Syria - Israels Northern Enemy
Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Bowing to international pressure, Syria complied with UN Security Council resolution 1559 and pulled its 30,000 soldiers out of Lebanon. While the US and UN praised the withdrawal as a victory for freedom and democracy, theyíre not cheering yet.

The Syrians still have 5,000 secret service personnel stationed in Lebanon, monitoring political, economic and military activity. Lebanon was the straw that broke the camelís back. First, Syria fell from grace with the US by sheltering Palestinian terror groups opposed to the Mideast peace process. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other radical groups are headquartered in Damascus. Thatís why Syria is high on the US State Departmentís list of countries sponsoring terrorism.

Then, Syria outraged America by allowing al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists to cross the border and join the insurgency in neighboring Iraq. With his back against the wall, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad chose to sacrifice Lebanon, a pawn in his political chess game. Assad knew that UN sanctions against Syria would make him even more unpopular among the people than he already is.

Assad is a member of the Moslem Alawite sect, which is just 7 percent of the population. Syria is over 80 percent Sunni Moslem and 9 percent Christian. Lebanonís economy is one good reason why Syria still has a presence in Lebanon. Syriaís annual per capita income amounts to just $1,000, whereas Lebanonís is $3,900. The lucrative Lebanese drug trade funneled tens of millions of dollars to the Syrian government that could not be provided by taxpayers in a moribund economy.

The Lebanese have never been a warlike nation. Their trade has always been banking and insurance, which is why they were known as the Switzerland of the Middle East. The Lebanese population is 60 percent Moslem and 40 percent Christian.

After losing the Golan Heights to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War and suffering defeat in the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Syria has maintained a low profile in the conflict with Israel. But Syria has overtly supported the Palestinians and the Islamic guerilla group Hizbollah in South Lebanon in their terrorist war against Israel. The principal role of Syriaís 5,000 agents in Lebanon is to keep this front line against Israel active. Although it has withdrawn its troops from Lebanon, it has by no means relinquished the goal of wiping Israel off the map. And even as Syria was withdrawing its troops, Moscow was promising to arm the Syrian military with new missiles. In a double sense, Israelís enemy comes from the north.

Israel has never initiated a war to conquer the Land promised to her by Godómodern Israeli governments have been too far removed from the Bible to even think this way. So all of Israelís territory was acquired during wars initiated by surrounding Arab countries. A look at the borders promised to Israel in Ezekiel 47:13-20 confirms that theyíve already been established in the east, west and south. Itís only the northern border that hasnít yet been set. And bearing in mind that Israel wins territory only when attacked, itís an educated guess that at some point Syria will attack Israel from the north, with the help of Russia. When this happens, Syria will lose territory to Israel, including Damascus, ceding to Israel the territory promised by God. The northern borders defined in Ezekiel 47 will be established. This will amount to a quarter of Syria and four-fifths of Lebanon. Thatís why Russiaís military pact with Syria is an apocalyptic step in that direction.

The Promised Land: Israelís northern territory includes large parts of Lebanon and Syria, according to Ezekiel 47:13-23. (Map by Profs. M. Avi-Yonah and Yohanan Aharoni.)

   Original article: Israel Today
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