Friday, August 19, 2016


A still image, taken from video footage and released by Russia's Defense Ministry on August 18, 2016, shows a Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bomber based at Iran's Hamedan Air Base dropping bombs over the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor. Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation/Handout via REUTERS TV
Final Update 23 August 2016: Russian braggadocio about its Syrian combat air operations launching from their Iranian hosts Hamedan (a/k/a Nojeh) Air Base caused all kinds of really embarrassing legal problems for the Ayatollah's regime. Turns out that the Iranian constitution forbids the basing of foreign troops on Iranian territory. So the Iranians had to inform their allies from the north to take everything they just brought down into Hamedan Air Base back up to Mozdok Air Base in Russia.

In order to save face, the Russians promptly made their own announcement that the unprecedented bombing missions were objectively mission complete and all Russian units were returning to their home base in Russia, but... they would return to Hamedan Air Base in the future "if circumstances warranted." 

Russian Major-General Igor Konashenkov, in his own words: "Further use of the Hamedan Air Base in the Islamic Republic of Iran by the Russian Aerospace Forces will be carried out on the basis of mutual agreements to fight terrorism and depending on the prevailing circumstances in Syria." 

Interesting. "Depending on the prevailing circumstances in Syria." I wonder, would the fulfillment of Isaiah 17, the destruction of Damascus and the destruction of the country, be the kind of circumstance this Russian major-general is referring to?  I imagine next time the Russians will keep their lips zipped and adhere to the tried and true military concept of OPSEC (OPerational SECurity).

While considering such a turn of events being possible in previous months and even years, I had not given express consideration in thought to the final fulfillment of Isaiah 17 serving a type of trip-wire or trigger for the start of Ezekiel 38/39 and the Battle of Gog/Magog. That was last night. 

Upon rising this morning I was suddenly made aware of the fact that we've discussed this exact concept on Eschatology Today many times previously, as in a flood of prophetic fulfillments occurring in a precise sequence, like dominoes toppling over other well-positioned dominoes. Yes, that's what I have long believed the Lord's prophetic word teaches. However, now we have a Russian major-general, although he does not realize it, hinting at the exact same thing. Interesting things we are watching in real-time on a day-to-day basis. 

"Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes." (Matthew 24:44)

Ezekiel 38/39 Primary Invasion Routes
19 August 2016: As mentioned previously on Eschatology Today, but this time with due emphasis, the running assessment is that when the primary military forces under the leadership of "Gog of Magog" detailed in Ezekiel 38/39 commence their attempted airborne invasion of Israel, they will utilize the air corridor that has been firmly established for Russian Federation Air Force missions into Syria since November 2015.

This air corridor was more firmly established this spring when the Russian military launched cruise missiles out of the Caspian Sea against rebel targets in Syria. The air corridor from the north entered Iranian airspace and turned to the west, crossing into Iraq before entering Syria. 

This same air corridor is now being used in air strikes by Russian TU-22M3 heavy bombers and SU-34 strike aircraft against targets in Syria. These strike aircraft which originate at Mozdok Air Base in Russia (see image below) use the Caspian corridor enroute to Hamedan Air Base in northwestern Iran. They then fly west across Iraq and into Syria. The primary OSINT sources I have used in compiling detailed data for this SITREP are The LongWar Journal and The Aviationist.

Russian air combat missions. Image:LongWar Journal
Source: The Aviationist/Babak Taghvaee
The utilization of this specific air corridor is due to the very real geo-political and military realities that are extant in the Middle East/Southwest Asia. They will likely remain as such, if not increase in the wake of future prophetic events as detailed by Isaiah 17 and Psalm 83, and not necessarily in that particular order. These maps speak volumes through the visual data they contain. A relatively short extension of this Russian air corridor into what will be at that time Israel's territory east of the Dead Sea is a very simple and non-strenuous mental exercise based upon the text of Ezekiel 39:11-16.

However, the most significant thing to notice at present is that the Russian air corridor absolutely avoids Turkish airspace by a very wide margin. Intellectual honesty requires one to concede that this fact is not due to overwhelming Turkish air power or anti-aircraft defensive capabilities, but is solely due to NATO airpower manifest in Turkey and the Middle East in general. Last week this NATO airpower was on full display when pairs of stealthy American F-22 Raptor appeared seemingly out of nowhere to confront Syrian SU-24 Fencers on at least two occasions, within Syrian air space, quickly causing the latter to flee rather than stand their "ground" over Syrian soil. Such is the overwhelming technological capability of sixth-generation fighter aircraft over older fifth-generation fighters.

This kind of overwhelming NATO airpower also vividly demonstrates the inherent weakness of forward-deployed Iranian air power. The most recent example of this occurred in March 2013, when obsolete IRGC fourth-generation F4E Phantom jets were scrambled with orders to intercept and shoot down an American MQ-1 Predator drone detected flying a reconnaissance mission in international airspace over the Persian Gulf. The Iranian air controllers and pilots of the intercepting Phantom jets were totally unaware of the presence of American F-22 Raptors escorting the MQ-1. So unaware were they that one Raptor pilot flew underneath the Iranian Phantoms, checked out his opponent weapons load, and only revealed his very close presence by suddenly popping up just off the left wingtip of the lead Iranian Phantom, and calling the stunned Iranian pilots with the now famous radio greeting, "you really ought to go home."

So, to home they went for a change of underwear and to live to fly another day. As we know from Bible prophecy they will be back, but at that time, and far too late to make any real difference, they'll just wish in the last seconds of their life on earth they'd just stayed home. 

Finally, after offering prayers to a false god this past Friday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani displayed atypical Persian arrogance and national pride in issuing this declaration: "Our missile power is at such a level that we are able to destroy all our targets at any operational range." 

Eschatology Today cordially invites President Rouhani to read the text of Jeremiah 49:35, within which the true, living God of all creation completely contradicts his declaration with His own irrevocable prophetic word:

"Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the foremost of their might.'"


jmoll106 said...

Hey Sean,
When I read commentaries written in the late 1800's, I am always impressed with those that would take the literal plain sense meaning of a biblical text. Not many in that day believed Israel would someday be a nation as prophesied in the scriptures, but some did. Here we are with visual proof. The Gog confederacy is further proof of the truth we get from God's word. The visual maps above keeps these things in the forefront of my thinking so we can hold fast to the truth and not be deceived. Thanks.

hartdawg said...

Is Joel 2 and zechariah 12 the same prophecy as Ezekiel 38&39, or do they describe armeggedon?

Sean Osborne said...

Jmoll, Hartdawg:

I have noticed in reading many of the somewhat dated commentaries on prophetic Scripture that almost all of them leaned very heavily towards previous fulfillment; a very few interpreted these prophecies as future fulfillments.

Joel 2 is a primary example. Many interpreted the Assyrians were the northern enemy, and the prophecy therefore was fulfilled.

My own view is that Joel 2 is just the middle chapter between Joel 1 and 3. It is a general overview on the whole of the last days; it is big on metaphors. The northern army and the locusts are prime metaphorical examples. Locusts did not come from the north, but from the south. They are type instead of literal; past as metaphorical prologue of the future.

"Rome" and the Antichrist are chiseled in stone, so to speak, and the imagery of Nebuchadnezzar's interpreted statue vision cannot be overcome by any man-made contrivance of Scripture. This is true of Joel 2 as well as Zechariah 12, and a host of other Scriptures on 70th Week prophecy and beyond (the Millennium of the Kingdom).

Sean Osborne said...

Regarding Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey... Russian use of the air base has an "if necessary" caveat attached to it. That "if necessary" applies ONLY if Russia requests to use the base to hit Islamic State targets in Syria.

This goes without saying that Russia has not made any request, must less any "demand", for its use by their aircraft/ground crews.

Russia has thus far spent a great deal of coin to establish bases in Syria and in Iran. They have no need for Incirlik, and anything beyond this fact is based upon pure speculation, or just plain fear.

Secondly, the approximately fifty US B61 nukes stored within underground vaults at Incirlik remain there. They are under no risk of seizure by terrorists; they are under heavy and specially trained US forces; and they are all equipped with a technology known as PAL. The PAL prevents arming of the weapons without a special code. These weapons remain a primary NATO deterrent to aggression against the alliance. IF these nukes are removed from Incirlik Air Base in the future, then that will be the day Turkey is no longer a member of the NATO alliance. Neither the US or Turkey keeps aircraft at Incirlik which are capable of loading these weapons on board for use.

I would place more emphasis on Gaza right now, that situation could erupt without notice.

jmoll106 said...

Sean, There has been so much destruction already in Damascus, are there still strongholds of biological/chemical weapons and the like still hidden there? It would seem that this would be the reason for it's destruction if they launched one or all on a northern town in Israel. That would provoke Israel to retaliate and destroy the entire city. It would also seem to me that they would only react if they were already in a war say with the Palestinians or Hezbolla(IRGC) in Lebanon and were starting to lose ground. Maybe, all we need is a sound of a trumpet ;) to have these events charge forward.
Great update.

Sean Osborne said...


The city center of Damascus (Damascus and Old Damascus) remain a vibrant living city. It is the mostly eastern suburbs which have been pummeled into rubble by the war or erased completely. In the central middle-class sections of Damascus like al-Mezze, and al-Malkeh among other neighborhoods, these are virtually unscathed. Life goes on pretty much as normal in these places.

So, Isaiah 17 as well as Jeremiah 49:23-27 remain completely unfulfilled prophecies. The thing is, particularly per Jeremiah's prophecy, the prophesied destruction occurs while the city is fully populated.

Damascus' horrific fate remains in the immediate future.

jmoll106 said...

I didn't realize that part of city is still functioning so well. That's unfortunate for the remaining.

Sean Osborne said...

Heads 0400 this morning Israel Summer Time, Turkish military forces invaded Syria at the town of Jarablus. This invasion is occurring under the name "Operation Euphrates Shield." Jarablus, Syria is located at the Turkish-Syrian border where the Euphrates River enters Syria from Turkey. It is about 30 miles southeast of Gaziantep, Turkey.

The invasion was preceded led by an intense artillery barrage. The barrage provided cover for the advance of a squadron of Turkish main battle tanks, special forces and Turkish paramilitary forces.

The U.S.-led Operation Inherent Resolve coalition forces are reported to be "in-sync" with Turkish military objectives in pushing Islamic State forces from the border.

Sean Osborne said...


I have to answer your question "are there still strongholds of biological/chemical weapons and the like still hidden there?"

Yes, absolutely. There is a Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) war in progress in Syria. It has intensified with regularity from 2014 to the present. This WMD war is the best indicator there is in my assessment of why Isaiah 17 is going to be fulfilled exactly as prophesied.

The most recent WMD attack occurred last week in a suburb of Aleppo called Zabadiyya. In that attack Bashar al-Assad's Air Force dropped improved chemical munitions (chlorine gas) on civilian targets on that neighborhood. Among the victims were a dozen infants, two dozen children aged 1-5 years old, another two dozen aged 5 to mid-teens plus a dozen elderly. There were also several dozens of others who survived this attack to receive medical care at a still functioning hospital.

I got this information from a Russian-language report post on the web. That it was written in Russian means someone is Syria is attempting to inform his countrymen in Russia of the war crimes (crimes against humanity) that Russia is complicit in. It was Russian combat aircraft which conducted the attacks which sealed off besieged Aleppo from the surrounding region of Idlib. It was then that the Syrian government attacked trapped civilians with chemical weapons.

Islamic State is also using chemical weapons.

So,in my assessment the proverbial 'genie is out of the bottle' (actually a demon) in Syria, and the fulfillment of Jeremiah 49:23-27 and Isaiah 17 do indeed appear to be directly tied to the ongoing weapons of mass destruction war in that country.

jmoll106 said...

Thank Sean, I have read reports of wmd's being used also but until I read it here I assume it is a false report. It still amazes me that there is no International uproar over this, just a few noted condemnations and maybe a call to financially punish but no indignation over these atrocities.

Sean Osborne said...

Yes, the international response is ludicrous at best.

I believe Galatians 6:7 is the appropriate Scipture to cite. I'd paraphrase it to say, "They shall reap what they have sown.

That points directly to Jeremiah 49:23-27 and Isaiah 17 as what it is that they will reap.

jmoll106 said...

Sean, recent reports show the US is backing Turkey against the Kurds. I thought we were backing the Kurds to fight ISIS and to oust Syria's President. Who can trust the USA if we keep changing sides?

Sean Osborne said...


The question to ask is: What is the source of the data contained in the media report?

That said, I'll cut to the answer and say the US remains committed to supporting the Kurds.

jmoll106 said...

Thanks, Your hand is on the pulse of Middle East happenings far more than me and your insight is appreciated.