Between January 20th – 21st, Israel conducted several airstrikes on Iranian and Hezbollah (Lebanese terror group) sites in Syria, around Damascus. This is nothing new but is an ongoing effort on Israel’s part to maintain security as they strive to put a stop to Iranian entrenchment in Syria,“Israel has accused Iran of seeking to establish a military presence in Syria that could threaten Israeli security and attempting to transfer advanced weaponry to the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon”.
The Israeli military said early Monday it was carrying out strikes against Iran’s Qud’s Forces, in a rare statement on its military activities in Syria.
“The Israeli missiles managed to destroy weapons depots and military posts of the Iranians and the Lebanese Hezbollah in the vicinity of Damascus International Airport and the area of Al-Kiswah and Jamraya,” the Britain-based Observatory for Human Rights said. (The Times of Israel; Israeli strikes said to destroy Iranian, Hezbollah sites near Damascus)
The strikes not only served their purpose to destroy Iranian weapons storehouses, intelligence facilities, and defense air systems but it was also retaliation against an Iranian missile fired at Mt. Hermon ski resort which was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome system. Although Israel in my opinion is justified in their actions, Syria and Iran (unsurprisingly) responded aggressively.
Following the strikes which Israel believes Syria was planning for months, Iranian air chief Aziz Nasirzadeh stated they’re prepared and ready to engage Israel in a war to destroy them,
“We’re ready for the decisive war that will bring about Israel’s disappearance from the earth. Our young airmen are prepared for the day when Israel will be destroyed,” Brig. Gen. Aziz Nasirzadeh said, according to an Iranian news site. (The Times of Israel; Iranian air chief: ‘We’re ready for the decisive war that will destroy Israel’)
Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, also gave his own remarks concerning Iran’s actions stating, “Anyone who tries to hurt us, we will hurt them.” Also adding “anyone who threatens to destroy us will have to bear the responsibility” for that threat. If this back and forth wasn’t enough, days later, Syria’s envoy to the UN Bashar Jaafari like Iran also threatened Israel for their airstrikes in Syria and warned that if Israel doesn’t stop the strikes in Syria, they “would retaliate with an attack on Ben Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv”.
Syrian state media Sana quoted Jaafari as saying that if the UN Security Council didn’t adopt measures stop Israel, “Syria would practice its legitimate right of self-defense and respond to the Israeli aggression on Damascus International Airport in the same way on Tel Aviv airport.” (The Times of Israel; Syria’s UN envoy threatens retaliatory attack on Ben Gurion Airport)
Whether Syria does in fact have the capability to strike Israel’s airport could be questioned but any attempt to do so would be seen as major escalation by Israel in this continued back and forth struggle.
As stated in the beginning of the article, this back and forth of words, threats, and missile strikes by Israel and Iran and its proxies isn’t anything new. In fact it’s relatively “normal” if you’re paying attention to the events as they unfold in the middle east. However, the importance of these events is what the bible tells us they will eventually lead to.
These threats wont stay threats forever but will eventually lead to action by both sides. Isaiah 17 tells us that Damascus will one day cease from being a city and will be a ruinous heap (Isaiah 17:1). It will be Israel that will carry this out either in an act of retaliation or to prevent an attack that may be perpetrated against Israel (Isaiah 17:9, 14).
“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.” (Zechariah 12:2-3)
Likewise this may be one of many steps that lead to the eventual fulfillment of Zechariah 12 and the war of Ezekiel 38-39. For us believers, as we see these events play out in the middle east, it’s a sign to show us how close we are to our promised redemption but also acts as a warning to those who haven’t placed their faith in God’s free gift of salvation. Now more than ever we need to redeem the time and go about or father’s business.
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