As local resistance groups manage to overwhelm pro-Assad troops and militias throughout Syria driving them out of their town and communities, Assad’s subsequent strategy calls for indiscriminate shelling of these communities using heavy artillery, tanks and helicopter gunships. The tragic nature of this development aside, the situation does give an opportunity for interested international parties to direct air strikes against positions held by pro-Assad militias with minimal risk of collateral damage to civilian populations. But international dithering continues to prolong the life of the Assad regime. Iran and Russia are no longer the sole external culprits in the massacres currently perpetrated by pro-Assad militias.
Tuesday June 26, 2012
Today’s Death toll: 113. The Breakdown: 33 in Damascus Suburbs (Hameh and Qudsayah, West of Damascus, and Douma, East of Damascus) 16 in Daraa, 24 in Idlib, 14 in Homs, 10 in Deir Ezzor, 9 in Aleppo, 5 in Hama and 2 in Damascus City.
Assad officially admits he is waging war against the Syrian people Assad says Syria in a "real state of war" Indeed, a war is an apt description of what is taking place in so many towns and cities across the countries, even in Damascus suburbs: Fierce fighting erupts near Damascus. Even UN monitors are feeling the heat: Syria deemed too dangerous for U.N. monitors to resume mission. But the mood inside the regime’s upper ranks seems to be increasingly cloudy, as more high level defections are reported: Latest Syrian Defectors Are From Higher Ranks.
Turkish PM’s border warning to Assad could pave the way for formalizing and protecting the de facto safe haven carved out in Idlib Province by local resistance: Turkey PM Erdogan issues Syria border warning. In this light, NATO’s lack of retaliation might of little consequence for now: Turkey, NATO assail Syria, but no retaliation for shoot-down seen. So does French dithering: French support waning for any action in Syria: poll.
Meanwhile, more U.S. officials are calling for serious action on Syria: Rice: Syria will never be stable with Assad in place.
Op-Eds & Special Reports
Rebel control over the areas adjacent to the Syrian-Turkish borders in the Idlib province was firm enough to encourage a visit by former SNC President, Bourhane Ghalioun. So, even as Assad was giving his defiant speech, Mr. Ghalioun was paying a visit to the liberated communities near the Turkish borders: Arriving in disguise http://youtu.be/pFNXoejZ0VU Meeting members of the local resistance http://youtu.be/bPshRSd_J24 The trip back http://youtu.be/2WWSvWknnAg A day earlier, members of the local resistance managed to take control of an anti-aircraft gun http://youtu.be/c_9HCiOtFok
Maar Dibseh, Idlib Province: a helicopter gunship makes an emergency landing http://youtu.be/zHz43DWmI9s and gets destroyed by members of the local resistance http://youtu.be/Veot_Bq7h7Q In nearby Khan Al-Subul, local resistance destroy a BMP http://youtu.be/Btn5kuLrUnU Wounded and martyrs http://youtu.be/lBrxQKZJkGo , http://youtu.be/6gKYU9LAprY , http://youtu.be/zigFBCMdvN0
The pounding of Khan Shaikhoon, Idlib Province http://youtu.be/NLsDkfyCulU , http://youtu.be/Mlbis-CNaXk
Elsewhere, in Homs Province, members of the local resistance capture a brigadier General working for the Syrian air force http://youtu.be/wSbS0367aX8
Al-Hameh, Damascus: mass grave for today’s victims of mass shelling http://youtu.be/rN2MvqnqYgA The martyrs http://youtu.be/hRUzOgVj9Ls The pounding of Al-Hameh was caught on camera http://youtu.be/_PgYeQjLXQA Nearby Qudsaya offers several martyrs as well http://youtu.be/jzCKtsMv_O8 , http://youtu.be/GqaRyQiKP3I , http://youtu.be/WJcHJW_5TAA The pounding of Qudsaya was caught on camera http://youtu.be/U3LYl6smPxI
Talbisseh, Homs Province, the shelling continues: http://youtu.be/RiDvhzhHqDo , http://youtu.be/Vve1RQDwLgk , http://youtu.be/0Bv3imyEwM4 , http://youtu.be/fHikwabnD0w The view from street level http://youtu.be/a_5DMMGB0SA
The pounding of old neighborhoods in Homs City continues http://youtu.be/5vy2uvGzf7s
The pounding of Deir Ezzor City continues http://youtu.be/2YZTh--d63Q Shops catch fire http://youtu.be/uQH8OUzXaTo A home catch fire http://youtu.be/WoDmjv1Qcok Martyrs http://youtu.be/bunCMEY2mMI A little child among the martyrs http://youtu.be/g-0ab41wLpo
Mleihah Al-Gharbiyeh, Daraa is pounded by choppers http://youtu.be/OzECh1PC3G0
The Palestinian Refugee Camp near Daraa City offers more martyrs http://youtu.be/d9fkgwgQsHU as the continuing pounding displaces more people http://youtu.be/9FFSWXix41Q The funeral http://youtu.be/O_8yFRmg4t8 Mourners come under fire from snipers http://youtu.be/i_BeSuLqU7Q