By Associate Press
The navies of China and Russia plan to hold joint drills in the Mediterranean Sea for the first time in mid-May, China’s Defense Ministry announced Thursday, in the latest expansion of the growing informal partnership between the two militaries. The exercises also illustrate China’s continued engagement with Russia at a time when Moscow has been shunned by much of the international community over its support for separatist rebels in Ukraine. The “Joint Sea 2015″ exercises will feature nine surface ships, including three from China that are currently taking part in anti-piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia, ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng told a monthly news conference.
The drills involve rescue, resupply and other missions, including the firing of live ammunition, Geng said. “The purpose of the exercise is to strengthen the friendly exchanges between the two sides … and to improve the capability of the two navies to deal with maritime threats,” Geng said. He said the drills did not target any third parties and were not a response to fighting and instability in places such as Libya and Syria, he said. China and Russia frequently align on major international issues and Beijing has refused to join in the condemnations and economic sanctions leveled against Moscow for its backing of the Ukrainian rebels. In a further show of support, Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to attend commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Moscow on May 9. Most Western leaders are staying away from the event featuring a massive military parade, in which a 112-strong honor guard from the Chinese army, navy and air force will also take part. MORE
These events are recorded in Ezekiel 38
Gog and Allies to Attack Israel
38 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of[a] Meshek and Tubal; prophesy against him 3 and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of[b] Meshek and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. 5 Persia, Cush[c] and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, 6 also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmahfrom the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you.
7 “‘Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. 8 After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. 9 You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.
10 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. 11 You will say, “I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. 12 I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.[d]”13 Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages[e] will say to you, “Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?”’
14 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety,will you not take notice of it? 15 You will come from your place in the far north,you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army. 16 You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.
17 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: You are the one I spoke of in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel. At that time they prophesied for years that I would bring you against them. 18 This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign Lord. 19 In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. 20 The fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground. 21 I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign Lord. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. 22 I will execute judgment on him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. 23 And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’