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Burden of Damascus; Is this prophecy still to come?

Many in the world of prophecy believe the Bible speaks of a day that Damascus will be completely destroyed never to be inhabited again.  Here is the Scripture verse that points to this longstanding prophecy:

"The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap."  Isaiah 17:1

Damascus, Syria is one of the oldest cities in the world.  To date, this prophecy has never been fulfilled.  When will this prophecy finally come to pass?  

The Bible speaks of many future battles that the world will suffer either just before the start of the tribulation period or during.  Two wars that come to mind, that would likely include Syria, are the Battle of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38 & 39) and the war that will engulf the world described in Revelation chapter six (judgment seals 2-4; 1/4 of world will die).  It is highly conceivable that Syria will play a part in one of these wars.  One thing to consider, in both Biblical wars, Israel is seen coming out on the other side as a surviving nation.  Syria is a longstanding enemy of Israel that lives for the day when Israel will be wiped off the face of the map.  It would be difficult to believe, when either of these wars commences, that Syria and their Islamic allies would not take the opportunity to finally destroy Israel once and for all.

Back in November of 2007, I wrote an article (Article# 731) that outlined a military analysis of a likely outcome if Middle East war were to break out.  The analysis was researched and formulated by one of the foremost Washington insiders, Anthony Cordesman, who is the leading expert on the Middle East at the Center for Strategic & International Studies.  His findings suggest that most, if not all, of Israel's enemies would be destroyed leaving their cities uninhabitable.  Below is an outline of the report:

Some 16 million to 28 million Iranians dead within 21 days, and between 200,000 and 800,000 Israelis dead within the same time frame. The total of deaths beyond 21 days could rise very much higher, depending on civil defense and public health facilities, where Israel has a major advantage.

It is theoretically possible that the Israeli state, economy and organized society might just survive such an almost-mortal blow. Iran would not survive as an organized society. "Iranian recovery is not possible in the normal sense of the term," Cordesman notes.

The difference in the death tolls is largely because Israel is believed to have more nuclear weapons of very much higher yield (some of 1 megaton), and Israel is deploying the Arrow advanced anti-missile system in addition to its Patriot batteries. Fewer Iranian weapons would get through.

The difference in yield matters. The biggest bomb that Iran is expected to have is 100 kilotons, which can inflict third-degree burns on exposed flesh at 8 miles; Israel's 1-megaton bombs can inflict third-degree burns at 24 miles. Moreover, the radiation fallout from an airburst of such a 1-megaton bomb can kill unsheltered people at up to 80 miles within 18 hours as the radiation plume drifts. (Jordan, by the way, would suffer severe radiation damage from an Iranian strike on Tel Aviv.)

Cordesman assumes that Iran, with less than 30 nuclear warheads in the period after 2010, would aim for the main population centers of Tel Aviv and Haifa, while Israel would have more than 200 warheads and far better delivery systems, including cruise missiles launched from its 3 Dolphin-class submarines.

The assumption is that Israel would be going for Iran's nuclear development centers in Tehran, Natanz, Ardekan, Saghand, Gashin, Bushehr, Aral, Isfahan and Lashkar A'bad. Israel would also likely target the main population centers of Tehran, Tabriz, Qazvin, Isfahan, Shiraz, Yazd, Kerman, Qom, Ahwaz and Kermanshah. Cordesman points out that the city of Tehran, with a population of 15 million in its metropolitan area, is "a topographic basin with mountain reflector. Nearly ideal nuclear killing ground."

But it does not end there. Cordesman points out that Israel would need to keep a "reserve strike capability to ensure no other power can capitalize on Iranian strike." This means Israel would have to target "key Arab neighbors" - in particular Syria and Egypt.

Cordesman notes that Israel would have various options, including a limited nuclear strike on the region mainly inhabited by the Alawite minority from which come the ruling Assad dynasty. A full-scale Israeli attack on Syria would kill up to 18 million people within 21 days; Syrian recovery would not be possible. A Syrian attack with all its reputed chemical and biological warfare assets could kill up to 800,000 Israelis, but Israeli society would recover.

An Israeli attack on Egypt would likely strike at the main population centers of Cairo, Alexandria, Damietta, Port Said, Suez, Luxor and Aswan. Cordesman does not give a death toll here, but it would certainly be in the tens of millions. It would also destroy the Suez Canal and almost certainly destroy the Aswan Dam, sending monstrous floods down the Nile to sweep away the glowing rubble. It would mean the end of Egypt as a functioning society.  UPI

Based on this report, it is viable that Damascus would be one of the cities targeted for an Israeli nuclear strike.  Such a strike would completely destroy the city and render it uninhabitable for years to come.  

Could this analysis serve to be a precursor of what is to come?

Are you ready to meet the Lord?  If not, your time is running out!

Terry Malone

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