2015-2016 - Both Iran and Russia have military personnel in Syria. Their military presence has been steadily increasing and now includes attack helicopters, fighter jets, and multiple military units.
February 2018 – Iranian drone shot down over northern Israel was armed with explosives, which could have caused extensive damage.
April 5, 2018 – Syrian pro-Assad militia claims responsibility for rocket attack on United States troops in Syria.
Monday, April 9, 2018 – Israel attacks a Syrian air force base called T-4 in retaliation for the drone shot down over northern Israel. The attack was aimed at destroying any further Iranian drone capability in Syria.
Week of April 9-13 – Russians warn that if the United States launches a strike against Syrian targets that it will shoot down the missiles and the sources from which they came.
April 13, 2018 – The United States bombs Syrian chemical weapons facilities. This is in response to chemical attacks that allegedly were carried out by the Syrian government and military.
United States is sending the Aircraft carrier Truman into the Mediterranean along with a strike group of 5 war ships carrying 300 Tomahawk missiles on them. At that point there will be at least 14 ships between allies Britain, France, Germany, and the United States in the region. There are also currently at least 2 Russian ships in the region as well as anti-submarine aircraft.
What does all this mean in reference to the events mentioned in the Scriptures? First, this particular action is not mentioned in Scripture. There are those who will take every situation and seemingly find a Bible passage for it. But secondly, it does have possible ramifications on two events mentioned in the Scriptures.
The first of these is the destruction of the city of Damascus, mentioned in Isaiah 17.
The oracle concerning Damascus. "Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city And will become a fallen ruin. 2 "The cities of Aroer are forsaken; They will be for flocks to lie down in, And there will be no one to frighten them. 3 "The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim, And sovereignty from Damascus And the remnant of Aram; Isaiah 17:1-3 (NASB)
Two important things are mentioned here. There is the statement that Damascus will be removed from being a city and will become like a fallen ruin. This has yet to happen in history. With the current civil war in Syria – as well as the foreign involvement of Russia and Iran (especially Iran) – this further destabilizes the region and makes it more likely that a strike could take place on Damascus itself, destroying the city entirely.
What makes this more likely now is the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian military under President Assad. Both the United States and their allies are going to respond to this action. But it is the presence of a growing Iranian military presence in Syria that is the greater issue. More military groups loyal to President Assad seem to be more loyal to the Iranian leadership than to their own. Israel has already struck a military air base because the Iranians were foolish enough to send an armed drone into the northern regions of Israel. That is what led to the air strikes on the T-4 base in Syria. Things are definitely heating up between Israel and Iran.
The next factor in the destabilization of this region is the current strike that is happening to the Syrian chemical weapons installations. There are mixed messages coming from Russia and Iran about this. Some are saying that as long as strikes are just against these installations they will be allowed – while others, including one from the Russian military, promise retaliation.
A second way this may come to fulfill biblical prophecy is the Gog-Magog invasion. This invasion has at its head the Russian military as well as the help from multiple other nations allied to them. Not only are these alliances coming together, but also there is a possibility that a Damascus event could trigger a wholesale invasion by Russia and her allies to defend Assad and his Syrian regime. If that were to happen from the north (which seems the most likely scenario for it) then this would look unnervingly like the Gog-Magog invasion mentioned in Ezekiel 37-38. Now some believe this may happen before the rapture of the church and the start of the 7 year Great Tribulation – but others do believe this will happen in connection with the events of the Battle of Armageddon in Revelation.
Either way this may go – there is much happening to have us be reminded that we should be awake spiritually and praying for God to give us opportunities to share Christ with others.