Report: Russia Offered Assad Asylum
Rapture Forum Staff: Chris
In a growing sign that things are getting worse in Syria for President Bashar Assad, there is a report circulating that the Russians have offered Assad and his family asylum from the current crisis engulfing Syria. With Arab League monitors moving into Syria to assess the situation, pressure is being placed on Assad to stop his mass killings and oppression of his political foes. The Israel Nation News reports:
Russia has offered Syrian President Bashar al-Assad political asylum, a report in the Arab media said Sunday. The London-based Arabic daily al-Sharq al-Awsat said that the offer extends to Assad and his family. The government would then be run by Assad's vice-president, Farouk ash-Shara, for a transition period, until new elections are held.
Moscow presented the offer to ash-Shara in a meeting several weeks ago, the report said. A source in Russia said that appointing ash-Shara to run the government would immediately reduce tensions, because he was a Sunni Muslim, the same sect as the majority of Syrians, as opposed to an Alawite, the sect Assad belongs to.
In the past the Russians have labeled Syria as their most important ally in the Middle East region. One of these reasons is that the Russians desire a "warm water" port in the Mediterranean Sea for a naval base. Syria is a prime candidate and it is already known that the Russians and Syrians have dredged the port to make way for Russia's larger navy ships. In fact, with the recent tensions escalating and the continued killings by the Assad regime Russia right now has a significant naval force off the coast of Syria.
Syria is important for students of Bible prophecy in that Damascus is specifically mentioned in the Isaiah 17 prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled. Further, Syria harbors alot of the terrorist masterminds in the Damascus area and thus has made it a prime target for the Israelis should Hezbollah strike Israel in the future. In fact, the Israelis have already promised to destroy Damascus should there be a conflict from Syria and the Hezbollah terrorists that are currently on the border area of Israel.
The most recent reports show that the very same day that the Arab League monitors arrived to start their mission, that numerous people were killed in the cities where fighting between Assad's forces and the protesters have taken place. However, today's news reports indicate that Assad has currently moved his troops and tanks out of Homs in order to "impress" the Arab League monitors. This is after it was reported that one of the Arab League monitors was injured by the pro-Assad forces. The Israel National News outlet reports:
Syrian tanks and infantry withdrew from the city of Homs on Tuesday as Arab League observers prepared to visit the city. Homs, Syria's third largest city, has a population of 800,000 and is at the epicenter of the revolt against Assad. It is about 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of the capital, Damascus. Many refer to Homs as the "Capital of the Revolution."
YouTube videos showed huge crowds pouring onto the streets shortly after the pullback, shouting the punishing crackdown of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad would not cow them. The pullback ahead of the delegation's visit is widely seen as perception management on the part of Assad, who only agreed to admit Arab League observers under extreme pressure.
Even though Arab League monitors have moved into Syria to access the situation and provide a way to cool down the situation, something tells me that somehow things may not cool down but instead possibly go downhill. This is because the Isaiah 17 prophecy has yet to be fulfilled. Something is bound to eventually happen that causes Damascus to cease to be a city in the future. I tend to see Assad getting desperate as calls and pressure for him to step down continue to mount on him. One of the classic moves by Islamic dictators in trying to reduce tension on their own personal problems is to attack Israel or somehow stir up the region. I tend to think Assad will miscalculate and eventually cause the Isaiah 17 prophecy to be fulfilled. After all that has happened to Egypt's Mubarack and Libya's Gaddafi, Assad knows that there is a distinct possibility that he could end up in the same situation. This is why I think he will eventually do something stupid that fulfills the scriptures as it concerns Damascus. Another alternative is that Assad is removed from office and the radical Islamists, especially influenced by Iran, take over and make the miscalculation themselves in attacking Israel.
With the way things are going right now, we may not have to wait long to find out how this plays out. Please pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for the Jewish people. Things are getting very interesting in the Middle East and as dictators come and go, instability and chaos are likely to increase. Stay tuned!