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Lebanon & Syria
US warns Syria over Lebanon role
Headline BBC online 16 February
The US secretary of state has warned Syria against interfering in Lebanon, following the killing of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri by a car bomb. Condoleezza Rice - who has recalled the US ambassador to Syria - said she was not blaming the attack on Syria but its presence in Lebanon was destabilising.
The United Nations condemned the attack and Secretary General Kofi Annan urged Syria to withdraw its troops.
The killing comes at a time of rising tension between Syria, Lebanon's political master, and members of the opposition, a BBC correspondent says.
The killing of the former PM of Lebanon has sparked an amazing chain of events. Lebanon is a significant area. Lying to the north of Israel it has often been the battleground between Israel, Syria and the PLO. Syria is still the major power in the country but this killing may well destabilise the situation. Lebanon is the doorway into Israel. God will open the doors of Lebanon (see verse below) by bringing destruction upon it thereby letting the northern invader (Gog) in.
Bible Quote Zechariah 11 1 ¶ Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars.
People power brings down Lebanese government
Headline DT 1 March
Lebanon's cabinet resigned on Monday after two weeks of protests which were sparked off by the assassination of the former Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri. The death of Hariri has been blamed on Syria, and there have been calls on Syria to withdraw its troops from Lebanon.
It has been called the"Cedar revolution" - in reference to the tree that is Lebanon's national emblem – and "people power" or "mini Ukraine“. It is true that what Beirut is witnessing is unique. Rarely have people in this region taken to the streets like this - spontaneously, peacefully and with much determination.
Another political earthquake caused by the political sea and waves roaring. We have noted before how Lebanon is the doorway into Israel. Zec 11:1. The fact that this is called the “Cedar Revolution” is interesting. The verse below says Assyria WAS a cedar in Lebanon and goes on to say he will be driven out! Perhaps we see a latter day fulfilment of these words. Assyria is closely associated with the king of the north which was firstly Syrian in area but will be Russian in the future.
Bible Quote Ezekiel 31 3 Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs. 11 I have driven him out for his wickedness.
Russia backs Syria pullout demand
Headline BBC online 3 March
Russia, one of Syria's strongest backers, has said Moscow cautiously supports calls for Syria to withdraw its troops from Lebanon. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the withdrawal should not violate "the fragile balance" in Lebanon.
In Daniel 11 it talks of a continuous power struggle over many years between the king of the north and the king of the south. Alexander the Great’s general, Seleucus, was the northern king. The Seleucids were based north of Israel in the area of Syria. They battled constantly with the king of the south – the Ptolemys who were based in Egypt. (Ptolemy was another general under Alexander the Great). Israel was caught up in these wars as it was the land that separated them. The Bible in Daniel 11 makes clear that at the time of the end there will be another king of the north versus king of the south and again Israel will come between them. However this time the king of the north is Gog (Russia and allies) while the king of the south is Sheba / Dedan / Tarshish and young lions (Saudi Arabia, UK , US etc). The king of the south is well developed and perhaps now we see Russia beginning to take on the mantle of king of the north as it advises Syria to withdraw. It is possible that Syria & Lebanon suffer or as the Bible puts is below – wax feeble and flee.
Bible Quote Jeremiah 4924 Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on her: anguish and sorrows have taken her,
Syria defiant on Lebanon withdrawal Headline DT 6 March
A defiant President Bashar al-Assad of Syria yesterday rebuffed demands for his 14,000 troops to be withdrawn immediately from Lebanon, announcing that he would redeploy them to the east of the country, closer to the Syrian border. "We will withdraw our forces completely to the Bekaa valley," he said.
In a rare address to parliament in Damascus, Mr Assad attempted to divide the global bloc ranged against him by offering a partial pull back from Lebanon that he though might satisfy Arab states."Our way is to withdraw gradually in co-operation with the Lebanese establishment," he said, in a long speech.
Syria is trying to do just enough to keep trouble away. He is pulling forces back to the eastern border of Lebanon but NOT out of Lebanon. The UN has given him 6 weeks to completely withdraw. We cannot speculate about the exact nature of what will happen here but suffice to say these very significant events happening here. As we said last week the Bible appears to indicate that Syria WILL be removed from Lebanon. He is “driven out” – see verse below.
Bible Quote Ezekiel 31 3 Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon….. 11 I have driven him out for his wickedness.
Hizbollah rallies support for Syria to stay in Lebanon
Headline DT 1 March
Lebanon's deep divisions were laid bare yesterday when hundreds of thousands of people rallied in the centre of Beirut, denouncing America and rejecting demands for Syrian troops to leave the country.
The march was organised by Hizbollah, the Islamist party that is denounced by America as a terrorist group but which enjoys massive popular support in Lebanon from the sizeable Shia minority and has close links with Damascus.
Roars of "America Out" rose from the crowd, some of whom carried placards denouncing President Bush. One cartoon banner mocked him as a cowboy puppet under Israeli control.
Last week we saw an uprising in Lebanon in support of Syria being kicked out. Now we see this week an even bigger demonstration of those who want Syria to stay. There are indeed deep divisions. From 1975 until the early 1990s Lebanon suffered a bloody civil war in which regional powers - particularly Israel, Syria and the Palestine Liberation Organisation - used the country as a battlefield for their own conflicts. We now see huge tensions arising. All this may lead to Syria becoming a ruinous heap.
Bible Quote Isaiah 141 ¶ The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
400,000 gather to tell Syrians to go home
Headline DT 15 March
The anti-Syrian opposition seized the initiative yesterday in Lebanon's ongoing political drama as more than 400,000 of their supporters thronged the centre of Beirut. It eclipsed last week's large pro-Syrian demonstration organised by Hizbollah, the Islamist party with close ties to Damascus, and showed how the normally divided opposition has united over the issue of Syrian interference in Lebanon.
It was believed to be the largest political gathering in the country's history.
For 3 weeks on the trot now we have seen ever growing demonstrations on the streets of Lebanon. First of all it was thousands on the streets calling on Syria to leave. Then last week Hizbollah eclipsed that by getting tens of thousands out in support of Syria staying. And now this week we see the largest demonstration in the country’s history with 400,000 out against Syria. Syria is still foot dragging over leaving. It does not want to sacrifice its influence in this key area. However it appears it will be driven out (see last weeks WWW) by force possibly. We also see here the tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of the nations being gathered together to battle – the sea and waves roaring.
Bible Quote Isaiah 339 The earth mourneth and languisheth: Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down: 10 Now will I rise, saith the LORD; now will I be exalted;
Fresh Lebanon bombing kills three
Headline BBC online 23 March
A bomb tore through a shopping centre in Lebanon's anti-Syrian Christian heartland north of Beirut killing three people, including two foreign workers. It was the second blast in a Christian area in days, sharpening fears of sectarian chaos weeks before elections.
The opposition has blamed Damascus supporters for recent violence, saying they are keen to stir unrest to justify the presence of Syrian troops in Lebanon.
The President of Lebanon has said that Lebanon is being driven into "chaos and fear" and has renewed calls for talks between opposition and loyalist politicians "as the only means to break the current deadlock and bridge all differences".
We saw the people on the streets in their hundreds of thousands last week – now we see the violence. Two bombs in a week. If Syria stirs up tension and violence it can claim that it does need to be in Lebanon to help keep the peace. Lebanon will fall by a mighty one as the verse says below. Perhaps when Gog descends on Israel.
Bible Quote Isaiah 1033 Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled.34 And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one.
Syria must seal Iraq border or face reprisals, warns US - Headline DT June 23
The governments of America and Iraq both demanded yesterday that Syria stop allowing insurgents and extremists to cross its long border with Iraq.
At a conference designed to show international solidarity for the elected Iraqi leadership, the US secretary of state, Condoleeza Rice, also warned Damascus of unspecified reprisals which could be taken at the discretion of President W Bush.
With US soldiers continuing to be killed on an almost daily basis in Iraq and with the US public becoming more and more disillusioned with the Iraq war, President Bush needs to do something. It appears from the article above that the pressure now is building for Syria to close its borders to Iraq. What exactly the unspecified reprisals are I don’t know. But the fact that they can be taken at the discretion of the President of the US I take to mean military action as he is commander in chief of the US army. We are perhaps now approaching a time when a fire is kindled in Syria. There seems to be a distinct possibility that Syria is removed as a threat and then Russia comes down.
Bible Quote Jeremiah 49 24 Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on her: anguish and sorrows have taken her, as a woman in travail. 27 And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus
Moscow Arms Assad with a Top-Flight Surface Missile
Headline DEBKAfile October 10
Two generals were in Moscow on the same day, September 26: the head of Israel’s National Security Council Maj.-Gen Giora Eiland and the Syrian chief of staff General Ali Habib. Both also called on the Russian chief of staff, Gen. Yuri Baluyevski. The Syrian general came out of his meeting with a brilliant contract for the sale of the advanced Iskander SS-26 surface missile. The Israeli general ran into a blank wall when he tried to persuade the Russian to withhold the missile from the Assad regime. Last January, when the deal was first broached, the Bush administration stepped in and obtained a promise from president Vladimir Putin to call off the sale, as did Israel’s Ariel Sharon during the Russian president’s visit in May. Putin has broken those pledges. The missiles will be delivered early 2006.
This is not just any old missile. The US and NATO have nothing to match its unique attributes. It is called the Iskander (after Alexander the Great!). It is almost impossible for existing electronic equipment to prevent its launch because of its speed and flexibility. It is deadly accurate. One missile expert has said that this missile is capable of radically changing the balance of strength in local conflict. Syria has paid Russia in cash to ensure speedy delivery in early 2006.
Bible Quote Jeremiah 49 24 Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on her: Syria (Damascus) however will wax feeble!
Syria will pay for murder of Hariri, vow America and Britain - Headline DT October 22
America and Britain promised last night that Syria would be held to account for its role in the murder of Lebanon's former prime minister Rafik Hariri. President George W Bush called on the United Nations to convene a session as soon as possible to deal with a "deeply disturbing" UN investigative report implicating Syrian officials in the assassination on Feb 14."The report strongly suggests that the politically motivated assassination could not have taken place without Syrian involvement," Mr Bush said. Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, and Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, emphasised Syria's complete isolation following the publication of the report.
Tension is growing between Syria and the US & UK. The killing of Rafik Hariri provoked an anti-Syrian uprising and led to the withdrawal of its forces from Lebanon after a 30-year stay. The implications, now that the US has proof that the government of Syria was behind the assassination, might be profound. The US is pushing hard for Syria to be referred to the Security Council where sanctions could be imposed. An interesting passage in Ezekiel 31 appears to have a latter day fulfilment. It talks of Assyria being like a cedar in Lebanon but then being driven out. It then talks of Assyria being cut off and broken. See verse below. Ancient Assyria is linked to Syria.
Bible Quote Ezekiel 31 12 And strangers, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off, and have left him: upon the mountains and in all the valleys his branches are fallen, and his boughs are broken by all the rivers of the land; and all the people of the earth are gone down from his shadow, and have left him. These words are talking of Assyria
Concern: A Syrian soldier looks across at Iraqi border
Syria accuses US of launching lethal raids over its borders - Headline DT October 29
Syria has accused the United States of launching lethal military raids into its territory from Iraq, escalating the diplomatic crisis between the two countries as the Bush administration seeks to step up pressure on President Bashar Assad's regime.
Major General Amid Suleiman, a Syrian officer, said that American cross-border attacks into Syria had killed at least two border guards, wounded several more and prompted an official complaint to the American embassy in Damascus.
The diplomatic crisis deepens between Syria and the US. There is surprisingly little prophesied about Syria in the last days. In Isaiah 17 we read about the “burden of Damascus”. We read in verse 3 that the Syrian kingdom will cease. In verse 4 it talks of the glory of Jacob (Israel) becoming thin. In verses 12 and 13 it talks of many nations rushing - like the noise of mighty waters and God then rebuking them. Are we reading here about the downfall of Syria which then brings the nations against Israel causing her glory to become thin? Syria is not mentioned in Ezekiel 38 as one of the nations that invade Israel - is this because Syrian kingdom has ceased beforehand? Syria was the ancient “king of the north”. If Syria is removed as a power, the mantle of “king of the north” could pass to Russia who then invades.
Bible Quote Isaiah 17 1 ¶ The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. 3 The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria:
At least 250 blasts shook the border region
Deadly clash on Lebanese border
Headline BBC Online November 21
Israeli troops have killed three Hezbollah fighters during a guerrilla attack near the Lebanese border, which also left several Israelis wounded. It was the heaviest fighting in the Shebaa Farms area since 2000, when Israeli troops left south Lebanon. Hezbollah fighters launched a major assault on Israeli army posts, triggering retaliatory air strikes. Israel captured the area from Syria in the 1967 war but it is now claimed by Lebanon with Syria's backing.
Eyewitnesses reported at least 250 explosions in an intense two-and-a-half hours of rocket duels. Scores of fighters were observed taking part in the Hezbollah operation, which Lebanese security sources said was aimed at taking Israeli hostages.
Last week we said there could be violence in the political vacuum created by both the Palestinian and Israeli elections coming up early next year. The vacuum is created because the peace process is put on hold officially. This week we see massive escalation of fighting on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon.
Lebanon is the northern gateway into Israel. When the King of the North comes down into Israel he may well come through Lebanon. Lebanon’s doors must be open (probably by force) for this to happen. Fire is coming on Lebanon – it may the prelude to the King of the North descending upon Israel.
Bible Quote Zechariah 11 1 ¶ Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars.
Beirut bomb kills anti-Syria MP
Headline BBC Online December 12
Prominent Lebanese anti-Syrian MP and journalist Gibran Tueni has been killed in a massive car bomb attack in Beirut.
It came hours before UN Security Council members got the latest report on the death of a former Lebanese PM, in which Syria has been implicated.
BBC Middle East analyst Roger Hardy says the attack raises the political temperature in Lebanon at a highly sensitive moment. Mr Tueni was killed only a day after returning from Paris, where he had been staying amid fears for his life.
The US embassy issued this statement following this weeks huge bomb.. “With this heinous act, the forces of oppression and tyranny have taken from the Lebanese people one of their greatest champions for liberty and freedom”. We see growing focus of the world on Syria because of these “assassinations”. Remember only a few months ago Syria was in effect driven out of Lebanon under pressure. There seems little doubt as the article states above, that Syria is trying to “remove” those voices that are anti Syria. As the verse below states “Assyria was a cedar in Lebanon.” We now see it no longer is. For the king of the north (Russia) to come down, the Lebanon door needs to be opened. (See Zechariah 11:1). Perhaps the things we are witnessing now in these last days are the “opening” of this door.
Bible Quote Ezekiel 31 3 Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs.
And so another year draws to a close. But what a remarkable year in terms of prophecy fulfilled!
At the beginning of each World Watch it says that time and again the following would keep cropping up as we journey towards the coming kingdom.
Israel – Middle East the growing conflict
This year has seen Israel become ever more the focus of the world’s attention. Iran has called for Israel to be wiped off the map. Israel has withdrawn from Gaza and parts of the West Bank. A wall almost surrounds the entire nation now.
Europe – the developing union / political and religious
A new Pope is elected – Cardinal Ratzinger. He named himself Benedict after the patron saint of Europe. He is calling for Christian Unity! In his Christmas speech he called for Middle East peace. He means Israel should give up East Jerusalem. This will bring war. Europe has rejected the constitution but continues to hang together as divided nations exactly as Revelation 17 and Daniel 2 show us.
Russia – continued turning back to anti west ways
Russia is increasingly in the news for doing arms deals with those the US considers to be the Axis of Evil i.e. Syria and Iran. Under Putin the free press has been shut down, nuclear programmes have been developed and a new Cold War may have started.
The development of King of South – US & UK
Tarshish and her young lions continue to be locked in a war in Iraq. This area of ancient Babylon where sin and death entered the world and the first kingdom of men began is a scene of death and destruction. Remember Abraham was called out of this area.
Declining moral standards and increasing violence.
The UK introduces gay marriage. Violence increases – remember the scenes in France! We have seen unprecedented “natural” disasters with Tsunami, hurricanes and earthquakes. Let us pray that 2006 finally brings relief with the return of our King.
Revelation 22 20 Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.