Syria is a mess, and that’s an understatement. Yet, for some reason, just about everybody wants a part of it. This shouldn’t surprise students of Bible prophecy, because the Bible is clear: the Antichrist is going to rise out of Syria.
For starters, the Antichrist is called the Assyrian (Isaiah 10:12-14; Micah 5:1-6). Back in the day, the Assyrian Empire controlled Syria and Iraq. In addition, the Antichrist is called the King of the North (Daniel 11:36-45). The King of the North was a title that described the leaders of the Seleucid Empire (Daniel 11:1-21), based in Syria and Iraq. The Antichrist is also called the “little horn” (Daniel 8:9) who comes out of the Seleucid Empire (Daniel 8:19-25). Of course, the “little horn” is going to grow “exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Pleasant Land” (Daniel 8:9). In other words, he must rise in the western portion of Syria if he’s going to conquer toward the south, toward the east and toward Israel.
Now, this doesn’t mean the Antichrist is ethnically Syrian. On the contrary, he’s going to be a foreign leader. Indeed, the Antichrist will not be given “the honor of the kingdom” (Daniel 11:21). He must “come in peaceably and obtain the kingdom by flatteries” (Daniel 11:21). After seizing the kingdom, a massive force comes against him, but this “flood of armies shall be swept away before him and be broken, and the prince of the covenant as well” (Daniel 11:22). Put differently, a massive military force from many nations will come against this foreign usurper in Syria. The military force will include Israel, because “the prince of the covenant” is going to be swept away (Daniel 11:22). That’s probably a reference to an Israeli ruler. Incidentally, an alliance will be made with the Antichrist after this conflict (Daniel 11:23). This will be the seven-year covenant Israel and many other nations make with the Antichrist that begins the countdown to the Day of the Lord (Daniel 9:27).
That said, who’s going to win in Syria? To determine this, let’s look at another title of Antichrist: Gog. The Lord says of this Gog that “Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days for many years that I would bring you against them?” (Ezekiel 38:17) Obviously, God’s prophets were talking about the Antichrist. Naturally, when Gog is defeated, the survivors of Israel will know the Lord forever (Ezekiel 39:22) and God’s name will no longer be profaned (Ezekiel 39:6-8).
Well, Gog is “of Magog” and the chief ruler of “Meshek and Tubal” (Ezekiel 38:2). Do these names refer to places or people groups? Since these three gentlemen are listed as sons of Japheth, one of Noah’s sons, Magog, Meshek and Tubal are referring to people groups (Genesis 10:1-2). Where did these three people groups eventually settle? While they wound up in lots of places, all three of them have strong connections to Russia. Magog is commonly associated with Slavic-speaking peoples, Meshek is commonly associated with Moscow, and Tubal is commonly associated with Tobolsk in the Siberian region of Russia.
So, the Antichrist will be the ruler of Russia at the time of the end, and he will come to power in the western portion of Syria. Currently, Russia has military bases in Latakia and Tartus, on the west coast of Syria. Apparently, that won’t be the last we hear from Russia in Syria.