Damascus being attacked, Russian troops now present

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad (Source: Agência Brasil, Wikipedia)
بشار الأسد


Syria remains in the news:

Battle Hits Damascus Before UN Team Arrives

March 19, 2012 Wall Street Journal

Syrian regime forces and rebel fighters engaged in a predawn gunbattle in a tightly secured, upscale neighborhood of Damascus on Monday, bringing the rebel fight the closest yet to President Bashar al-Assad’s seat of power.

The battle came just hours before an international diplomatic mission was due to arrive in the capital with hopes of brokering a cease-fire. It also came after the regime’s forces dealt significant blows to opposition fighters in two other cities, Idlib and Homs, earlier this month.

In Mezze, a Damascus neighborhood housing embassies and the residences of some senior officials, rebels and regime forces exchanged gun and rocket fire for two to four hours, according to residents and rebel officers.

Bloomberg – ‎19 March 2012
A year after the start of anti-government protests in Syria, even media controlled by the militant Hamas movement, whose leadership until recently was based in Damascus, regularly publishes scathing attacks on President Bashar Al-Assad and his backers.

Thus, Syria’s President must be feeling a lot of pressure.

Yet, also notice another news item:

Fox News – ‎19 March 2012
Reports of Russian anti-terror troops on the ground in Syria is raising new concerns about whether Russia’s policies are indirectly, or even directly, enabling the brutal crackdown on Syrian protesters.

My guess is that the Russians are hoping to keep the world out of fighting Syria more directly.  They also apparently hope that their troops and expertise can give Syria’s Assad enough time to take the current situation in Syria off the front page of the news.  Enough so that the Assad regime will remain–we will see–I am not particularly optimistic about the long-term survival of the Assad regime.

Back in biblical times (cf. Isaiah 7:8) and current times, the capital of Syria was Damascus. Notice what the Bible shows will happen to it:

1 An oracle concerning Damascus:
“See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins. 2 The cities of Aroer will be deserted and left to flocks, which will lie down,with no one to make them afraid. 3 The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim,and royal power from Damascus;the remnant of Aram will be like the glory of the Israelites,” declares the LORD Almighty. (Isaiah 17:1-3)

3 Thus says the Lord:
“For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment…5 I will also break the gate bar of Damascus,
And cut off the inhabitant from the Valley of Aven,
And the one who holds the scepter from Beth Eden.
The people of Syria shall go captive to Kir,”
Says the Lord. (Amos 1:3, 5)

And FWIW, perhaps I should mention that technically, Syria is still at war with Israel as it never did sign a peace deal with Israel.  So, in addition of the risk of civil war and international pressure, an actual war involving Syria and Israel is quite feasible. If so, Israel may hit back so hard that it might eliminate Damascus as Isaiah 17:1 says will happen.  If not, perhaps the internal rebellions in Syria will cause this biblical prophecy to be fulfilled.  Either way, something will cause this to happen (including perhaps unintended mistakes by Assad or the Russians).

While some Protestant sources have indicated that Russia and Iran (a close ally of Syria) are about to get together to to fulfill prophecies in Ezekiel 38, this cannot happen before Jesus returns (see also WSJ Suggests that Israel Should Destroy Iran; Ezekiel 38?).  So, they may misunderstand the current Russian presence.  Russia would like to have influence in the Middle East, would prefer to not betray Syria’s Assad, and would like to show the world that it can resolve matters better than the West.  But, Russia will only stick its neck out so far for Syria’s Assad–at least that is the main view from the West.

Much is going on in the Middle East.

As Jesus said in Mark 13:37, we all should watch.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

The Arab 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 does Islam teach about the Imam Mahdi?
Is There A Future King of the South? Some no longer believe there needs to be. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Is he the Imam Mahdi? What does the Bible say?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, British, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first?
Will the Anglo-Nations be Divided? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people?
Russia: Its Origins and Prophesied Future Russia in prophecy. Where do the Russians come from? What about those in the Ukraine? What is prophesied for Russia and its allies? What will they do to the Europeans that supported the Beast in the end?
Is Russia the King of the North? Some claim it is. But what does the Bible teach?

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