As a new report details the devastation wrought upon Syria by four years of rebellion, a Virginia state senator who once thanked the Syrian government for defending Christians is worried about the fate of Damascus, the Middle East and Europe.
“If Damascus falls, the dreaded black and white flag of ISIS will fly” over Syria, Virginia state Senator Richard Black told RT. “Within a period of months after the fall of Damascus, Jordan will fall and Lebanon will fall,” he said, adding that the self-proclaimed Islamic State would then target Europe next.
Black is no stranger to the Syrian crisis. Last year, he wrote a letter thanking the government in Damascus for a “gallant and effective campaign” to liberate Christian villages on the border with Lebanon. Most Americans are not aware that Christianity started in present-day Syria, he pointed out.
Years of US interventions in the Middle East and elsewhere have resulted in vast numbers of displaced Christians in Syria, Iraq and the Balkans. “If you look at the history of American involvement,” since the first Iraq war, Black told RT, “the one central theme has been that in each instance we’ve purged Christians from various countries.” Christians who lived in Kosovo for over a thousand years “are gone, completely annihilated.”
During the four-day pogrom in Kosovo 11 years ago, more than 4,000 Christian Serbs were driven out of six towns and nine villages. Over 900 houses and 39 churches were also destroyed by ethnic Albanian rioters.
According to a recent report by the Syrian Centre for Policy Research, six percent of the country’s population has been killed or wounded in the fighting in Syria. Life expectancy went from 79.5 years in 2010 to 55.7 years. More than 5 million Syrians became refugees or migrated in search of work, while 40 percent of the remaining 17.65 million are internally displaced. The country has lost over $200 billion through destruction, looting, capital flight and GDP loss; unemployment is officially at 58 percent; and most of those who have jobs work for the government.
The current conflict in Syria began in 2011, when the US-backed opposition began an armed rebellion against President Bashar Assad’s government during the Arab Spring. By 2013, large portions of eastern Syria and western Iraq had fallen under control of militants known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (IS, or ISIS/ISIL). While declaring the need to fight ISIS, Washington has continued to demand the overthrow of Assad in favor of “moderate opposition.”
Black, who served in the US Marine Corps and retired as a Colonel in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) corps before getting elected to the Virginia legislature, maintains that the Assad government is effectively fighting against the Islamic State and protecting the remaining Christians of Syria. Its fall, he says, would let ISIS quickly seize Jordan and Lebanon, and continue its drive westward.
“I look at Syria as the center of gravity… for Western civilization,” Black said, using the military strategists’ term for a place or event that can determine the outcome of a war. “If it falls, we’ll begin to see a very rapid advance of Islam on Europe.”
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PROPHECY AGAINST DAMASCUS – The Burden of Damascus
In the last days, Jesus warned us of specific events that will take place in Israel and Syria. We have already witnessed one of the worst humanitarian destructions to a war torn Syria. However, more is to come. As Isaiah 17 tells us, In the very near future, Damascus will once again play a major role in prophecy, its destruction will occur in “one day” and trigger the confederacy mentioned in Psalm 83, and the war.
As a side note, the Apostle Paul (Saul) was on the road to Damascus when he first encountered Jesus, around noon. This entire event changed Paul’s life, and history. If you want to read more, see Acts 9:1-9.
- After this encounter with Jesus, God changed Saul’s name to Paul. We see throughout the bible where names are changed once the person is “saved.” We too will have our names changed as Revelation 2:17 tells us.
As Isaiah 17 tells us, the future conflict between Damascus and Israel, is the last fulfillment of this prophecy. The fact that Damascus is standing as a super city today, tells us that this in fact is a partially unfilled prophecy.The event that is still waiting to manifest is the complete annihilation of Damascus, “a ruinous heap” and made “uninhabitable.” While there has been damage to Damascus in the past, it has never been completely destroyed. Isaiah further tells us tha that one day, the city will cease to exist, and there will be a historical absence of the coalition nations prophesied to attack Israel. The good news, we learn later on, is that these groups are ultimately destroyed by God, and that the remnants of Israel cry out, and are saved.
The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid.The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of hosts.And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean – Isaiah 17:1-4 (KJV).
According to these verses, the cities of Aroer, which are located on the northern bank of the Arnon River just east of the Dead Sea,(which is drying up along with Euphrates, another prophecy being fulfilled) will also be barren, the cities in northern Israel will also be destroyed, and the few who remain in Aram, a few miles southeast of Damascus, will meet the same destruction and end as those of these northern Israeli cities. We also see where this will be the pre-cursor event into Psalms 83. Israel will then be invaded by armies from Jordan, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza. As we know, Israel is surrounded by these nations and they are filled with enemies today!
Isaiah 17:12 are the same nations that sign a treaty against the Lord in Psalms 83:5-8: Look at these verses:
The Modern Day Regions and Nations
Another parallel to prophecy:
Therefore as I live, saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them.- Zephaniah 2:9 (KVJ).
and then look at the prophecy “Like the days of Lot”:: “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed”- Luke 17:28-30 (KJV).