It appears to be a near certainty that NATO will soon get involved in the action in Syria. They will probably get directly involved within a matter of days or a couple of weeks. The United States, France, and Great Britain have aircraft carriers in place and they have thousands of special forces ready to move into Syria to secure the Syrian WMD sites.
Syria was warned about not using WMD but reportedly they have loaded chemical nerve agents into bombs and is now walking on the red line that NATO placed in the sand. NATO is now responding to the deliberate provocation by Assad. Any report of use of these agents will give NATO adequate justification to start a direct military campaign to remove the Assad regime.
I believe they will find a way to make that report happen no matter what Assad actually orders. In other words, I think the decision has already been made to place NATO forces in Syria. One reason is that NATO cannot allow these WMD to get into the hands of the rebels either. Therefore, NATO will need to put special forces on the ground to secure the WMD sites and to remove or destroy the chemical and biological agents before turning these sites over to any new Syrian government.
Assad might flee Syria at any time, but even if he remains, his forces will quickly join the resistance once the NATO air support starts. After Assad is gone, there will be the issue of setting up a temporary government until a national election can be held. Syria is a nation of many tribes that do not like each other, so continued civil war for control is possible without Assad. With NATO giving support and helping to set up elections that would be far less likely.
I think the outcome for Syria after Assad will first be free elections but once again the Muslim Brotherhood’s man will win the election and a Sunni controlled Muslim dictator would quickly take charge. I think Egypt is the model that we should expect to take place in most Sunni dominated Arab nations.
Iran is the wildcard in all this. Will they sit back and let their top ally fall, knowing that a hostile Sunni state would emerge? Iran will not attack NATO, but they likely would try to refocus the world’s attention on Israel. One way they could do that is through their Hezbollah proxies.
There reportedly have been discussions in the Assad regime about getting some chemical weapons to Hezbollah. Israel would react militarily if that happened. However, Hezbollah might not play ball with Iran in that losing game. I don’t think Hezbollah would want to do anything unilaterally that would cause Israel to take over Lebanon. So perhaps, more likely, Iran will deliberately cross Israel’s red line to try to provoke Israel to attack their country.
Nobody really knows how this will all play out with Iran being the wildcard and Israel being the trump card.
I have heard that some Bible prophecy teachers claim that the Psalm 83 war to remove Israel and the Isaiah 17 destruction of Damascus is likely to be fulfilled within this crisis. I sincerely doubt that this is possible. The Arab nations mentioned in Psalm 83 are still very divided. The Arabs are more likely to have more civil wars before they come together in any confederacy to remove Israel from being a nation.
When this whole Arab Spring thing plays out in all the Arab nations and there is a confederacy that can put together a reasonably strong joint military action plan, then the Psalm 83 war becomes imminent. However, if you look at the military capabilities, divisions, and civil strife among the Arabs, that simply is not feasible for some years.
Besides, at that point the West must have given up on trying to force peace between Israel and the Arabs, or more likely the West will have their own internal problems that allows the Arabs to become so bold as to fight Israel. An economic collapse with civil strive in the Western nations is just one way that could happen. Anyway, we are not there yet. Some things still have to happen before the Palm 83 war becomes imminent.
I have to admit, after reading many emails and positions, that some Bible prophecy students and teachers thinking on how Damascus will be destroyed is silly and illogical. Contrary to what many think, a nuclear weapon fired from Israel or Iran or from anyone else is not going to fulfill Isaiah 17 or remove Damascus from being a city. It would take several thermonuclear hydrogen bombs to destroy the city of Damascus and even that would not even fulfill the context of the prophecy.
If you read the first 11 verses of Isaiah chapter 17, you should see what I mean.
17:1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
2 The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
3 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.
4 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.
5 And it shall be as when the harvestman gathereth the corn, and reapeth the ears with his arm; and it shall be as he that gathereth ears in the valley of Rephaim.
6 Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof, saith the LORD God of Israel.
7 At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.
8 And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images.
9 In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation.
10 Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips:
11 In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.
Israel is also decimated at the time that Damascus is taken away from being a city. How can you still have a great tribulation coming for the whole house of Israel when most Israeli’s were killed in this prior war?
It seems to me that the prophecy in Isaiah 17 occurs during the tribulation, unless you think that God will create more Israelites out of rocks so that He can chastise them again in some still future time of a greater Jacob’s trouble?
All this hype about Israel destroying Damascus and fulfilling this prophecy because Assad fires some nerve gas at Israel is not logical. Do we really think Israel will launch multiple thermonuclear devices over millions of people, most of which do not even support Assad, just because Israel might lose a few hundred people in a gas attack? No. this destruction of Damascus takes place during an all out war for the survival of Israel or perhaps the destruction of Damascus does not occur through the military forces of Israel at all.
This prophecy could occur during the time of the two prophets of God that will have the power to call down judgment as often as they wish on any person, city, or nation that seeks to kill them. It might also occur when Gog comes down, or the destruction of Damascus might happen when the Kings of he East invade in the time of the Antichrist. Or it could even happen at the Armageddon campaign.
One thing that seems certain, is that all this will play into the Mayan prophecy conjectures. There are still loons out there who think the end of the world will be upon us on December 21, 2012. I said a long time ago, that events around this December 21, 2012 date, might lead many in the world into believing that the elaborate conjectures based on a pagan calendar, means that the end of the world has arrived. Even some Christians buy into this or spin this Horn wash. My advice is to try to keep your wits about you and watch events that are setting up the real end time scenario that will most likely play out a couple of decades from now. Things may get deadly on the earth meanwhile, so what else is new? Even so, the end that the prophets told us about, is not yet.
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Don Koenig founded www.thepropheticyears.com website in 1999 after almost thirty years of independent study on the Bible and learning from many astute teachers within Christendom. Don created his website to write about Bible prophecy, biblical discernment and his Christian worldviews. Don wrote a free Revelation commentary ebook in 2004 named "The Revelation of Jesus Christ Through The Ages". The World and Church and Bible Prophecy section of this website was started in 2007.