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Published on 08 February, 2012

Hundreds die in fresh civil unrest in Syria

Syria (MNN) — The United States has closed its embassy in Damascus, Syria after hundreds were killed in renewed civil conflict there. The announcement came two days after Russia and China vetoed a U.N. Security Council plan authored by the Arab League in an attempt to end 11 months of violence.

Yesterday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on a solution to the crisis, all the while Syrian forces resumed bombarding the protest hotbed of Homs. More than 300 people reportedly died in the violence, including women and children.

Tom Doyle with
E3 Partners is in the Middle East this week. Doyle says, "We know believers there, and it's extremely difficult. Some are predicting that the Assad regime will fall; others are saying he will dig in and never go down. So it doesn't look like any end in sight."

This unrest may not only affect Syria. Doyle says Assad may have a scorched earth policy. "Israel thinks that means that if someone goes after Syria, Syria will go after Israel. We don't know. It's desperate times."

But why would Syria do that? "Syria needs a war with someone other than themselves. They'd love to get into it with Israel. It would take the spotlight off the war crimes and the crimes against its people that Bashar al-Assad has done."

Doyle says since the unrest, Christians have been left alone by the government. However, believers still have to deal with the day-to-day violence. The climate for change is perfect for people to turn to Christ. "We're hearing the nominal Christians, Muslims, Alawite, Druze, in Syria are much more open to hearing about Christ. In fact, in some cases, they are seeking out Christians."

It's not only happening in Syria, Doyle says. "The places where people are being set free is where Satan is trying to keep them in chains with radical Islam, to keep the people afraid, to keep people away from the Muslims who are very open to the Gospel right now."

The situation isn't looking good in Israel, either. Doyle says, "Hamas, which controls Gaza, and Fatah Party which is Mahmoud Abbas, they are coming together to form a unity government, which Benjamin Netanyahu has said publicly that ends the peace process because Hamas is not motivated by peace."

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  • Primary Religion: Islam
  • Evangelical: 0.1%
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