The Ominous Arms Race in Syria


The Ominous Arms Race in Syria

The race for armaments by both sides in the Syrian civil war will likely lead to the collapse of the Assad regime.

For over two years now, the nation of Syria has been embroiled in an appalling, bloody civil war that has dominated headlines from the Middle East. The conflict is one of the horrid upshots of the much-lauded “Arab Spring,” that is now, with the latest arms race, approaching critical mass.

On Monday, the EU agreed to not renew an arms embargo that had been imposed on Syrian rebels battling Bashar Assad’s regime. This decision essentially permits EU member states to unilaterally supply weapons to the oftentimes outgunned rebels in Syria.

Britain and France, the most vocal supporters of lifting the arms embargo, said the earliest they could start sending weapons to the Syrian opposition would be in August, depending on the outcome of peace initiatives scheduled for June. That outcome is unlikely to be positive because of irreconcilable differences and the impossible preconditions that both sides are demanding.

Russia—Assad’s biggest supporter after Iran and Hezbollah—was infuriated by the EU’s decision and responded by announcing that it will proceed with prior arrangements to deliver S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to the Syrian government. Russia hopes that this shipment of weapons will be a “stabilizing factor” that will “deter some hotheads from considering scenarios that would turn the conflict international with the involvement of outside forces,” in the words of Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. President Assad himself has hyped this shipment of missiles from Russia and used the publicity about it to strengthen his position and deter his foes.

Meanwhile, Assad’s main allies, Iran and Hezbollah, are sending as many as 4,000 militants to fight against the Syrian rebels. With this help of Iran and Hezbollah, Assad has already taken over an air base formerly controlled by the rebels.

These developments will only serve to accelerate the arms race in Syria.

The Assad regime and its allies might think that strong intervention and formidable support will deter the Syrian opposition and its supporters from continuing the fight. But the reality is that it might actually do the opposite.

Pro-Assad allies are already sending arms and troops to support the Syrian government in this protracted civil war, and pro-rebel forces will soon feel more compelled to intervene.

Intervention by nations supporting the rebels—by way of sending weapons and/or troops—is an outcome that is almost a given, based on recent historical trends. Consider this revealing comment by U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell, following the EU’s decision to lift the arms embargo on Syrian rebels: “It [the decision] is helpful because it sends a message to the Assad regime that support for the opposition is only going to increase.” This has already been the trend during the two years of this civil war.

When the civil war began in March 2011, Syria’s rebels appeared to be just a bunch of violent street demonstrators. Within a few months, defecting soldiers from Assad’s army started joining the protests, and by August 2011, these soldiers had formed the Free Syrian Army. They formed the Syrian National Coalition in November 2012, and nations gradually recognized them as legitimate. The Trumpet has written on how they progressed from receiving indirect assistance from the West to the point where they started receiving direct aid, howbeit “non-lethal,” just shy of arms. Today, arms embargoes are being scrapped, and tomorrow, weapons may very well be supplied to the rebels, and the Assad government will likely be toppled.

This seems to be the obvious future of Syria, and predicting such an outcome does not require impressive prescience. But doing so over a decade in advance does. And that’s what Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has been doing with the aid of Bible prophecy.

After carefully studying Syria’s biblical identity and a prophecy in Psalm 83—a prophecy about a group of Arab nations allied not with the “king of the south” (radical Islam led by Iran), but with the “king of the north” (led by Germany)—Mr. Flurry predicted from this prophecy that Syria would soon shift from its alliance with Iran and ally instead with Germany and a coalition of “moderate” Arab nations. The onset of the Syrian civil war revealed that this political transformation of Syria could be made possible by Assad being toppled from power. Today’s headlines about Syria are a powerful vindication of these prophecies of the Bible!

Watch the arms race in Syria escalate to a point where international support, particularly from the EU, will empower Syrian rebels to ultimately effect regime change in Syria. For more on the subject, read Mr. Flurry’s article “How the Syrian Crisis Will End” and request his free booklet The King of the South.