Friday, December 14, 2012

Running With Missiles!

Whatever it is that is looming in the far horizon in Syria – end of a regime, end of an era, end of Phase One, it is unlikely to bring an end to violence and bloodshed. It could even pave the way for something more tragic, unless we are ready with plans, visions and logistics to take charge of the situation and push it in the right direction. We need leaders, both among the ranks of the opposition and the international community, who are willing to stick their necks out, just as rebels and activists have been, in order to better manage the approaching transitional period. This is not a battle that can be managed from the safety to our illusions and wishful thoughts. The sight of Assad and his supporters reeling and scurrying in all directions should not blind us to the fact that they are carrying death with them wherever they go.

Thursday December 13, 2012

Today’s Death Toll: 138, including 7 children and 4 women: 69 in Damascus and suburbs (including 17 in Jdeidet Artouz and Al-Fadal, and 4 during shelling of a bakery in Al-Hajar Al-Aswad), 29 in Aleppo, 20 in Idlib, 6 in Homs, 7 in Deir al-Zour, 4 in Hama, 2 in Daraa, and 1 in Al-Hassakeh. Points of Random Shelling: 227. Clashes: 120. Rebels were to destroy five tanks in different areas and destroyed a MiG while still on the runway of the Deir Ezzor Military Airport. In Aleppo, rebels stormed the military base at Khanassar, seizing a variety of guns and heavy artillery pieces, and capturing 70 pro-Assad officers. Rebels also took control of the Air Defense Unit belonging to the 111th Regimen. In Damascus Suburbs, rebels destroyed two tanks travelling along the Airport Highway and took control of the military engineering unit in Shaba’a. In the town of Malkiyeh in Al-Hassakeh Province, a number of id-level defections were reported (LCC).

News

Special Reports
"Radical Islamists are very visible," Pierret says. "They always fight on the front line because they're seeking martyrdom. For that reason, other groups often ask them to spearhead attacks.
Currently around 102,000 Syrians are registered with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees within Jordan, and another 41,000 have 'appointments to register'. However, the Jordanian government estimates an additional 100,000 people have crossed the border.* More than 500,000 refugees have registered in countries across the region, including Iraq and Turkey, but the true figure is likely to be much higher.
The establishment of a Syrian contact group among these key powers – similar to the Dayton process that helped stop the fighting in Yugoslavia – would aid negotiations that could lead to a unified strategy for peace. The Assad regime must be convinced to accept change and multi-party negotiations now because the window of opportunity is closing rapidly.
Virtually every risk the administration warned might be triggered by U.S. intervention has been made all-too-real in the absence of U.S. intervention. This was abdication masquerading as serious foreign policy; a flight from leadership gussied up to appear as thoughtful restraint, prudence, realism.
“The shabiha came and told us they wanted to protect us from the rebels, but then they wouldn’t let us go,” said a young man in one video who gave his name as Mohamed Ibrahim al-Judud, and who like others in the videos said he was able to identify the attackers by their first names. “They killed my father, my mother and my brother.”
In a sign that perhaps the regime is feeling vulnerable, Western officials said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has targeted the rebels with Scud missiles.
Both rebel leadership and the United States urged the Russian government to help push Syria's President Bashar al-Assad into ceding power and end the battles closing in around his capital.
To win, the rebels have to conquer Damascus and dislodge Mr Assad from the seat of his power, which he has vowed to defend to the last breath. Although the rebels have been closing in relentlessly on the capital, the real battle for the city has barely begun, and the hard inner core of the regime's power has yet to be fully engaged.
Not really. Watch what the Kremlin does, not what it says.

Op-Eds
The Syrian people will not soon forget who came to their rescue in their dire hour of need -- and who did not.

Arabic Press (Steven Miller, FDD Research Assistant)
The Salafi movement in Jordan announced today that it appointed a new emir to lead Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria, replacing Abu Gilbid al-Toubasi with Abu Anas al-Sahaba. Both al-Toubasi and al-Sahaba are from al-Zarqa, a city northeast of the capital, and al-Sahaba is the brother-in-law of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The group's statement did not mention the fate of the former "emir" of Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria.

Syria Deeply

Video Highlights

A video leaked by a recent defector shows the launching of a Scud missile http://youtu.be/dI6sMQxbb2Y An activist captures another launch http://youtu.be/cdUs6TRyJU4

In Sha’aleh, Aleppo, rebels take control of the local radar station http://youtu.be/tKsa5TQwJO4 , http://youtu.be/OzPd1TlRtYM , http://youtu.be/4cuK0s4sjIE , http://youtu.be/unDj6--uJvc , http://youtu.be/jJmAjb4SD4w , http://youtu.be/3fty_1pNw6g But the regime soon sends its MiGs to bombard the site http://youtu.be/6bKcmGYJ7vE

The merciless pounding of the town of Daraya, Damascus, continues http://youtu.be/lNH6N8yC7v8

In Yelda, more clashes continue http://youtu.be/9kn2PSvwp2Y , http://youtu.be/BaD3eaFp43M

A leaked video shows pro-Assad militias preparing for battle in Arbeen, Damascus http://youtu.be/WBe6OkaG1HI

The pounding of Deir Ezzor City continues http://youtu.be/0-KigBW-GuQ

Scenes from the clashes in Jabal Mouaf, Lattakia http://youtu.be/hojv8gz-XKU