An important development in the Syrian crisis is going largely unreported in most of the major western media. As is already known, Russia and China have vetoed all UN resolutions that would have imposed a “no-fly” zone over Syria to protect their ally, Assad, the leader of Syria. Those nations have now taken more direct military action to support Assad’s rule. Link 1 and link 2 report that a Russian warship flotilla of up to eleven ships has been dispatched to Syrian waters. They are being joined by three Chinese warships and two Iranian warships which have passed through the Suez Canal to join the Russian fleet off Syria (see link 3, link 4 and link 5). The joint deployment of Chinese and Iranian warships to the Mediterranean Sea is unprecedented. Reportedly, they are all there to conduct naval maneuvers. However, even a blind man could see that they are there to support the Assad regime and warn NATO nations that they will be fired upon if they attempt to launch airstrikes against Assad’s forces.

Russia and China have learned from the NATO actions against Libya that NATO cannot be trusted to simply enforce a “no fly” zone in a non-aggressive manner. A no-fly zone was enforced over Saddam Hussein’s Iraq for years, but as long as Hussein’s warplanes did not cross a certain latitude, they were not fired upon and NATO warplanes never attacked Hussein’s ground forces. However, when a no-fly zone over Libya was voted upon by the UN, NATO forces “were given an inch,” but they “took a mile.” NATO warplanes did not simply enforce a no-fly zone, they aggressively attacked and strafed Libyan government forces on the ground and actively joined the war on the side of the Libyan rebels. Having seen how broadly NATO interprets a no-fly zone resolution in the UN, Russia and China have no intention of giving NATO the “fig leaf” of a UN resolution to go to war against Assad on the side of the rebels. Russia, China and Iran have all sent warships to the Syrian coast to make sure NATO gets the message that an attack against Syria by NATO forces will be met by force. Maybe they are bluffing, but I don’t think so. These nations appear ready to play some hardball if necessary to support Assad.

Russia, China and Iran are prominent members of the Gog-Magog alliance prophesied in Ezekiel 38-39 to come into existence in the latter days of our age. This alliance has, indeed, formed, fulfilling this prophecy. It is now aggressively trying to keep Syria in the Gog-Magog alliance, even as the USA, NATO, Saudi Arabia and others are trying to overthrow the Assad regime and replace it with a Sunni regime aligned with the Saudis. However, even if the Assad regime falls, there is no guarantee that it will be replaced with anything better. There are too many reports of Al Queda and radical Islamic group helping the Syrian rebels to feel confident that a western-aligned regime would replace the Assad regime.

A major struggle is going on which will determine whether Syria will be part of the Gog-Magog alliance in the latter days or whether they will be pulled out of it. We will have to watch carefully for the result as I do not see in Ezekiel 38 any certain indication which way this struggle will go. I think it can be predicted that if Assad falls, Russia, China and Iran will all be very angry and will be spoiling for a fight….somewhere. The most likely result would be an Iranian-Hezbollah attack against the Israelis and western oil interests in the Persian Gulf. I suspect that Russia and China would give covert assistance and advanced cruise missiles to Iran to fire against US warships in the Persian Gulf to try and sink them as part of any such war. This situation is dangerous. If such a war erupts, Hezbollah sleeper cells could be unleashed in Europe and North America, causing widespread terror attacks. Paul warned the latter days would see “perilous times” (II Timothy 3:1). This is another biblical prophecy which has come to pass.

Meanwhile, the US public is not being told how dangerous this crisis could become. They are too busy watching American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, the Olympics or other pro sports. The American public generally has no idea how fragile the current international comfort zone really is. I also wonder if this crisis will develop into an “October Surprise” which will be “spun” in a way to bolster Obama’s re-election chances. We’ll see.