Archive for Damascus

Trend Update: Ceasefire Holding Near Golan Heights, July 2017

Posted in Burden of Damascus, Ezekiel 38-39, Persia/Elam/Iran, Prophecy, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2017 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 2:13 And it will be against all the cedars of Lebanon that are lofty and lifted up, against all the oaks of Bashan

Bashan is the modern day Golan Heights. This would be the area in the far north east corner of modern day Israel. This place is south of modern day Damascus, Syria. Geographical land marks would include a region east of the Jordan River and north of the Arnon River. This territory extended from Gilead in the south to Mount Hermon on the north.

 

The following groups are currently located in the Golan region: Syrian Government forces supported by Russia, ISIS, rebel forces supported by the United States, and Israeli forces.

Russia’s Vladimir Putin and the United States’ Donald Trump agreed to a cease fire in southwest Syria on July 7, 2017. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attended the meeting as well as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Tillerson said there was a “defined agreement” between the parties. The meeting between Trump and Putin lasted two hours and 16 minutes.

“This is our first indication of the US and Russia being able to work together in Syria,” Tillerson said.

The ceasefire started in the de-escalation zone at noon Damascus time, July 9, 2017.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/07/politics/syria-ceasefire-us-russia-tillerson/index.html

July 10, 2017: UN peace talks regarding Syria started in Geneva. The ceasefire has generally held despite “teething problems”.

The ceasefire is for three provinces in southern Syria. Four “de-escalation zones” or “baskets” have been established. But these baskets have not been implemented or enforced.

The sticking point in the negotiations is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“The specter that is hanging over all of that is the fate of Bashar al-Assad. I think it is fair to say that this is one area where the two sides are still diametrically opposed – whether Assad should be allowed to stay or whether he should go,” Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/07/syria-ceasefire-holding-geneva-talks-envoy-170710155854227.html

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has expressed concern about Iran and its terrorist proxies Hezbollah from moving into the region during the ceasefire. Hezbollah is from Lebanon. Israel wants the United States and Russia to enforce a buffer zone in southwest Syria. Israel buffer

“I had deep discussions about this last week with US Secretary of State Tillerson and with Russian Vladimir Putin. Both told me that they understand Israel’s position and will take our demands into account,” Prime Minister Netanyahu.

bibi“For our part, we will continue to monitor developments beyond our borders while strongly upholding our red lines: prevent the strengthening of Hezbollah via Syria, with emphasis on the acquisition of precision weapons; prevent Hezbollah — or Iranian forces — from establishing a ground presence along our border; and prevent the establishment of an Iranian military presence in Syria as a whole,” Benjamin Netanyahu.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/09/middleeast/syria-ceasefire-begins/index.html

 

 

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Trend Update: ISIS & Al-Qaeda To Join Forces??? April 2017

Posted in Burden of Damascus, Prophecy, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2017 by paulthepoke

April 26, 2017: While the rest of the world is watching heightened political and military tension on the Korean Peninsula, this story is flying under the radar. ISIS and Al-Qaeda are considering joining forces, a terrorism dream team.

In the beginning, ISIS spun off from Al-Qaeda over philosophical differences. Al-Qaeda wanted to focus on the west and the United States. ISIS wanted to focus on the Middle East region. ISIS also believed Al-Qaeda was not violent enough for their taste. The two groups separated in 2014. Three years later, the two groups are discussing a reunion. Both groups are of the Sunni brand of Islam.

http://www.inquisitr.com/4155988/isis-and-al-qaeda-to-join-forces/

The country that appears to lose the most would be Syria. President Assad and his supporters (Iran, Lebanon’s Hezbollah) are Shia Muslims. Look at a current map of Syria.

Jeremiah 49:23 Concerning Damascus. “Hamath and Arpad are put to shame…

In the northern part of Syria is Aleppo. Ancient Arpad of Jerermiah 49 is located approximately 10 miles north of modern day Aleppo. Syrian government forces (Shia) are encountering Al-Qaeda in Syria or Al-Nusra (Sunni) in the north. Sunni Kurds are also battling Sunni Turks in the area as well.

Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan has recently gained more power via election. Erdogan is on the move with military intervention against the Kurds across southern Turkey.

Moving south in Syria, the next hot spot of conflict is modern day Hama. This is ancient Hamath from Jeremiah 49. Again, Syrian government forces (Shia) are encountering Al-Qaeda in Syria or Al-Nusra (Sunni). But, ISIS forces and territory are located east of Hama about 25-30 miles.

Furthest south in Syria is the capital of Damascus. Syrian government forces (Shia) are primarily encountering Al-Qaeda in Syria or Al-Nusra (Sunni). Israel and the Golan Heights are located approximately 30 miles to the south of Damascus.

Also consider an alliance of Sunni Arabs from the south consisting of Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. President Trump has recently met with leaders from these three countries. Their concern is the growing threat of Iran and nuclear weapons.

The end result…

Isaiah 17:1 The oracle concerning Damascus. “Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city and will become a fallen ruin.”

 

Trend Update: Syria…”All Options Are On The Table”

Posted in Burden of Damascus, Prophecy, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2017 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 17:1 The oracle concerning Damascus. “Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city and will become a fallen ruin.”

Sadly, chemical gas attacks on the Syrian population are nothing new in the Syrian civil war.

Ghouta, Syria: Sarin gas was used in 2013 that resulted in the death of over 1,000 citizens. Ghouta is a suburb east of Damascus.

Idlib, Syria: At least 100 people have died from the recent gas attack. Hundreds more have been injured and hospitalized. The attack occurred on April 4, 2017.

Hama, Syria: On March 30, 2017 chlorine gas was used as a chemical weapon in Hama, Syria. The Assad regime of Syria was accused of using chlorine on civilians. Approximately 100 civilians were affected.

Damascus, Syria: Chlorine gas was dispersed in the Al-Qaboun district northeast of Damascus on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.

The Assad regime has continually denied the use of chemical weapons during the civil war.

April 6, 2017: The United States military has begun missile strikes near Homs, Syria. Multiple reports from NBC and CNN indicate 50-60 Tomahawk cruise missiles have been fired. President Trump has changed his mind on Syria’s President Assad after the chemical attacks on civilians.

The United States has indicated a coalition of countries is forming to overthrow President Assad of Syria. This past week, the presidents of Egypt and Jordan have visited the White House. It would appear the United States is forming an alliance with Sunni Arab nations south of Syria.

Battle lines are being drawn. Russia is supporting its Shia Muslim countries in the north of the theater with Iran, Syria, and Lebanon (Hezbollah).

Turkey is primarily a Sunni Muslim nation with President Recep Erdogan. He has a big election coming in a couple of weeks. Erdogan has ambitious plans for the region. Turkey is determined to be a player.

“All options are on the table” regarding a United States response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons. Vice President Mike Pence.

Trend Update: Chemical Weapons in Syria; Battle for Euphrates Dam Intensifies, March 2017

Posted in Burden of Damascus, Euphrates River, Prophecy, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2017 by paulthepoke

Jeremiah 49:23 Concerning Damascus. “Hamath and Arpad are put to shame, for they have heard bad news; they are disheartened. There is anxiety by the sea, it cannot be calmed.

Hamath: The name means “fortress”. In the times of Jeremiah, Hamath was a city in valley of the Orontes River. Hamath was the capital of the northern kingdom of ancient Syria. Today, this is the city known as Hama, Syria.

Hama, Syria is prophetically significant. Roughly 2,600 years ago the prophet Jeremiah wrote about the eventual destruction of Damascus in Jeremiah 49. Before Damascus, trouble would start in northern Syria from Arpad. Arpad is essentially modern day Aleppo, Syria. The destruction would move south to Hamath or Hama, Syria. Finally, Damascus would see bloodshed and war before its destruction. In March 2017, all three of these cities in modern day Syria are hot spots of military conflict.

See Isaiah 17 as well for the Burden of Damascus.

March 30, 2017: The Anadolu Agency out of Turkey is reporting of chlorine gas used as a chemical weapon in Hama, Syria. The Assad regime of Syria is being accused of using chlorine on civilians. Approximately 100 civilians have been affected.

“Local residents are showing symptoms of chlorine gas exposure, including vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision and shortness of breath,” Mohamed Elwan, Hama doctor.

The Assad regime is suspected of using chlorine gas in Al-Qaboun district northeast of Damascus.

http://aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/syrian-regime-strikes-targets-in-hama-with-chlorine-gas/784284

“The bombardment had a substance that caused intense irritation, heavy foaming from the mouth, and constricting pupils. A chemical attack hit the same area on Saturday, killing an orthopedic doctor,” Abdallah Darwish, Health Authority Hama Province.

The Assad regime in Syria has continually denied the use of chemical weapons and chlorine gas.

“The army has not, will not, and does not need to use these weapons,” unnamed Syrian spokesman.

Military airstrikes in the region are increasing. Russian bombing runs are nonstop per witnesses on the ground.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-hama-idUSKBN1711O9

 

Escalation in violence is noted across the country including the Euphrates or Tabqa Dam. Fighting continues on the Tabqa Dam between ISIS and US backed Kurds. ISIS controls the southern part of the dam and the Kurds along with embedded US Marines holds the northern part of the dam.

Russia and ISIS are accusing the United States of trying to destroy the Euphrates Dam. The United States backed Kurds claim ISIS is bombing the dam. One thing is clear. The Tabqa Dam has taken some bombing. The control room of the dam has been destroyed. Maintenance work on the dam is required to repair failing flood gates.

“Because the dam has been out of service for three straight days, the technical equipment in the lower levels of the dam is under water. This rise in the level of the reservoir means that one of the spillways must be opened to drain the water so it doesn’t build up, which would pose a growing threat to the dam.” A nameless technician.

The United States says the dam has not been structurally damaged…

http://macedoniaonline.eu/content/view/31694/19/

http://pulse.ng/world/in-syria-engineers-set-to-to-enter-is-held-parts-of-tabqa-dam-id6445175.html

The United Nations estimates one half of Syria’s 22 million people have been displaced. The UN estimates 5 million refugees have left the country. The situation is not getting better in Syria.

Trend Update: Stroke Rumors Swirl Around Syria’s al-Assad, January 2017

Posted in Burden of Damascus, Isaiah, Prophecy, Trend Update with tags , , , , on January 30, 2017 by paulthepoke

January 30, 2017: Rumors are swirling around the Middle East and Syria regarding the health of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The president is 51 years old.

Last week the Saudi publication al-Sharq al-Awsat quoted sources in Russia and said Assad was “exhausted” due to “psychological pressures”. He was reported to have a “nervous tic in his left eye.”

Rumors are running wild on social media and mainstream news sources. Some say al-Assad has had a massive stroke. Some claim he has a brain tumor. Allegedly, he is being treated by Russian and Syrian doctors. Some claim he has been shot. Some claim he is dead.

But according to officials with the Syrian government, “The presidency denies all these reports. President Assad is in excellent health.”

The Syrian government took to Facebook and explained Assad is in “excellent health and carrying out his functions quite naturally.”

Something is not right. The Syrian president has not been seen in public since Thursday, January 26, 2017.

All of this is happening as the government of Syria has regained control of water sources for the city of Damascus. Rebels have surrendered the territory northwest of Damascus.

The country of Syria has been in civil war for six years. One would think this only complicates the matter on the ground.

Keep an eye on this one, this is a developing story with potential significant considerations.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4171722/Syria-denies-rumours-President-Assad-stroke.html

http://www.ibtimes.com/bashar-assad-dying-syrian-government-denies-president-suffered-stroke-critical-2483616

http://www.dailysabah.com/syrian-crisis/2017/01/30/assads-health-in-critical-condition-reports-claim

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/syria-forced-deny-bashar-al-assad-sick-after-stroke-rumours-1086672400

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-38782935

Trend Update: Damascus Water Crisis Deepens, January 2017

Posted in Burden of Damascus, Isaiah, Prophecy, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2017 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 17:6 Gleanings will be left in it, as when an olive tree is beaten— two or three berries in the top of the highest bough, four or five on the branches of a fruit tree, declares the LORD God of Israel.

January 16, 2017: The water crisis in the Damascus area continues to worsen. The Ein al-Fijeh spring provides Damascus with approximately 70 percent of the water supply. Nine million people in and around Damascus have significantly impaired access to clean water. This is up from four million people just a couple of weeks ago. To make matters worse, the chief negotiator respected by both sides was assassinated.

Water prices on the black market are soaring. The cost of water ranges from $500 to $750 a month. The water is for daily needs such as drinking and sanitation. The economic backdrop is a good paying job results in about $150 a month.

Of particular concern is the area of Wadi Barada. There are an estimated 100,000 people in the surrounded area. This is the Sunni controlled area (Al Qaeda of Syria, Al Nusra, or rebels supported by Obama Administration) enclosed by Shia lead forces of the Syrian government and Hezbollah of Lebanon. This area has been surrounded since mid-December 2016.

Inside the area, conditions are deteriorating rapidly. Utilities such as water, electricity, and internet are out. Communication is nonexistent.

Food is becoming scarce and people are cutting back on meals. Staples such as flour and baby formula are gone. People are eating limited olives and pickled eggplant. Locals are starting to live off the land by eating apples from local orchards and eating grass.

Medical care is declining as well. It is estimated there are only 10 doctors and 25 nurses. Medicine is in short supply and people are dying from a lack of supplies. Emergency care is becoming more and more limited. Amputations are increasing as a way to save critically injured patients. Disease is spreading among the weakest children and elderly. A lack of clean water is only making the situation worse with each day.

 

Northeast of Damascus, ISIS has cut off water to Aleppo. Electrical water pumps have been shut down since this past Saturday, January 14, 2017.

ISIS has warned the Kurdish military to stay away from the Tabqa or Euphrates Dam. They have threatened to blow the dam and flood the Euphrates River valley.

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=80867

http://syriadirect.org/news/a-ground-level-perspective-of-the-damascus-water-battle-%E2%80%98this-is-the-crucible-of-war-and-it%E2%80%99s-an-inferno%E2%80%99/

http://syriadirect.org/news/assassination-of-lead-negotiator-derails-damascus-water-talks-battles-resume/

https://paulthepoke.com/category/burden-of-damascus/

Trend Update: Israel Targets Damascus Military Air Base…Allegedly, December 2016

Posted in Burden of Damascus, Prophecy, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2016 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 17:1 The oracle concerning Damascus. “Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city and will become a fallen ruin.”

The original Hebrew is interesting in the description. Damascus is going to be wiped out. The grammar states it is going to be taken away and removed. One could state it will be a ruined ruin or a ruined heap!

This is the city of Damascus, Syria. Damascus is the oldest continually inhabited city on the planet. The city’s had residents and inhabitants for over 5,000 years.

December 7, 2016: The New Arab is reporting Israeli jets have struck Hezbollah positions near President Assad’s palace in Damascus. The presidential palace is also located close to the Mezzeh Military Airport. This area is located west of Damascus. There were no injuries or deaths reported in the strike. This is the second strike in the last 24 hours.

Three military checkpoints were also struck near Zabadani. An undisclosed number of Hezbollah personnel was killed in the bombing.

https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2016/12/7/israel-bombs-damascus-military-airport-no-reported-deaths

This story is also being circulated by the Turk publication Anadolu Post, BBC News out of Britain, and The Financial Times.

The following excerpts are from Debka.com. Debka is a private Israeli intelligence service. Official Syrian regime sources claimed Israel fired ground-to-ground missiles at Mezzeh military airport which is west of Damascus. Reports stated the attack occurred about 4:15 am. Videos show explosions indicating ammunition, bombs, or missiles had been hit. There has been no Israeli comment on the incident.

Israel prefers the long standing position of “strategic ambiguity”. Translation, there will be no official comment out of Israel.

http://www.debka.com/newsupdatepopup/19164/Syria-accuses-Israel-of-firing-missiles-at-military-airport-near-Damascus

In Tel Aviv Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, “Israel acts first and foremost to protect its citizens and its sovereignty. We are trying to prevent the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry, military equipment, and weapons of mass destruction from Syria to Hezballah.” He emphasized that Israel is not involved in the Syrian civil war. Israel wants the Iranians and Syrian President Bashar Assad out of the country.

http://www.debka.com/newsupdatepopup/19171/Israel-trying-to-prevent-smuggling-of-WMD-to-Hizballah-defense-minister

Israeli Defense forces have been active in and around the Golan Heights and Damascus for the past week or two…

Trend Update: God/Israel & ISIS Exchange Fire in Golan Heights, December 2016

Posted in Burden of Damascus, Prophecy, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2016 by paulthepoke

Joshua 21:27 To the sons of Gershon, one of the families of the Levites, from the half-tribe of Manasseh, they gave Golan in Bashan, the city of refuge for the manslayer, with its pasture lands, and Be-eshterah with its pasture lands; two cities.

Israel has been managing conflict with this region for close to 3,500 years.

November 27, 2016: At this time, ISIS has entered the picture. For the first time, ISIS and the Israeli Defense Forces have exchanged fire. The events took place in the southern Golan Heights.

The Israeli Air Force identified an armored vehicle with a large machine gun. The Air Force was able to identify four occupants in the vehicle. The target was destroyed. The ISIS vehicle was reportedly several hundred meters from the border. Israeli forces suffered no injuries or deaths. Multiple ISIS fighters were killed in the exchange.

http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.755499

November 30, 2016: An Israeli Air Force jet hits a target near Damascus. The operation took place during the night time. Explosions could be heard in downtown Damascus. Speculation is a munition convoy was struck near Damascus. See the news link below out of Damascus, Syria.

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/breaking-israeli-jet-carries-airstrike-near-damascus/

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it clear. ISIS will not be allowed to open a front of terror in the Golan Heights. The Israeli government or the Israeli press have made no official comment on the strike near Damascus.

December 1, 2016: The United Nations (UN) has passed six resolutions regarding Israel, the city of Jerusalem, Palestine, and the Golan Heights. The UN referred to the region as “Syrian Golan”. The UN believes the Golan Heights region should be handed over to Syria and the Assad regime. Language of the resolution stated, “Israel withdraw from all the occupied territory to the line of June 4, 1967 and called on all parties concerned to exert the necessary efforts to ensure the resumption of the peace process.”

After these events… A video from the Golan Heights is emerging from Israeli Defense Forces. Multiple soldiers captured the phenomenon.

Exodus 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.

December 4, 2016: Multiple Israeli soldiers captured a “pillar of cloud” on the Israel/Syria border. The cloud is reported to move from east to west and stop on the border. The cloud proceeded to hover and do damage on the Syrian side of the border. Fire and brimstone were not indicated at this time. This weather event took place in the same location as the ISIS attack.

“This strange storm of what appears to be dust, cloud and rain did NOT cross the border fence into Israel. It sat like a barrier between ISIS and Israel,” Israeli Defense.

The cloud is consistent with a menacing wall cloud of a super cell thunderstorm as observed in the Midwest or Tornado Alley in the United States. This is not a weather event consistent with the Golan Heights region.

See the video in the link below.

https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/79560/biblical-pillar-cloud-appears-golan-proving-hand-god-protects-israel-isis/#my3ZW6zg6IZECzia.97

The pillar of cloud and fire were reminders to the nation of Israel. God is with you and God will protect you. He does not break His promises. His character does not change.

Trend Update: Burden of Damascus/Russian Embassy Takes Fire, October 2016

Posted in Burden of Damascus, Ezekiel 38-39, Prophecy, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2016 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 17:1 The oracle concerning Damascus. “Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city and will become a fallen ruin.”

Isaiah 17:9 In that day their strong cities will be like forsaken places in the forest, or like branches which they abandoned before the sons of Israel; and the land will be a desolation. 

October 3, 2016: The United States suspended talks with Russia regarding the conflict in Syria. The US blames Russia for the increased violence and bloodshed.

“Unfortunately, Russia failed to live up to its own commitments…,” state department spokesman John Kirby. Rather, Russia and the Syrian regime have chosen to pursue a military course, this is not a decision that was taken lightly”.

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, “We regret this decision by Washington. Washington simply did not fulfil the key condition of the agreement to improve the humanitarian condition around Aleppo. After failing to fulfil the agreements that they themselves worked out, they are trying to shift responsibility on to someone else.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37546354

October 4, 2016: The Russian Embassy in Damascus has come under fire and taken mortar shells. Terrorists are being blamed for the attack. The Russian ministry said the attack is the result of a U.S. policy and its allies which “provokes further bloodshed in Syria.”

There were no deaths reported in the mortar shelling. Some injuries are indicated.

Russia is calling this a terror attack. Security has been increased in the area.

The New York Times provides a timeline of recent events in the region.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/10/04/world/middleeast/ap-ml-syria-the-latest.html?_r=0

https://www.rt.com/news/260189-russia-embassy-syria-shelling/

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34515498

October 4-7, 2016: Russia is conducting an incredible civil and military exercise. Russia is conducting an evacuation drill to prepare for a nuclear war. 40 million people are involved. 200,000+ emergency services personnel are participating. 50,000 pieces of equipment are being utilized.

Russian government officials are preparing for a nuclear war. Citizens are reported to be “terrified”. The Russians also state the United States will start the war.

The Russians state they could shelter all 12 million citizens of Moscow in bunkers in case of nuclear war.

Putin is also building a 400-square mile facility in a remote area of the Ural Mountains. He looks to manage a future conflict from this location according to sources.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1907902/russia-holds-massive-nuclear-war-exercise-involving-40million-people-as-military-tensions-rise-with-us/

Trend Update: Israeli Tanks & Bulldozers Cross Golan Heights’ DMZ into Syria, July 15, 2016

Posted in Ezekiel 38-39, Prophecy, Trend Update with tags , , , , , , , on July 15, 2016 by paulthepoke

Breaking Story: Israeli Defense Forces are reported to have crossed into Syria via the Golan Heights with tanks and bulldozers. Air support is being provided as tanks appear to be digging a defensive posture. Fighting is not indicated at this time.

 

http://www.debka.com/article/25539/IDF-bulldozers-with-tanks-enter-Golan-DMZ

http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/71880/unusual-activity-sparks-confusion-idf-tanks-bulldozers-roll-golan-syria-border/#v5D8z3DWYbMKeMKq.97

http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160714/1042928221/israeli-bulldozers-enter-the-dmz.html

 

 

Paul the Poke

Habakkuk 1:5 Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. -LORD God

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