hipocresía de Occidente y declaran que ahora es tiempo para prepararse para el Armagedón, la guerra, y el Imán Mahdi.
The Prophesied ‘Islamic’ Confederation Where is an Islamic caliphate prophesied? Will one happen? Should you be concerned about it? A related video is Will an Arabic Calphiphate Destroy the West?
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.
Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? Some no longer believe there needs to be a future King of the South. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Might this King be called the Mahdi or Caliph? What does the Bible say? A YouTube video of related interest may be: The Future King of the South is Rising. The Muslim Brotherhood and the Rise of the King of the South The Bible tells of the formation of a power of nations that are in the Middle East and North Africa that are part of the final “King of the South” (Daniel 11:40-43) The Muslim Brotherhood wishes to have an Islamic empire with basically the same nations. This YouTube video explains what to expect from such a confederation.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
World War III: Steps in Progress Are there surprising actions going on now that are leading to WWIII? Might a nuclear attack be expected? Does the Bible promise protection to all or only some Christians? How can you be part of those that will be protected? A related video would be Is World War III About to Begin? Can You Escape?
Wars, rumors of wars, and the Apocalypse Jesus foretold a time before the end where there would be wars and rumors of wars. The Apocalypse (the Book of Revelation) warns of the red horseman of war. Now, even secular writers, like Larry Edelson, are worried that wars and rumors of war are the most menacing problem that now haunts the earth? Are they right? What is the solution? This is a sermonette-length video.
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? Here is a link to a video titled: The Future King of the North.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2017, 2018, or 2019? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter video is: Will the Great Tribulation Start in 2017?

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