In December 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Defense Minister announced that Russian troops were withdrawing from Syria. That never really occurred. Rather, Russia has built new air bases and deployed thousands more troops.
Here is a brief look at the new Russian air bases:
- Shayrat, near Homs, is a primary site for air transport, delivering Russian and Iranian troops and weapons.
- The Tayyas (T4) Military Airbase is the largest in Syria and is being converted by the Russians into their main center of aerial operations.
- Russians and Iranians share Palmyra which provides air support in parts of Syria and will soon become the main assembly center for transfer of Iraqi Shi’ite militias.
- Hama Military Airport will guard highways into Damascus. It also provides cover for the Russian naval base at Tartus.
You will also find American bases identified on the map above. Might this be setting up as a showdown in Syria? Might Russia and Iran be staging an invasion of Israel? (Ezekiel 38)
To give you perspective, the northern Israeli border is only about 100 miles from Homs and less than 70 miles from Damascus.
As Israel continues to prosper, particularly with the discovery and production of oil and gas, it seems only a matter of time before Russia and Iran launch the invasion (known as the War of Gog and Magog), fulfilling Ezekiel’s prophecy.
Meanwhile, we don’t know if the rapture occurs before or after that invasion. It seems that, once the Lord rises on Israel’s behalf to squash that invasion and destroy gog’s (czar of Russia, leader of the invasion) reign of power, that power vacuum will draw out a “peacemaker,” the antichrist, who will usher in the tribulation. That happens AFTER the rapture, and those of us who know our Savior personally will be “taken up” in the rapture.
How close are we? We can’t know for certain, because the Bible tells us no one knows the day or the hour in which Jesus will take us away (Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32). But events that follow the rapture are setting up. Let’s be ready!