Aleppo Disaster and Evacuation

Destruction in Aleppo

Destruction in Aleppo


The Syrian city of Aleppo has been reduced to ruins and rubble in many parts:

December 17, 2016

An agreement was reached Saturday to resume the evacuation of Syria’s eastern Aleppo. The evacuation was suspended Friday due to demands from pro-government forces who wanted two villages — Foua and Kfarya — evacuated. Residents of the villages will be included in Saturday’s exodus, which has yet to begin.

The Syrian government suspended the evacuation Friday after blasts and gunfire were heard in Aleppo. Both rebels and government forces accused the other of breaking the fragile cease-fire agreement.

U.N. refugee agency commissioner Filippo Grandi warned Saturday that the violence in Aleppo could spread to other areas if the war in Syria isn’t immediately brought to a halt. …

Syria’s government said the rebels broke the agreement by trying to smuggle heavy weapons and hostages out of Aleppo. However, the rebels accused the government of suspending the evacuation as a way to pressure them into releasing civilians from Foua and Kfarya, the two government-held Shi’ite villages under siege by the rebels.

The government said the evacuations in the villages had to coincide with those in eastern Aleppo, but the rebels had said the two are unrelated. …

The conflict in Syria, which began nearly six years ago as a protest against the government, has so far killed more than 310,000 people and forced millions of people to flee their homes.

Kerry said the United States is going to work to save lives and continue pushing all parties in Syria toward a resolution and allow full access by humanitarian groups throughout all of Syria.

U.S. President Barack Obama has denounced the “horror” in Aleppo and warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad he cannot “slaughter his way to legitimacy.”

To a degree, the US sadly contributed to this by supporting Syrian rebels, and not following through after chemical weapons were used (see Barack Obama softening ‘red line’ about Syrian chemical use? and Syrian rebels feel abandoned by the West as Russian military actions affect them). Some time back, I also wrote the following post Obama Administration considered to be a facilitator of ‘Christian’ persecution.

The conflict in Syria has been a disaster for Syrians, as well as fall-out from the refugee situation it has spawned. The Los Angeles Times put out the following report:

The slow, painful fall of Aleppo will not, unfortunately, mean the end of war in Syria. It won’t even mean the end of the slaughter of helpless civilians. Still, as Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nationstold the Security Council on Tuesday, Aleppo will stand with the 1994 genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda, the 1995 siege of Srebrenica and the 1988 gas attacks against Iraqi Kurds in Halabjaas events in world history that  “define modern evil, that stain our conscience decades later.” And it will in all likelihood go unpunished.

Since the Arab Spring protests in Syria descended into civil war more than five years ago, the number of atrocities there has been stunning, from the use of chemical weapons by the regime of President Bashar Assad, to the targeting of civilians by nearly all combatant armies (though overwhelmingly by the Syrian government forces), to the unforeseen rise of the Islamic State with its barbaric executions of innocent people. Since the war began, an estimated 400,000 people have been killed, some 4.8 million have fled the country and 6.6 million more have been internally displaced.

The siege of Aleppo has come to symbolize the Syrian civil war’s numbing brutality. The city had served as a main base for rebel forces since just after the war began, and it became Assad’s prime target after Russia entered the war on his behalf. Pro-Assad forces, including Iranian-backed militias, surrounded Aleppo in July, shut off supply and escape routes for the rebels (who were lumped together under a broad “terrorist” label), and, with the help of Russian jets, have turned rebel-held sections of the city to rubble. A Turkey-brokered ceasefire fell apart this week almost before it started. And as the pro-government forces advance, international monitoring groups say, civilians have been murdered indiscriminately.  …

No one knows what approach President Trump will take, but we hope that his planned re-start of diplomatic relations with Putin will not mean acquiescence. Unless Assad and Putin plan on killing every single person opposed to the Syrian regime, the only solution to this debacle remains a political one.  12/15/16

The situation in Syria has been horrible. I have been praying for those affected in Syria for some time and again ask others to also do so. As Christians, we should be concerned about the people in Syria.

Consider that Jesus taught:

4 Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:4-6)

Notice the following from the Old Testament:

3 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; 4 and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”

5 To the others He said in my hearing, “Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. 6 Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” (Ezekiel 9:3-6)

God expects His people to sigh and cry about the abominations we see–it is those that have that concern that were chosen for mercy above.

While the Los Angeles Times considers that the only solution in Syria is political, the problems there are related to problems that are spiritual as well as religious. The Assad regime is basically Shi-ite Muslim, whereas most of the Syrians themselves are Sunni Muslim. This is part of why Shi’ite Iran has been supporting the Assad regime in Syria.

The situation in Syria will one day change.

Solutions that will be picked/imposed will not turn out well.

Despite current ties to Iran, one day Syria’s capital Damascus will be destroyed and become a “ruinous head” (Isaiah 17:1).

Bible prophecy also indicates that Syria will one day be part of the coming King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43; Ezekiel 30:2-8). As most nearly all the lands in the prophecies about the King of the South are currently dominated by Sunni Muslims, and most in Syria are Sunni Muslims, look for a change to ultimately come to Syria.

According to biblical prophecy, the confederation that the Arabic Syrians will be in will end in destruction:

5 Cush, and Put, and Lud, and all Arabia, and Libya, and the people of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword. (Ezekiel 30:5, ESV )

Those in Syria need our prayers and the Kingdom of God.

Jesus expects His people to pray for it:

 9 In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come. (Matthew 6:9-10)

Have you prayed for those in Syria?

Radio News Reporter: Bill Wedekind.