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To Ahmadinejad's way of thinking, if somebody has to be martyred to the Mahdi's cause, why not Syria? Twenty-five hundred odd years ago, the Hebrew prophet Isaiah prophesied of the destruction of Damascus. This prophecy is made more fascinating by the fact it remains unfulfilled in history.
Damascus is the oldest continually inhabited city on earth. Although conquered many times, its status as an economic and cultural center of antiquity preserved it intact to this day.