SYRIA - Islamic State insurgents stormed the historic Syrian city of Palmyra on Wednesday, fighting off pro-government forces who withdrew after evacuating most of the civilian population, state television said. The capture of Palmyra is the first time the al Qaeda offshoot has taken control of a city directly from the Syrian army & allied forces , which have already lost ground in the northwest & south to other insurgent groups in recent weeks. Islamic State has destroyed antiquities & ancient monuments in neighboring Iraq & is being targeted by U.S.-led air strikes in both countries. Syria's antiquities chief called on the world to save its ancient monuments & state television said Islamic State fighters were trying to enter the city's historical sites.
Palmyra is also a strategic military gain, home to modern army installations & situated on a desert highway linking the capital Damascus with Syria's eastern provinces, mostly under insurgent control. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said Islamic State had seized almost all of the city. It said it was unclear what had happened to forces stationed at an army outpost on its outskirts or the fate of a major military prison. "The fear is for the museum & the large monuments that cannot be moved," he said, " This is the entire world's battle." The attack is part of a westward advance by Islamic State that is adding to pressures on the overstretched military & allied militia. The group holds tracts of land in the north & east, & is now edging towards the more heavily populated areas along its western flank.
NEWS REPORT : Reuters
PROPHECY INSIGHTS - Palmyra is one of the world's most important historic sites : the remains of an ancient oasis civilisation. Once part of the Roman Empire, its colonnaded streets , temple & theatre have stood for 2,000 years. This World Heritage Site also features ancient tombs, a Roman aqueduct , priceless artefacts & even the Temple of Baal. Known as " the Bride of the Desert ", it was a vital stopping point for caravans crossing the desert carrying spices, silks & perfumes in the ancient world. Thousands of tourists a year visited the remote desert outpost before Syria's civil war broke out in 2011.
But Palmyra is not just ' culturally ' important ; its capture is a huge ' strategic ' military gain for ISIS & an enormous loss to the Syrian government. It is the first time ISIS has taken control of a city directly from Syrian forces. The central city is also home to modern army facilities & is located on a desert highway linking Damascus with Syria's eastern provinces. This opens the way for the ISIS militants to advance to the capital, the contested eastern city Deir el-Zour & the Syrian coast to the south & southwest. Next to Palmyra are also important gas & oil fields.
For 4 years , Syria has been a bubbling cauldron of death & destruction as in-fighting between Assad's forces & rival ' Islamist terror groups ' has spiralled ever deeper. This stunning triumph by ISIS ( who now effectively control ' half ' of Syria ) represents a new ' sinister threat ' not just to the Syrian capital Damascus , but even more so to the nation of Israel. Common to ISIS & all these ' Islamist terror groups ' is a deep hatred of Israel. On every border , whether situated in Syria , Lebanon , Iraq , Iran , Gaza , Jordan or Egypt ... Israel is surrounded by terrorist militias with evil designs on God's land & His people.
Yet scripture , fore-shadowed these latter-day ' anti-semitic terror groups ' that prey on God's people & actually spoke of their coming demise. Ezekiel 34 , in speaking of the coming rule of Christ in God's Kingdom , the transformative ' blessings ' God's people Israel will be given & the ' curses ' to be removed , makes unmistakable references to these ' latter-day beasts ' that are terrorist groups such as ISIS , Hamas , Hezbollah & their evil , murderous ways. In 2015 & on the edge of Christ's return , nobody in Israel & it's surrounds are killed by actual ' animal beasts '. So what else could these ' beasts ' be ?? Its a clear ' figurative ' allusion to the ' savages ' who inhabit the land prior to the Lord's return. Their end is coming soon !!!
EZEKIEL 34v23-30 - I will set up one shepherd ( Christ ) over them & he shall feed them , even my servant David ( Christ ) ; he shall feed them & he shall be their shepherd ... I the LORD will be their God & my servant David ( Christ ) a prince among them ; I the LORD have spoken it ... I will make with them a covenant of peace & will cause the ' evil beasts ' to cease out of the land & they shall dwell safely in the wilderness & sleep in the woods ... I will make them & the places round about my hill ( God's Holy Mountain - Zion ) a ' blessing ' ... there shall be showers of blessing ... the tree of the field shall yield her fruit ... the earth shall yield her increase ... they shall be safe in their land & shall know that I am the LORD , when I have broken the bands of their yoke & delivered them out of the hand of ' those ' that served themselves of them ... they shall no more be a ' prey ' to the heathen ( nations ) neither shall the ' beast ' of the land devour them ; but they shall dwell safely & ' none ' shall make them afraid ... they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land , neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them & that they , even the house of Israel , are my people , saith the Lord GOD.
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