Will Ethiopia soon fall to Iranian-backed insurgents, giving Tehran full control over the southern entrance to the world’s most important trade route?
Heavy fighting is currently raging on the borders of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. As the Iranian-backed al-Shabaab terrorist militia tries to overthrow Somalia’s weak transitional government, Ethiopian troops have crossed the Somali border to fight against the Islamic extremists. The Kenyans also have joined the fray by cracking down on Somali terrorists within their own country. United Nations adviser Mustapha Ali has said the entire Horn of Africa region could be threatened if the ongoing crisis in Somalia is not resolved quickly.
A leading al-Shabaab official made a call at a gathering on Thursday of last week urging Muslims in both Kenya and Ethiopia to rise up against their governments. Sheikh Mahad Omar Abdikarim said that the “oppressed” Muslims of Kenya and Ethiopia need to “liberate” themselves from Christian domination.
Judging from the recent outburst of anti-Christian violence in Ethiopia, however, Sheikh Abdikarim may not have even had to say anything. Over 4,000 Christians in and around the Jimma Zone of Ethiopia have been displaced as a result of Muslim attacks that began the day before the leading al-Shabaab official issued his directive. Fifty-nine churches and at least 28 homes have been burned in this onslaught, which started after local Muslims accused a Christian of desecrating the Koran.
Ethiopian authorities sent security forces, but reports are that they were overwhelmed by the Islamist attackers. According to the 2007 census, 44 percent of Ethiopia’s population belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, while 34 percent are Sunni Muslim. Most of the remainder belong to various Protestant Christian denominations.
As al-Shabaab terrorists clash with Ethiopian troops in Somalia and as Muslims across western Ethiopia burn churches, what is now basically a Somali civil war could soon escalate into an interstate war between an Islamist-controlled Somalia and its western enemy. According to a 2006 UN report, the escalation of this conflict could even reignite a war between the small coastal nation of Eritrea—a chief foreign sponsor of al-Shabaab—and Ethiopia—which is backing the Somali government.
The UN report revealed that Somalia’s Islamic insurgents demonstrated their support of the Iranian cause during the summer of 2006 when they sent 720 of their most experienced fighters to Lebanon to help battle Israeli forces. In return for this aid, Iran sent three consignments of arms, ammunition and medical supplies to al-Shabaab’s parent organization—the Islamic Courts Union. Iranian proxy Hezbollah showed their gratitude by providing Somali insurgents with advanced training, sending five military advisers to Somalia.
Such support of the al-Shabaab terrorist militia, however, provides Iran with far more than additional soldiers in its fight against Israel. Iran needs to control both the southern entrance to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal if it wants to control the flow of oil through the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The power to enforce a trade embargo would be to Iran a powerful weapon in its fight against the Western world.
Now that Egypt is moving toward the Islamist camp, Iran’s plans to control the Suez Canal are progressing full steam ahead. To control the southern entrance to the Red Sea, however, Iran needs to control Eritrea or Somalia. By sending arms to Islamist forces in both Eritrea and Somalia, Iran is trying to buy itself this control.
Iran’s dominance of Somalia and Eritrea cannot be sealed, however, until Ethiopian resistance is removed. This is why the al-Shabaab terrorist militia’s fight against Ethiopia is so significant. Consider the words of Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry in his recent editorial “Libya and Ethiopia Reveal Iran’s Military Strategy”:
Why would Iran be so interested in getting some measure of control over Libya and Ethiopia? To me, the answer is intriguing.
All you need to do is get a good map of the Middle East, with the emphasis on the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Then you can see why the king of the south, or radical Islam, is so interested in an alliance with or control over these two countries (as well as Egypt and Tunisia). They are on the two seas that comprise the most important trade route in the world!
Whoever heavily influences or controls Ethiopia will undoubtedly also control the small areas of Eritrea and Djibouti on the Red Sea coastline. These areas only recently became independent of Ethiopia. Also, I believe the Bible view is that these small areas are included as part of Ethiopia.
Controlling the Suez Canal is not enough. Egypt tried that in 1956, when Britain, France and Israel kicked it out in one attack. But what if you have radical Islamic nations along this sea trade route with real air power—including missiles?
That could give Iran virtual control of the trade through those seas. Radical Islam could stop the flow of essential oil to the U.S. and Europe!
Biblical passages such as Daniel 11:40-43 foretell of an end-time clash between a German-led Holy Roman Empire and an Iranian-led Islamic caliphate. The passage in Daniel in particular reveals that the nations of Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia will be allied with Iran when it is overrun by the European empire. The current turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa has put the ruling regimes in all three of these countries in grave danger. Expect pro-Iranian successor regimes to soon arise in each of these nations!
For more information on the future the Middle East and how it will affect you, read “Libya and Ethiopia Reveal Iran’s Military Strategy” and then carefully study our booklet The King of the South.