Population: 17,951,639 (July 2014 est.) - Note: approximately 18,900 Israeli settlers live in the Golan Heights (2012)
Ethnic groups: Arab 90.3%, Kurds, Armenians, and other 9.7%
Religions: Muslim 87% (official; includes Sunni 74% and Alawi, Ismaili, and Shia 13%), Christian (includes Orthodox, Uniate, and Nestorian) 10%, Druze 3%, Jewish (few remaining in Damascus and Aleppo)
On 6/25/2003 at 1113hrs., Rev. Hansen received the following prophecy to Syria:
"Syria, oh Syria, a country of blood, deception, mystery, brutality and barbarism. You have lied to the world, you have lied to my people.
You speak words of delay and words of death. Trickery and mockery are your wiles and devices. You plot the death of your enemies and the enemies of your gods, while at the same time speak words of purity and holiness.
Yes, you are a deceptive snake, a venomous viper, who I will bring to naught. Your time of exploitation is quickly coming to an end. Damascus will be destroyed and the world will know your true intentions were evil; that the father of all lies, the prince of the air, rules over Syria and guides the lives and hearts of the rulers.
Yes, death, much death and destruction is coming as quick and sudden as a thief in the night with a dagger and vile filled with the venom of wrath.
Turn to me people of Syria, for the Death Angel of Egypt is coming and only the blood of Jesus Christ can spare your life on earth and eternal soul from my judgment.
Jesus Christ loves the people of Syria, so turn to me while there still is time. I, the Lord God Jesus Christ am returning to judge the nations: the Jews, the Arabs, the Moslems, the Christians; and only those who trust in me with lives empowered by the Holy Ghost will escape my wrath."
Isaiah 17:1-3 "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."
History of Syria:
In about 800 B.C., the Assyrian Empire rose to power and for nearly two centuries they administered Syria and Lebanon. In 612 B.C., it fell to Babylonia, land of the famous hanging gardens. Persia conquered Babylonia and took control of the Middle East.
The defeat of Darius the Mede by Alexander the Great of Macedonia was the beginning of Western rule over Syria. After Alexander's death, Greater Syria was divided into two empires. One empire was under Ptolemy and the other under Seleucus. From 64 B.C. to 395 A.D., most of Syria was brought under control by the Romans. The Byzantine Empire, a mixture of Greek culture and Christianity began with the death of Theodosius, when Rome was divided between East and West.
After the death of Muhammad, Arab fighters began to spread Islam. Under Caliph Omar Bin Al Khattab, Syria was taken over from the Byzantines. In 636, the Muslims fought against the Byzantines in the battle of Yarmuk. Muawiya, former governor of Syria, fought with Caliph Ali Bin Abi Talib, Muawiya took over in 661 when Caliph Ali was assassinated and made Damascus capital of the Umayyad territory.
In 1516, Sultan Selim I, conquered Syria. He proclaimed himself as the Caliph. Under his successor, Suleyman the Magnificent, the Tekkiye Mosque complex was built in Damascus. Under Ibrahim Pasha, Damascus became the centralized government of Syria. after Ibrahim Pasha captured Damascus in 1832.
A secret Anglo-French pact of 1916 put Syria in the French zone of influence. The League of Nations gave France a mandate over Syria after World War I. In 1930, France recognized Syria as an independent republic but still subject to the mandate. The French high commissioner suspended the Syrian constitution in 1939 following nationalist demonstrations. In 1941, British and Free French forces invaded Syria to eliminate Vichy control. Syria was an Allied base during the rest of World War II.
Nationalist demonstrations turned violent in 1945. In 1958, Syria united with Egypt to form the United Arab Republic, with Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt as president. Syria became independent again on September 29, 1961.
In the Arab-Israeli War in 1967, Syria lost the Golan Heights to Israel. In November 1970, Hafiz al-Assad, a member of the Socialist Ba'th Party, the minority Alawite sect, seized power in a bloodless coup.
Syria joined Egypt attacking Israel in October 1973 in the fourth Arab-Israeli War, but was pushed back and lost more land. In the settlement worked out by U.S. secretary of state Henry A. Kissinger in 1974, the Syrians recovered all the territory it had lost in the war.
In 1990, President Hafiz al-Assad ruled out any possibility of legalizing opposition political parties. In December 1991, voters approved a fourth term for Assad, giving him 99.98% of the vote.
In the 1990s, there was a lack of progress in Israeli-Syrian relations. In December 1999, Israeli-Syrian peace talks resumed, but soon broke down over discussions about the Golan Heights.
On June 10, 2000, President Hafiz al-Assad died. His son, Bashar al-Assad, succeeded him.
In May 2002, the United States included Syria in a list of states that make-up an "axis of evil". President Assad appointed Mohammed Naji al-Otari as prime minister in September 2003.
In September 2004, a UN Security Council resolution asked Syria to withdraw its remaining troops from Lebanon. Syria moved abourt 1,000 troops from the vicinity of Beirut to eastern Lebanon
On February 14, 2005, Lebanon's former prime minister Rafik Hariri was killed by a car bomb. Many implicated Syria in his death. Hariri opposed Syrian involvement in Lebanon. Lebanese protests called for Syria's withdrawal, a demand backed by the U.S., European Union (EU), and the United Nations (UN).
After protests by Sunni Muslim, Christian, and Druze parties, pro-Syrian prime minister Omar Karami resigned. Hezbollah sponsored a pro-Syrian rally on March 8. The demonstrations led to the reappointment of Karami as prime minister on March 9. An anti-Syrian protest followed. In April, Omar Karami resigned a second time. Lebanon's new prime minister, Najib Mikati, announced that new elections would be held. By the end of April, Syria withdrew all of its troops.
On October 20, 2005, the UN released a report on Hariri's slaying, concluding that the assassination was organized by Syrian and Lebanese intelligence officials, including Asef Shawkat, Syria's military intelligence chief.
In July 2006, during the Hezbollah-Israeli conflict in Lebanon, Syria was suspected of aiding Hezbollah. In May 2007 Bashar al-Assad was elected to his second term as president.
Israeli jets fired on targets deep inside Syria in September 2007. American and Israeli intelligence analysts said Israel attacked a partially built nuclear reactor. Syria denied that any such facilities exist and protested to the U.N.
In February 2008, a top Hezbollah military commander, Imad Mugniyah, was killed in a car bombing in Damascus, Syria. Mugniyah is thought to have orchestrated a series of bombings and kidnappings, and he was one of America's most wanted men with a price tag of $25 million on his head. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who accused Israel of arranging the assassination, called for an "open war" against Israel.
In September 2008, a bomb made of more than 400 pounds of explosives exploded near a Shiite shrine in Damascus. Terrorism was suspected, but no one claimed responsibility.
In October 2008, American Special Operations Forces launched an air attack into Syria, killing a leader of al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia near the Iraqi border. U.S. officials say the militant, Abu Ghadiya, smuggled weapons, money, and fighters into Iraq from Syria. The Syrian government accused the Americans of committing a war crime, saying that eight civilians, including a woman and three children, were killed in the attack.
The anti-government protest movement that swept through the Middle East in early 2011 also engulfed Syria. In mid-March, the arrests of school-age children for painting anti-government graffiti in the town of Dara'a sparked outrage. Demonstrations broke out throughout the country, with protesters calling for the release of political prisoners, an end to corruption, and broader civil rights. On March 25, the government reneged on a promise not to use force against the protesters, opening fire on demonstrators.
On March 29, 2011, President Assad's cabinet resigned. Massive protests and the crackdown by police continued. As the opposition movement gained strength, President Assad tried to balance suppression and compromise, offering some reform while forbidding protests "under any banner whatsoever." Assad deployed troops to several cities.
Assad intensified attacks on protesters in early August 2011, unleashing tanks, armored vehicles, and snipers on the city of Hama. The assaults prompted widespread international condemnation. The UN released a report accusing Syria of crimes against humanity.
In October 2011, the opposition formed the Syrian National Council with the goal of ousting Assad. Turkey endorsed the council and allowed members of the Free Syrian Army to set up camp within its borders. On November 2, Assad agreed to a deal brokered by the Arab League to stop killing civilians, begin talks with the opposition, and withdraw forces from the streets. However, Assad increased attacks. In response, the Arab League suspended Syria's membership and imposed sanctions on Syria.
The UN warned in December 2011 that Syria was on the brink of civil war. "The Syrian authorities' continual ruthless repression, if not stopped now, can drive the country into a full-fledged civil war," said Navi Pillay, the UN commissioner for human rights.
In February 2012, Russia and China blocked an effort by the United Nations Security Council to end violence in Syria. Both countries vetoed the resolution just hours after the Syrian military launched an assault on the city of Homs. On February 6, the U.S. closed its embassy and withdrew its staff from Syria. Later in February, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev awarded Syrian writer and poet Ali Ukla Ursan a Pushkin Medal. Ursan had publicly expressed anti-Semitic opinions and praised the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S.
In late February 2012, a UN panel accused the government of ordering "gross human rights violations" against civilians. The panel said the atrocities qualified as crimes against humanity. On February 26, a referendum on a new constitution passed. Outside observers called the referendum a farce.
On March 21, 2012, the UN Security Council issued a presidential statement backing a plan outlined by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan which called on the government to stop killing civilians, engage in talks with the opposition, withdraw forces from the streets, and begin a transition to a democratic, political system." Russia and China endorsed the document. Assad accepted the statement and agreed to a cease-fire.
In June 2012, many people were massacred near Hama. UN monitors abandoned their fact-finding mission after being attacked, and a UN official declared that Syria is in a state of civil war.
Assad's regime suffered a blow on July 18, 2012, when a bomb went off at a meeting of senior ministers and security officials at the country's national security headquarters in Damascus, killing the defense minister and Assad's brother-in-law.
In August 2012, Kofi Annan resigned as UN special envoy to Syria. Prime Minister Riyad Farid Hijab and at least two other ministers defected to Jordan on August 6, and announced that they would support the opposition.
In October 2012, the war in Syria was beginning to threaten the stability of other countries in the region. Militants from Hezbollah were reportedly starting to help Assad fight the rebels, and relations between Syria and Turkey deteriorated after a cross-border mortar attack from Syria killed five Turkish civilians. Turkey launched retaliatory attacks on targets in Syria.
In November 2012, Syria's opposition groups agreed to form a new governing body unifying rebel groups under one umbrella. The 50-person body, the Syrian National Initiative, replaced the Syrian National Council. Sheikh Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib was named the group's leader.
On November 11, 2012, stray mortar fire from Syrian artillery units hit inside Israel. Israel responded by firing warning shots into Syria. The next day, a mortar shell from Syria hit near an army post in the Golan Heights. Israel responded by firing tank shells at Syrian artillery units.
In March 2013, the opposition coalition elected Ghassan Hitto as prime minister of the Syrian National Coalition. Many members of the coalition opposed the election of Hitto, and Sheikh Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib resigned as president of the coalition.
April 2013, Brig. Gen. Itai Baron, Israel's highest ranking intelligence analyst, said he had evidence that Assad used chemical weapons on rebels.
In early May 2013, Israel ordered two airstrikes on Damascus. The first was on May 3 and the second two days later. Israeli officials maintained the strikes focused on military warehouses in an effort to prevent Hezbollah from getting weapons. The Syrian government condemned the air assault.
On May 25, 2013, Hezbollah and Syrian forces bombed Al-Qusayr, Homs. The following day, multiple rockets hit Beirut. On May 27, the ban against arming Syrian rebels was lifted by the European Union.
In June 2013, the U.S. determined that Assad used chemical agents and that it would begin supplying arms and ammunition to the rebels.
Ghassan Hitto stepped down as the prime minister of the opposition Syrian National Coalition in July 2013. His resignation came days after Amad Jarba was elected president of the coalition.
On August 21, 2013, opposition groups accused the government of attacking rebel areas in Zamalka, Ain Tarma, and Erbeen with chemical weapons. The government denied it launched a chemical attack. President Barack Obama said on August 27 that he was considering a limited strike in Syria. French president François Hollande and British prime minister David Cameron backed Obama's plan. On August 29, the British parliament voted down Cameron's request for authorization to attack Syria.
On August 31, 2013, the Obama administration released an intelligence summary claiming evidence that the Syrian government ordered a chemical attack and President Obama said he would seek congressional approval for military action. On September 4, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to authorize the use of military force in Syria.
In September 2013, the opposition coalition elected Ahmad Saleh Touma as interim prime minister. On September 9, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry suggested that a strike on Syria could be averted if President Bashar al-Assad agreed to hand over all chemical weapons. Russia and the U.S. reached an agreement that Syria must provide an inventory of its chemicals weapons or destroy them. On September 16, the United Nations confirmed in a report that the chemical agent sarin was used near Damascus.
In late September 2013, eleven rebel groups announced they would no longer recognize the Syrian National Coalition opting to work together to establish Sharia law in Syria. UN officials arrived in Syria in early October and began destroying equipment used to produce chemical weapons.
In December 2013, the U.S. and Britain suspended non-lethal aid to the opposition after the Islamic Front confiscated equipment provided to rebels.
In early January 2014, the Nusra Front joined with other rebels groups to drive the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from several cities. ISIS was accused of executing leaders of the Free Syrian Army and Ahrar al-Sham.
On January 22, 2014, in Switzerland, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon invited Iran to negotiations, but reneged when Iran refused to accept terms of the talks requiring Assad to step down and the formation of a transition government. In February, a second round of talks opened in Geneva, but ended without making any progress.
In March 2014, government troops, with the help of Hezbollah, recaptured the city of Yabroud. It was the last rebel stronghold in the area.
On June 3, 2014, Assad was re-elected to a third term. Votes were only cast in areas under government control. The opposition boycotted the election. In late June, Syria handed over the last of its declared chemical weapons.
In August 2014, Syrian rebels attacked Arsal. The rebels withdrew after being challenged by the military, but took 30 soldiers and police captive.
In September 2014, President Barack Obama authorized airstrikes against ISIS and would work with allies to retake areas under ISIS control. Congress approved Obama's request to fund and train rebel groups in Syria. Over 130,000 mostly Kurdish refugees flooded into Turkey as ISIS militants seized large swaths of territory and unleashed attacks on the population.
© 2003 World Ministries International
The following are some Scriptures that deal with end-time events. All prophecies concerning the nations are leading up to fulfillment of end-time judgments (events).
Ezekiel chapters 38 & 39
Zechariah 13: 8-9
Zechariah 14: 1-16
Daniel chapters 2, 4, 7-12
Matthew 24: 1-51
Mark 13: 1-37
Luke 21: 6-38
The book of Revelation
The book of Joel
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