The current status has the "Islamic State" and the other rebel forces continuing to hammer away at what's left of Al-Assad's military forces and defensible territory; Russia has apparently all but abandoned its military ally in Damascus, and Iran's Lebanese Hezbollah proxy is not militarily powerful enough to halt the Sunni jihadist onslaught which is coming very close to surrounding Al-Assad's capital city. Short of Iran airlifting entire combat divisions into Damascus International Airport, there is little or nothing left to rescue the Ba'athist-Alawite regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Jeremiah 49:23-27 and Isaiah 17 do appear to be that much closer to a literal fulfillment in the very near future.
4 May 2015: There is now significant military pressure being placed upon the faltering Syrian Ba'athist regime of Bashar al-Assad and the city of Damascus by an array of Sunni Jihadist militias. This kind of military pressure evokes images from the prophetic texts of Jeremiah 49:23-27 and the more well-known Isaiah 17. Accordingly, a military disaster of epic proportions appears to be in Damascus immediate future, a future vision Spiritually inspired and described by Jeremiah and Isaiah.
This verse identifies the current battlegrounds in Syria, from the northwestern frontier with Turkey: Tell Erfad (Arpad) to Hama (Hamath) on the Orontes River, to Damascus, 132 miles to the south. As occurred in the ancient past, these cities are to fall to an enemy originating from the region of ancient Assur (Islamic State) before Damascus falls to this enemy. The "sorrow on the sea" appears to be a direct reference to the nations of the Mediterranean Sea; i.e., the West, who act as enablers of what is occurring.
Therefore, verse 23 sets up the complete and totlal military disaster that follows in verses 24 through 27:
"Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on her: anguish and sorrows have taken her, as a woman in travail. How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy! Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, and all the men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD of hosts. And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall consume the palaces of Benhadad."
In the concluding verse Ben-Hadad is a direct reference to a false god, and the consuming by fire of the palaces thereof, the walls of Damascus, and all the men of war being cut off in that day, speaks to great carnage and destruction as this war reaches it decisive conclusion.
It is the burning and consuming by fire which I interpret to be a connecting dot to the same event that is presented in Isaiah 17, the utter destruction of the immense city that is Damascus as we know it today. The scope of the burning destruction and utter ruin into the heap of rubble as foretold by Isaiah should be measured against a recent image of Damascus presented below.
In my studies I have found there is nothing in these prophecies which suggests a peaceful end to the Ba'athist regime of Bashar al-Assad, and nothing good to come of the so-called peace talks. There is also the dire aspect of Isaiah's prophecy on what the Syrian war brings upon Israel and its population.
There is simply no getting away from and no sugar-frosting of the soon to be established prophetic fact that not only is Damascus to be utterly destroyed, but the whole of what we know today as Syria is coming to an end. And the destruction does not end there, but continues well into the "cities of Aroer," which is northwestern Jordan, and the near total depopulation of that entire region, and into Israel as well in the central region known as Ephraim.
I think we all need to understand exactly what these prophecies are telling us about what is now in the process of becoming a reality. We, in this present generation, have not seen and therefore do not properly comprehend and therefore are likely not mentally prepared for the unrestrained use of weapons of mass destruction.
Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the carnage of World War Two are distant memories of a generation passing quickly from the present scene. We hear news reports of chlorine gas and "barrel bombs" being used in the Syrian war, but this is virtually as distant from affecting our lives as the dust on the moon; it is a perspective of real war we simply cannot relate to, but will have to come to grips with soon enough.