Candidate Romney says he will kill Big Bird. Problem is: President Obama has already given him to us.
The Turkish Newspaper Hurriyet published this map below showing the distribution of major rebel groups inside Syria. Despite some huge gaps there, especially the absence of the Syrian Martyrs Brigades, currently the largest rebel group in the country, taken in conjunction with information provided in Shredded Tapestry and again in my latest Op-Ed in Foreign Policy, the map is still quite useful.
Jockeying for power among rebel groups continue: here is a video showing Lieutenant Abdurrazzaq Tlas announcing the formation of The First Division, a new rebel movement made up of fighting battalions and brigades from all over the country, including his former Al-Farouq Brigade http://youtu.be/4HvqhC1JK4g But in this clip, the new commander of Al-Farouq, Abu Sayih Juneidi, declares that Abdurrazzaq has been relieved of all his duties http://youtu.be/doP_BbCOL7A.
At issue here is a sex scandal, to which I alluded in the Shredded Tapestry, involving Lt. Tlas. It seems pro-Assad hackers have been able to monitor the internet account of Tlas and record his video sex chats with a variety of women, and made some of them available online. At first, rebels in Al-Farouq tried to ignore the story, but, according to Abu Sayih, over the last few weeks, Assad’s intelligence services have been trying to blackmail them threatening to release more videos, necessitating this move. Lt. Tlas is closed to the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi factions, who seem to back his latest move to remain relevant, it’s not clear at this stage how serious a move the formation of the First Division is. What is obviously wrong here is the claim that all active groups have joined the Division, as this is nowhere near true.
From Douma, Damascus Suburbs, comes this video-clip showing the burnt-out body of the pilot whose helicopter was brought down by rebels on Friday http://youtu.be/EqC7yBCRElE Today, MIGs continued their pounding of Eastern Ghoutah: Misraba http://youtu.be/skBGjmlnvZw Kafar Batna http://youtu.be/13YeHUZlvuI
In Damascus City, the pounding of Al-Qadam Neighborhood continues http://youtu.be/Yx3m4a8N3HM
The pounding of Nouaimah, Daraa Province, with heavy artillery continues http://youtu.be/7vxpA0ZR1mU
In Saif Al-Dawleh, Aleppo City, the shelling leaves a building on fire http://youtu.be/nmzuOSc6rOU
The pounding of Houleh, Homs Province, leaves many dead including local rebels http://youtu.be/_R7dvRfP-74 Some of the tanks taking part in the pounding of the town http://youtu.be/6zOaISirgtQ
The nearby city of Rastan was also pounded http://youtu.be/2FgcKtmgI1I , http://youtu.be/f2YUC5PnRvE , http://youtu.be/5G2yjBqCCNM
Clashes take place in several neighborhoods in Homs City: Khaldiyeh http://youtu.be/3g6KJLGnfX4 , http://youtu.be/q9kM_25SQc8 and the neighborhood was pounded by helicopter gunships as well http://youtu.be/lvStPTabR-U In moments of clam, black smoke can be seen rising all over the neighborhood http://youtu.be/PSTKOa6h_qE But the pounding does not stop for long http://youtu.be/ggmw8rPkXVM