Biblical Prophecies and Syria, a Summary
Biblical prophecies from Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 both speak of a time when Damascus will be nothing but ruins. We are living in that day. A majority of the citizens of Syria have become refugees and now live in Turkey, Jordan, Kurdistan, Lebanon, Iraq or even Iran. The chances this will be solved anytime in the near future are nil.
To make an attempt at understanding what is going on in Syria, the different groups with varying ideologies, I thought I might summarize the situation from the daily headlines to get a more easy to comprehend overview.
Syria is currently in the midst of a civil war that began in 2011. The two largest cities in Syria are Aleppo and Damascus which are among the oldest cities in the world. Aleppo had a former population of over 2 million with Damascus a close second at 1.7 million. Aleppo is now a ghost town and Damascus will likely be so as well. The fight, especially in Aleppo is currently producing a desperate situation for control by all the various groups within Syria.
The group which calls itself the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) is capturing the largest headlines by far, but they are a part of a larger picture of varying groups trying to take control of the country. The civil war started with the government led by Bashar al-Assad cracking down on dissent of two groups called the Islamic Front, and the Free Syrian Army. The Islamic State which formed later is the most brutal of all the groups, and seeks to make their own country based on Sharia Law of Islam. Much like the Taliban tried to do in Afghanistan before they were defeated. However, the Islamic State has taken its brutality to another level with videotaped be-headings of captured reporters and foreign citizens. They have also beheaded and crucified those within Syria they deem as criminals.
What makes the situation in Syria especially dangerous is the foreign involvement by nations and religious fighters swelling the ranks of armed combatants. All of the major foreign powers have picked a side in the conflict and providing arms or playing an active role in the fight in some way. This has spilled the fight over to Iraq with the Islamic State trying to control major portions of both counties. While the Islamic State may have the largest army and plenty of weapons taken from the Iraqis, they have also made enemies of just about every major player involved including strongly Islamic countries.
Over the next several months with the US leading a contingent of countries to defeat the Islamic State, this will empower other groups to continue the civil war itself. The Islamic Front, Free Syrian Army, and a host of other groups will likely flourish with help from the US contingent. Even so, the likelihood of a clear winner in this struggle is also nil.
This leads us to what is likely the end result for Syria. In the near term, the country will be left decimated. One only needs to see the pictures and video coming out of Aleppo to see what will likely be the result of the entire country. Isaiah may have lived nearly 3,000 years ago but the words in Isaiah 17:1 will ring true “See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins.”
What about the long-term effect of the region? Right or wrong, those who believe they are fighting a Holy War will not stop anytime soon no matter what happens in Syria. Likely the fighting will move from one failed state to another. Most likely the situation will continue until a uniquely gifted leader can forge a peace between all the major players and sort out the situation. Of course the bible has something to say about this person as well.
The incredible story of Aleppo as well as the Islamic State, the Syrian Regime and the Free Syrian Army are being covered in-depth by reporters working for Vice News. Checkout their coverage on the 5 part series on “Ghosts of Aleppo” to see this story yourself: