Syria

PROPHETIC SIGNIFICANCE:

The question is often asked, "Where is Syria in prophecy?" How significant was the surprise bombing by Israel of a secret nuclear development site in Syria in 2011? When will the Isaiah 17 prophecy of the utter destruction of Damascus, their capital, be fulfilled? Syria's capital, Damascus, is considered the oldest continually-inhabited city on Earth, but Isaiah predicted its sudden destruction in the distant future.

Psalm 83 may also describe a war between Israel and her neighbors that will have the support of Assyria (Including modern Syria), but this war is different from the even-greater future war of Gog and Magog (Russia with Iran and other major Islamic countries). One would expect that war to include Syria, but it is not mentioned, perhaps because it will have already been eliminated by then.

One possible scenario that would include all these factors would be an escalation of the current tensions between Israel and the Palestinians so that a regional war erupts. Russia and Iran would not be involved directly because the time is not yet right for the War of Gog and Magog, but Syria might take the lead in the regional war against Israel. If Israel were to suffer an attack from Syria by a weapon of mass destruction, they could respond with overwhelming force to utterly destroy Damascus.

Another possibility is that the current civil war in Syria could spiral out of control and Syria's own known weapons of mass destruction would be used against Damascus, rendering it uninhabitable.

Whatever happens to Syria could produce the temporary peace in the region that will exist a little later according to Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, when the War of Gog and Magog will begin.

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Current Events

Prophetic Significance of Syria

See also:
War of Gog and Magog
Middle East Conflict
Iran
Russia

Notice: Sources often remove their news links after a period of time. Some of them move older stories to a subscription-only section. Even if the story is no longer on line, our summary will still be available on this page.

Names translated from other languages may have different spelling, depending on the source. For example, Al Qaida may appear as al-Qaeda, etc.


See more recent articles: After Sept. 1, 2013


President Obama turns to Congress to OK strike against Syria

Aug. 31, 2013 - President Obama said about the Syrian chemical weapons attack. “This menace must be confronted.” However, he now says that Congress must approve a military strike before he will order it. Congress is scheduled to convene on Sept. 9th, and the debate will probably be intense.
Source: Fox
Kerry takes case for Syria strike to the public - Fox

Prophetic Significance of Syria


Obama says US has 'obligation' to act on Syria, cites intel findings

Aug. 30, 2013 - President Obama is determined to punish Syria for a chemical weapons attack last week even though members of congress are skeptical and normal allies abroad are unwilling to join the operation. He released an intelligence report showing "high confidence" that the Assad regime used chemical weapons against their own people.
The administration so far has failed to win over the U.N. Security Council, and British lawmakers on Thursday voted to reject any participation in a military strike.
Source: Fox
US government's assessment of Syria's use of chemical weapons - Fox
Kerry Makes Case for 'Limited Attack,' Says Regime Killed 1,429 - NewsMax
Syrian official: We expect attack at any moment - Times of Israel
Poll: Nearly 80 of Americans Say Congress Needs to OK an Attack - NewsMax



French president endorses Syria action, despite UK no vote

Aug. 30, 2013 - French President Francois Hollande told Le Monde reporters, “The chemical massacre of Damascus cannot and must not remain unpunished.” He has convened the French parliament to discuss the Syrian problem, but he is not required by French law to have their approval.

Meanwhile the British parliament voted yesterday not to take military action against Syria, and Italy and Germany have both said that they will not be involved militarily.

Source: Times of Israel

Washington Post Editors: President Obama should consult Congress before striking Syria

Aug. 29, ,2013 - The editors of the Washington Post agree that past military action by President Obama has been technically legal, but the current question about striking Syria should have approval from Congress.
Mr. Obama has consulted congressional leaders; but this is a far cry from the full-blown debate and vote that more than 100 members of the House have called for in a bipartisan letter to the president.
They say that the more Congress shares in the burden of decision-making, the more legitimate the ultimate decision will be.
Source: Editorial Board - Washington Post
Over 100 Members of Congress Sign Letter Demanding Answers on Syria Attack - NewsMax
Congress Challenges Obama's Authority to Attack Syria - NewsMax
World Opinion Turns Against Obama's Plan to Attack Syria - NewsMax

Military strikes on Syria 'as early as Thursday,' US officials say

Aug. 28, 2013 -The Defense Department is planning three days of missile strikes against Syrian targets, followed by an assessment of what to do next. Navy destroyers and submarines in the Mediterranean Sea could launch Tomahawk missiles that can strike exact targets.
Underscoring the urgency facing world leaders, British Prime Minister David Cameron called Parliament back from vacation and said it would vote on action Thursday, and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the U.S. military was "ready to go."
Source: ABC
Loose Lips on Syria - U.S. leaks tell Assad he can relax. The bombing will be brief and limited. - Wall Street Journal
Senior Syrian Official Warns: If U.S. Strikes Damascus, We’ll Set Tel Aviv ‘On Fire’ - The Blae

Russia and Iran Warn Against Intervention in Syria

Aug. 28, 2013 - Russian President Vladimir Putin called British Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday to try to convince him that the Syrian government did not use chemical weapons against its own citizens.
Alexander Lukashevich warned in a statement the same day that military intervention in Syria without a U.N. Security Council resolution would have “catastrophic consequences.”
Meanwhile, Iran's Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told U.N. officials, “The use of military means [against Syria] will have serious consequences not only for Syria but for the entire region,”
Source: TIME

Syria, Iran issue first explicit warning to Israel if US attacks

Aug. 27, 2013 - Khalaf Muftah, a senior Syrian official, warned that if his country is attacked, they will consider Israel as the source of the aggression and will retaliate against them.
“We have strategic weapons and we’re capable of responding,” he said. “Normally the strategic weapons are aimed at Israel.” ... His words were echoed by Iranian officials, ...[who] said that if such a strike were to take place, Israel would suffer.
Source: Times of Israel
As strike on Syria looms, Israelis scramble for gas masks - Times of Israel
Syria crisis: Russia and China step up warning over strike - BBC

U.N. inspectors visit site of alleged attack, after first being turned back by sniper fire

Aug. 26, 2013 - U.N. inspectors were allowed into Syria to inspect the site where it is thought that chemical weapons killed at least 100 people and injured hundreds of others. However, when a convoy of U.N. vehicles first tried to enter the area of the attack in eastern Damascus, they were attacked by gunfire. After returning to a government-held area, they regrouped and entered the scene of the disaster.
The United Nations did not say which side had fired the shots. It urged “all sides ... to extend their cooperation so that the team can safely carry out their important work.”
Three key U.S. allies have indicated that they would back military action against Syria, even without a United Nations mandate.
Source: Washington Post
Navy ready to launch first strike on Syria - Telegraph UK
Turkey would join coalition against Syria, says FM - YNet
Syrian official: Israel 'will come under fire' if Syria attacked - YNet
US Inches Toward Decision on Syria - Fox

Pentagon moves ships toward Syria as US weighs military options

Aug. 25, 2013 -
On Saturday, US military and national security advisers huddled with Obama at the White House to consider options for responding to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government last week.
While decisions are being made, the Pentagon moved part of its extensive Truman carrier strike group in the Mediterranean closer to Israel, where Tomahawk missiles could be fired into Syria.
Source: Jerusalem Post
Syria Warns U.S.: Don't Attack Us - "The basic repercussion would be a ball of fire that would burn not only Syria but the whole Middle East." - Israel National News

US Prepares for Possible Cruise Missile Attack on Syria

Aug. 24, 2013 - According to CBS News, the Pentagon is preparing for a cruise missile attack on Syrian government forces. but President Obama has not yet decided to take that option.
Despite the mounting indications that some sort of attack involving chemicals occurred in Syria last week, the "who" and the "what" are still far from clear. There has been no conclusive evidence . . . that internationally banned chemicals like sarin were used.
Source: NewsMax

World urges UN to investigate Syria chemical attack

Aug. 21, 2013 - Amid claims that the Syrian army used chemical weapons on civilians near Damascus today, officials in several countries are saying that the UN should send investigators to the site to determine what is really happening. Some sources say that the attack killed more than 1,100 people. Other accounts have estimated lesser numbers of fatalities.
Groups quoted activists as saying that regime forces fired “rockets with poisonous gas heads” in the attack.
Source: Times of Israel
White House Muted on Alleged Syrian Chemical Atrocity - Hundreds claimed dead, but experts don't expect change in Obama's cautious policy. - TIME
Syria 'chemical' attack: France says force may be needed - BBC
Obama: Syria Situation 'of Grave Concern' - NewsMax

Syria is a terrorist hotbed, IDF intel chief warns

July 24, 2013 - Aviv Kochavi, Israel's head of military research, warned that Islamist fighters are pouring into Syria, threatening to make the country an extensive global jihad center right on Israel’s doorstep. He said,
For example, Jabhat al-Nusra, or the Nusra Front, a radical group fighting Assad in Syria, announced that it had merged with al-Qaeda’s branch in Iraq in April.
Source: Times of Israel
Syria death toll now above 100,000, says UN chief Ban - BBC

Dempsey outlines Syria options, including deployment of ‘thousands’ of ground forces

July 23, 2013 - In a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, revealed five options for involvement in the Syrian civil war. They are:
- Training, advising and assisting the rebels
- Conducting limited strikes on "high-value regime" military targets
- Establishing a no-fly zone to shoot down regeime aircraft
- Establishing "buffer zones" where thousands of U.S. troops could organize and train rebels
- Securing chemical weapons, and destroying portions of Syria's stockpile (also requiring thousands of U.S. troops)
Source: Fox

New front opens in Syria as rebels say al-Qaida attack means war

July 12, 2013 - The civil war in Syria is complicated by a division withn the rebel forces there. The tension was highlighted by the assassination of one of the top commanders of the Free Syrian Army by al-Qaida-linked militants. The victim was Kamal Hamami, whose vision was a future, democratic Syria.
Syrian rebels said on Friday the assassination of one of their top commanders by al-Qaida-linked militants was tantamount to a declaration of war, opening a new front for the Western-backed fighters struggling against President Bashar Assad's forces.
Source: Jerusalem Post
Meeting al-Qaeda in Syria - Zeina Khodr - Al Jazeera

Syria naval base blast points to Israeli raid

July 9, 2013 - An attack on the Syrian naval base near the port of Latakia destroyed advanced Russian anti-ship missiles. A spokesman for the rebel forces there said that the attack must have been done by a foreign force - presumably Israel - "either by air raid or long-range missiles fired from boats in the Mediterranean,"
Israel has not confirmed or denied involvement. The Syrian government has not commented on the incident, beyond a state television report noting a "series of explosions" at the site.
The Israelis have have conducted raids at least three times this year to prevent the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah forces in Lebanon.
Source: Reuters

Syrian Islamists express doubts about democracy after Morsi ouster

July 7, 2013 - The death toll in Syria's two-year civil war has passed the 100,000 mark. Radical Islamist groups, some of them linked to al-Qaida, have become more prominent in the struggle to oust President Bashar Assad. Their group issued a statement that said,
"(We) always knew that our rights can only be regained by force and that is why we have chosen the ammunition box instead of the ballot box."
The Egyptian army's overthrow of President Morsi and the negative impact on the Muslim Brotherhood there could cause a major drop in the flow of weasons and cash to the Syrian opposition.
Source: Jerusalem Post

US, Russia to hold Syria talks in Geneva next week

Jun. 21, 2013 -
An international peace conference looking to end the war in Syria has been in the works for several months but likely won't take place before August, after G8 leaders disagreed with Russia over the nature of a transitional government.
In an effort to keep the peace effort on track, Senior U.S. officials will meet next week in Geneva with their Russian counterparts and an international mediator. At this point the U.S. has agreed to help the mainly Sunni rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad's government, but Russia is providing weapons to help Assad.
Source: Fox

G8 leaders 'close' to agreement on Syria

Jun. 18, 2013 - The G8 summit is expected to produce a joint statement about the Syrian conflict today.
Russia and the US are backing opposite sides in the conflict, but officials say the statement could soon be agreed... This could include the proposed peace conference in Geneva, and more access for deliveries of humanitarian aid.
Source: BBC
Obama and Putin admit to differences on Syria, but share 'united' goal of ending violence - Haaretz
Reports in Syria: Israel attacked another airport - YNet News
Middle East state reportedly sends rebels antitank missiles - Times of Israel
Syrian civil war 'dress rehearsal' for world war? - Israel Today

Obama Plans to Arm Syrian Rebels

Jun. 14, 2014 - White House officials say that an intelligence report proves that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons, including deadly Sarin gas, against its own people.
On Thursday, U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said President Obama decided to authorize direct military support to the opposition. U.S. officials later acknowledged this support would include weapons and ammunition.
Syria says that the information is not true, and Russia says that the U.S. evidence "does not look convincing." British Foreign Secretary William Hague voiced agreement with the U.S. assessment.
Source: Voice of America
Judith Miller: Obama Shifts Spotlight Away from NSA with No Clear Plan for Syria Pullitzer Prize-winner - NewsMAX
http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/bill-clinton-splits-with-obama-on-syria-92683.html?hp=t1_3 - Politico
Syrian rebels pledge loyalty to al-Qaeda - USA Today

Battle rages over Golan Heights border crossing

Jun. 6, 2013 - Heavy fighting was reported at the Quneitra border crossing in the Golan Heights, which connects Syria with Israel.
The crossing was captured by the rebels in the early morning, according to a rebel spokesman, who said his organization inflicted “heavy losses” on government troops holding the crossing and were able to destroy four tanks.
Israel registered a complaint to the UN that Syria had violated the ceasefire agreement between the two countries by using tanks and armored personnel carriers in the de-militarized zone.
Source: Times of Israel
Syria conflict: Army 'retakes Golan Heights crossing' - BBC
Israeli tanks move to Golan Heights' border - CNN

PM indicated to Putin: ‘We’ll destroy your missiles if you deliver them to Assad’

June 1, 2013 - Earlier this month Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Russia and met with President Vladimir Putin.
Netanyahu called on Putin to cancel Russia’s transfer of the sophisticated anti-aircraft system to Syrian President Bashar Assad, and indicated that, should the delivery go ahead, Israel would strike the missiles before they became operational.
So far the weapons have not been delivered even though Syrian President Assad had claimed to have received some of them.
Source: Times of Israel

Assad: First Russian missile shipment now in Syria

May 30, 2013 - Syrian President Bashar Assad told a Lebanese TV channel,
"Syria has received the first shipment of Russian anti-aircraft S-300 rockets. . .All our agreements with Russia will be implemented and parts of them have already been implemented."
Israel's defense chief, Moshe Yaalon, has already said that Israel was prepared to stop the delivery. The delivery could also have a negative effect on efforts to hold U.N.-sponsored talks with Syria's warring sides.
Source: CBS
What Will Israel Do? - Ron's Blog
No Russian air defense missiles in Syrian hands, say US officials - Fox
Fighting in Syria, Hezbollah charts risky course - Yahoo
Israel says will act to prevent S-300 missile systems from becoming operational - Haaretz
Syria promises 'immediate retaliation' if Israel strikes again - Haaretz
U.S.: We Support Israel’s Ability to Defend Itself - Israel National News

Israel Strongly Warns Russia Against Giving Syria Missiles

May 29, 2013 - Russia has promised to provide Syria with their advanced S-300 long-range air defense missile systems. They would not say whether or not they have already sent some of the weapons to Israel, but Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon says they have not yet sent any of them.
"And I hope that they will not be sent," he said. But "if God forbid they do reach Syria, we will know what to do."
His comments are being interpreted as a rare implied threat to Russia. He fears that possession of the S-300s would upset the balance of power in the region. It is also conceivable that the weapons could be controlled by Hezbollah.
Source: NewsMax
Report: Russia Cancels S-300 Deal with Syria - Israel National News
Disputes over arms for Syria cloud U.S.-Russian peace drive - Yahoo

McCain Makes Secret Trip to Syria to Visit Rebels!

May 28, 2013 - Taking a break from meetings in Paris to establish an international peace conference, Senator John McCain slipped into Syria to meet with rebel forces there.
The rebels asked for “heavy weapons, a no-fly zone, and airstrikes on the Syrian regime and the forces of Hezbollah.
Source: NewsMax
Israel Fear for Natural Gas Fields as Syria Set to Receive Russian Missiles - Prophecy Central's Gog/Magog Section

Officials warn of Syria conflict quickly spiraling out of control

May 23, 2013 -
IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz toured the Golan near the border with Syria Tuesday, and told lawmakers that tensions in the north could quickly devolve into war.
Earlier in the day Gantz told another group that the situation with Syria is unstable. He said Israel had to make decisions every day, "that could lead us to a sudden and uncontrollable deterioration.”

Meanwhile Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan said that major Israeli cities could be pounded by rockets at any time. He said that the question is, "when it’ll happen,”

Source: Times of Israel
Senate: US must back Israel in case of Iran strike - The Democratic-led Senate voted 99-0 in favor of a resolution that the United States should support Israel if it were forced to defend itself from an Iranian nuclear threat. - Jerusalem Post
Damascus Countdown: Syria is “breaking up,” reports NYT. Ominous trend lines. - Joel Rosenberg
Does Bible Prophecy Fortell the Destruction of Damascus? - Older post from Joel Rosenberg

Hezbollah steps up fighting in Syria; Israel threatens more strikes

May 20, 2013 - Hezbollah from Lebanon attacked Qusair, a Syrian town, and was met with Syrian warplanes that killed at least 52 people.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country was “preparing for every scenario” in Syria and held out the prospect of more Israeli strikes inside Syria to stop Hezbollah and other opponents of Israel getting advanced weapons.
Source: Japan Today
Ed. note: Sometimes we have to use foreign news sources. Because of the scandals in Washington the U.S. media is ignoring important Middle East news.
Report: Syria has missile batteries aimed at Tel Aviv - Jerusalem Post

Palestinians, Syrians form units to fight for Golan

May 13, 2013 - The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Syrian terrorist group, says they are forming combat units to try to recapture the Golan Heights, and then liberate all areas that have been taken by Israel during its many wars. Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hezbollah said that they would support the group's operations.
Source: Jerusalem Post

Observatory: Syrian war death toll rises to 82,000

May 12, 2013 - The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced that At least 82,000 people have been killed and 12,500 others are missing after two years of civil war in Syria. Most of the casualties were government troops and militia loyal to President Bashar Assad.
Source: Jerusalem Post
Outrage at Syrian rebel shown 'eating soldier's heart' - BBC

Israel to Russia: Don't Give Syria S-300 Missiles

May 9, 2013 - Israeli security officials say that Israel has asked Russia to cancel the sale of S-300 anti-aircraft systems to Syria.
Israel aircraft evaded Syrian air defenses twice in the past week to strike weapons said to be headed to Hezbollah. . . Officials said the aim was to deprive Hezbollah of weapons that could someday be used against Israel.
Source: ABC
Game-changing Russian missiles 'already in Syria' - WND

Report: Syria to permit Palestinians to attack from Golan

May 7, 2013 - According to the Syrian daily Al Watan Syria will respond to recent Israeli air strikes by allowing Palestinian resistance factions to attack Israel across the border of the Golan Heights.
According to the report, the initiative was due to be discussed in upcoming meetings between Syria and Palestinian faction leaders, said Khalid Abd al-Majid, secretary- general of the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front.
Source: Jerusalem Post

Syria: We'll 'Choose the Moment' to Hit Back

May 6, 2013 - In Damascus the Syrian information minister Omran al-Zoubi told a press conference,
"Syria will respond to the Israeli aggression and will choose the moment to do so... We will not accept to be humiliated... We are all in a state of anger. We are abused by this attack."
Source: Israel National News
Israel to Assad: Airstrikes Did Not Aim to Help Syria Rebelsw - NewsMax

'Israel hit Syria weapons transfer again'

May 5, 2013 - For the second time in two days Israel conducted an air strike to destroy Iranian Fateh-110 missiles that were in transit from Iran to Hezbollah. The attack shook Damascus with multiple explosions.
The target of Sunday's attack, according to Syrian media, was the same Jamraya military research center which was hit by Israel in January. Jamraya, on the northern approaches to Damascus, is just 15 km (10 miles) from the Lebanese border.
Source: Jerusalem Post
Syria: Israel strikes are a declaration of war - Jerusalem Post

Israeli Strike on Syria Targeted Weapons Shipment

May 4, 2013 - For the second time this year the Israeli Air Force destroyed weapons inside Syria. The weapons were to be dellivered to Hezbollah forces in Lebanon. U.S. officials confirmed the attack and said that the strike was against a warehouse.
The officials said the attack took place early Friday and was aimed at sophisticated "game-changing" weapons, but not chemical arms. One official said the target was a shipment of advanced, long-range ground-to-ground missiles.
Meanwhile, President Obama says he does not forsee US ground troops in Syria.
Source: NewsMax

Obama hints at potential military action in Syria

May 1, 2013 - News reports say that Hezbollah may enter the fray in Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad.
U.S. President Barack Obama signaled Tuesday he would consider U.S. military action against Syria if "hard, effective evidence" is found to bolster intelligence that chemical weapons have been used in the two-year-old civil war.
The U.S. might start by providing weapons and ammunition for the Syrian rebels.
Source: CBC

Republicans urge Obama to enforce Syria 'red line,' oppose deploying troops

Apr. 29, 2013 - On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Arizona Sen. John McCain called for President Obama to take action against Syria since it has apparently crossed the "red line" of using chemical weapons on its citizens twice in March.
He and fellow Hill lawmakers fear the chemical weapons could be more dangerous in the hands of U.S. enemies or those who might overthrow Assad. And he joined in calls for the United States to be part of an international force to safeguard the weapons.
McCain and other lawmakers interviewed on the Sunday programs said that we should definitely not send troops into Syria.

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham agreed that the U.S. should safeguard the Syrian weapons without sending in a ground force, but warned that if we do not act soon, "The next bomb that goes off in America may not have nails and glass."

Source: Fox
Israeli Prime Minister convenes security cabinet amid Syria concerns - Jerusalem Post

Israel wary quiet on Syrian front may soon end

Apr. 27, 2013 - On the Golan Heights in Israel, which has been the quietest of Israel's front lines for 40 years, there is renewed military activity. Rebels hold the Syrian village of Bir Ajam on the Syrian side. Stray mortar shells often land in Israeli territory. IDF forces there have built a new formidable wall along the border and have increased their readiness for battle. Gal Hirsch, a reserve Israeli brigadier general said,
“Syria became a place that we see as a big threat to Israel and that is why we started to work in the last two years on a strong obstacle, on our infrastructure, in order to make sure that we will be ready for the future. And the future is here already.”
Source: Times of Israel

'Action on Syria red line sends message to Iran'

Apr.26, 2013 - Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin said that a failure to act against Syria now that there is evidence they have crossed the US "red lines" by using chemical weapons will be seen as a sign of weakness to Iran.
The White House was cautious on Thursday, stating that intelligence assessments were not sufficient and "credible and corroborated facts that provide us with some degree of certainty will guide our decision-making.”
Source: Jerusalem Post

Syria has used chemical weapons, Israeli military says

Apr. 23, 2013 - Israeli Brig Gen Itai Brun told a security conference in Jerusalem that Syria has already been using chemical weapons against their own people.
"To the best of our professional understanding, the regime has made use of deadly chemical weapons against the rebels in a number of incidents in the past."
He said that sarin was the chemical, and photographs of victims show them foaming at the mouth and having other unspecified symptoms that would be caused by sarin.
Source: BBC
Report: Jordan allows Israel to use its airspace for Syria attack - YNet News

Israel ready to defend against Syrian WMDs

Apr. 19, 2013 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the BBC that Israel doesn't seek to interfere in the Syrian civil war, but it will defend itself if the need arises. He added,
"The main arms of concern to us are the arms that are already in Syria - these are anti-aircraft weapons, these are chemical weapons and other very, very dangerous weapons that could be game changers."
Source: Jerusalem Post

Chemical Weapons Used in Syria

Mar. 19, 2013 - Syrian state media reports that rebels have fired a chemical weapon in the province of Aleppo. Rebels denied the report, and claimed that the government used the weapon.
"We were hearing reports from early this morning about a regime attack on Khan al-Assal, and we believe they fired a Scud with chemical agents," a senior rebel and spokesman for the Higher Military Council in Aleppo, Qassim Saadeddine, told Reuters news agency.
Source: BBC\
Update 3/20/13 - Israeli Official: Chemical Weapons Used in Syria - NewsMax

Number of Syrian refugees has topped 1 million, UN agency says

Mar. 6, 2013 - The Syrian uprising that began in March of 2011 has now resulted in the death of approximately 70,000 people, and now the UN refugee agency says the total number of refugees has gone over the 1 million mark.
The announcement came as government troops and rebels fought street battles in Syria's strategic northern city of Raqqa. The Syrian military dispatched reinforcements in an attempt to push out opposition gunmen who now control most of the city, activists said.
Source: Fox

US pledges $60m and nonlethal aid to Syrian rebels

Feb. 28, 2013 - While in Rome for an international conference on Syria, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the US will assist the rebels who are fighting to oust President Bashar Assad. $60 million will be provided in addition to non-lethal aid, like food and medical supplies. The purpose of the aid is to...
... increase the pressure on Assad to step down and pave the way for a democratic transition ... noting that the aid was also intended to help the opposition govern newly liberated areas of Syria and blunt the influence of extremists.
Source: Times of Israel
Syria conflict: John Kerry extends US aid to rebels - BBC
Iraq Prime Minister Maliki: Syria War Could Spread Throughout Region - NewsMax

Kerry: US committed to helping Syrian rebels

Feb. 27. 2013 - An international meeting in Rome this week will discuss assistance to Syrian rebels who are trying to topple President Bashar Assad. Leaders of the resistance have said they might not attend, but US Secretary of State is urging them to come because the US is willing to help them.
"We are determined that the Syrian opposition is not going to be dangling in the wind wondering where the support is or if it’s coming," Kerry said. "And we are determined to change the calculation on the ground for President Assad."
Source: YNet

Syria conflict: Many dead in huge Damascus bombing

Feb. 22, 2013 - A massive car bomb killed at least 53 people and injured another 200 in Damascus. The explosion was near the headquarters of Syria's ruling Baath Party.
The Syrian foreign ministry blamed the bombing on "armed terrorist groups linked to al-Qaeda that receive financial and logistic help from abroad.
Source: BBC

Syria crisis: 'Missile strike levels Aleppo neighborhood'

Feb. 20, 2013 - The Syrian government fired a missile into the neighbourhood of Jabal Bedro in Aleppo. An AP picture shows the devastation and people searching through the debris of destroyed buildings.
Nearly 90,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in Jordan since the beginning of 2013, fleeing intensifying violence, Reuters reports
Source: Guardian UK
A look at major bombings in Syria since the country's uprising began in 2011 - Fox

'Turkish FM slams Israel for strikes, Syria for inaction'

Feb. 2, 2013 - Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters Syrian President Bashar Assad should have launched aircraft and used missiles to protect his country when Israel attacked earlier this week. He asked,"Why didn't Assad even throw a pebble when Israeli jets were flying over his palace and playing with the dignity of his country?" He also suggested that Assad's inaction was due to "a secret agreement" with Israel.
Source: Jerusalem Post

Report: IAF strike in Syria hit Iranian Guards

Feb. 1, 2013 - After about 48 hours the apparent truth about Israel's attact in Syria came to light through an Iraqi newspaper. It quoted a Western diplomatic source, that claimed the operation caused heavy casualties among special Iranian Guards stationed at the Syrian research facility.
The source also said that the base was heavily fortified and contained experts from Russia and at least three thousand Iranian Revolutionary Guards, who have been guarding the site for years. Many of these Iranian Guards suffered casualties.
Israel used F-16 aircraft to fire at least eight guided missiles at the facility.
Source: Jerusalem Post
Assad's fall imminent, says Israeli defense minister - Saudi Gazette

Hezbollah, Russia condemn Israeli airstrike inside Syria

Jan. 31, 2013 - There are conflicting reports about claims that Israel executed air strikes yesterday against a target on the border between Syria and Lebanon. First unoficial reports said the target was a convoy of anti-aircraft missiles on its way to Lebanon or a military facility involved in chemical weapons production.

Israel and the U.S. have made no official comment. Either scenario was a possibility, but Anthony Cordesman, a senior analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, warned that Syria may simply be blaming Israel for the loss of a facility that had fallen to rebels or been destroyed by other means. They questioned whether Israel would actually attack a site where chemical weapons were stored.

Hezbollah condemned the airstrike as “barbaric aggression.” They are supporters of the Syrian government.
The Associated Press reported. Russia, Syria’s chief patron, said the strike would constitute “unprovoked attacks on targets on the territory of a sovereign country, which blatantly violates the U.N. Charter and is unacceptable, no matter the motives to justify it.”
Source: Washington Post
Syria and Iran threaten to retaliate against Israel for air raid near Damascus - Fox
Iran threatens ‘grave consequences’ for Israel after Syria strike - Times of Israel
US official: Israel notified us about Syria attack - Times of Israel
Syria warns of 'surprise' response to Israeli strike - Jerusalem Post
Khamenei aide: Attack on Syria is an attack on Iran - Jerusalem Post

Egypt, Syria are falling apart – an Israeli nightmare unfolds

Jan. 29, 2013 - Israel may be on the brink of war with its neighbors. Egypt's defense minister Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has warned that the political crisis there may cause the new government to collapse.

Syria is "falling apart" according to Israeli Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel. Hezbollah forces are camping near Syria's chemical weapons site, ready to seize them. The prolonged civil war there may spill over into Israel at any time. Three Iron Dome anti-missile batteries were stationed over the weekend in northern Israel. Defense Minister Ehud Barak cut short an overseas family trip Saturday and flew home because of the tensions.

Israel is coming face to face with its worst fear: being hemmed in by a blazing ring of hopeless conflicts just across its borders: Syria and Lebanon in the north; Egypt in the west and south; and Jordan under threat.
Source: DEBKAfile
Update:
Israel Hits Target in Syria Border Area - NewsMax
Israeli jets reportedly attack convoy on Lebanon-Syria border - Times of Israel

Syrian rebels say they've captured strategic military base

Jan. 11, 2013 - Rebel fighters from various Islamic groups, including the jihadist al-Nusra Front, claim to have captured a military base in Idlib provinde. The base has been used by the government to bomb rebel camps.
Source: CNN
Winter Brings Misery to Syria Refugees - NY Times

Terrorist group fills power vacuum among Syria rebels

Jan. 10, 2013 - Nada Bakos, a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst, explains that the group Jabhat al-Nusra was recently designated by the U.S. State Department as a foreign terrorist organization with ties to al-Qaeda. It has about 5,000 fighters, and is considered the most effective force in the Syrian insurgency against Bashar al-Assad's government. It is popular with the people because of its charitable efforts to assist the people who feel abandoned by the government.

Bakos explains that if the organization continues to grow it will become very dangerous.

With time and opportunity, al-Nusra could not only add to regional instability in the Middle East, but also rekindle global jihad.

Source: Nada Bakos - CNN

Syria’s Assad is defiant in rare speech

Jan. 7, 2013 - Weary, but determined to continue his effort to crush the uprising against his rule, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad proposed a period of “transition,” in which a new government would be formed, a national pact would be drafted and a referendum would be held.
He put the onus of responsibility for the plan on Western powers, which he said must end their support for the opposition before the implementation of a cease-fire and the convening of a national conference to chart reforms.
Meanwhile the U.N. claims that at least 60,000 lives have been lost in the conflict, his army is losing ground, and his closest allies are concerned about the outcome of the struggle.
Source: Washington Post
Syria conflict: Iran backs Assad speech – live blog - The Guardian
'Russian ships gathering off Syria to deter West' - Jerusalem Post
Israel to build fence along Syrian border amid fears of violent spillover - CNN
Pope calls for end to Syria slaughter - ABC
US says Syria's Assad 'detached from reality' - Chanel 4 News

Analysis suggests more than 60,000 people have been killed in Syrian conflict

Jan. 3, 2012 - A new analysis by the United Nations says that at least 60,000 people have been killed in Syria's civil war. This number is a third more than the figure of 45,000 recently given by activists opposed to the regime of President Bashar Assad.
It comes as activists report that a Syrian warplane blasted a gas station near Damascus on Wednesday, killing and wounding dozens of people and igniting a huge fire.
Source: Fox

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Is Syrian Civil War A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? - Foreign Policy (FP)

Operation Orchard - Israeli strike against Syrian nuclear facilities, Sept. 6, 2007 - Wikipedia

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