Firsthand reports are coming out of the Euphrates River Valley in Syria indicating the depths of depravity that the terror group ISIS is utilizing in a desperate attempt to maintain control in the region. While the coalition of SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) and U.S. military observers has been successful in pushing ISIS back into an area a little over 1 ½ mile wide, reports on the ground indicate that ISIS militants are now using women and children as human shields! SDF’s spokesman for the Deir Ezzor region, Adnan Afrin, confirmed that their assault on the region had been put on hold to protect civilians in the area. Afrin told the International Observatory of Human Rights, “The jihadists are using the civilians as human shields to block our advance.” The narrow area in which ISIS is now confined is crammed with civilians — including women and children who have fallen victim to ISIS. Instead of advancing, the SDF has focused on opening humanitarian corridors in the hope many of the remaining civilians will be able to exit before the final push to destroy the ISIS militants in the region.
Thousands of Civilians Fleeing
Adding to the ongoing refugee crisis in the region, countless civilians are said to be leaving the area, with reports counting as many as 3,000 civilians leaving the area in a 24-hour period! According to the Observatory for Human Rights, more than 36,000 people have left the region since December. Of that figure an estimated 3,100 of those are extremists. This doubtlessly generates concern that many ISIS fighters will be able to slip through with the civilian refugees as they realize the defeat of ISIS is imminent. Syrian Democratic Forces Commander (SDF) Roni Qamishli told Sky News that ISIS was “finished.” Qamishli said, “It is just a matter of days, not weeks,” adding “They are finished – militarily at least.” Echoing this belief, U.S. President Trump recently claimed that Islamic State militants had been stripped of 99 percent of its territory on his watch, and soon “we’ll be at 100.”
Relevant Bible Passages
The Bible plainly teaches that Israel’s enemies will terrorize her with increasing intensity as the Last Days become increasingly more imminent (cf. Joel 2:11; 3:2, 9, 14; Psalm 2:1-3; Zechariah 14:2-3). Likewise, the Bible frighteningly warns us that when we can see Israel surrounded by her enemies, we should know that desolation is near (Luke 21:20, 22). Despite the victories against ISIS in Syria, Israel is still surrounded by her enemies. This makes our support for Israel as the situation in Syria continues to develop all the more important! In fact, the Bible makes it clear that such defense of Israel and her people will be necessary until Christ returns to reign over the earth (Ezekiel 13:10; Jeremiah 8:11 cf. Matthew 24: 21-22). Sadly, literally throughout Israel’s 70-year history, she has been surrounded by her enemies. With such a staggering reality in plain view, we can only wonder how much longer the Lord will tarry.