By trying to fill his father’s shoes, Bashar Al-Assad ended up magnifying his father’s sociopathy. One destroyed a city in order to concentrate his power, the other destroyed a country, and has little power left. The frog can never become a bull. Bashar can never become his father. And Syria will never be the same.
* “Chavez is with Hafiz now!” (Comment by a Syrian activist on Facebook)
* We want real policy for managing the Syria situation into a fair resolution, not a smoke screen meant to alleviate political pressure or some feeling of guilt.
* If people want to blame basketball player Dennis Rodman for saying that North Korea's dictator is a "great" and "humble" man, what should we do, I wonder, with all those Syria experts who for years kept contending that Assad is a reformer? Especially when so many of them are still getting consulted on all things Syrian and are still providing advice to U.S. and western leaders?
* In his recent interview, Assad mockingly asked for the names of the martyrs his troops and militias had killed. Well, we actually have them. Even the U.N. acknowledges that the actual death toll is far in excess of the oft-quoted 70,000, but these are the documented cases.
Mattis also painted a daunting portrayal of events on the ground in Syria, where he said the situation was too complex at this point for him to support arming rebels battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
"We don't want to inadvertently, with the best of intentions, arm people who are basically sworn enemies," he said before the Senate Armed Services Committee… "The collapse of the Assad regime, sir, would be biggest strategic setback for Iran in 25 years," Mattis said in response to a question from Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island…
Mattis said "quiet planning" was also underway with regional allies for potential stability operations if needed after the Syrian regime's collapse, and pointed to regional organizations like the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as groups "that may be able to take this on."
"We are doing some planning with the regional militaries and getting basically a framework for what this would look like," he said.
Still, Mattis said the situation in Syria remained "fundamentally unpredictable," even though Assad's power base and geographic area of control were eroding.
Asked how long he believed Assad could hold onto power, at least in a sub-region of Syria, Mattis said: "I really don't have the ability to forecast this well, Senator."
"I'd hate to give you some kind of certainty that I don't sense right now," he said.
Thanks to this straightforward report by the Abkhazian News Network, a creation of Russian intelligence covering developments in Syria and of course wholeheartedly buying the regime line on its fight against terrorist, we are taken on a tour of the battlefield in the town of Daraya, Damascus Suburbs, to see exactly how the regime combats “terrorism. The report is succinctly tiled “A Tank Assault,” and is nothing more than a camera put on the top of an attack tank, with occasional commentary in Russian. The commentary is not as important as the visuals. The fact that ANN and its correspondents don’t realize that they are in effect documenting a war crime in action is… as surreal as the unfolding scene http://youtu.be/Vn_ABGjWAH8
Daraa: After liberating a loyalist checkpoint in the village of Jamlah, rebels executed their prisoners despite heated protestations from some in their ranks http://youtu.be/T5Z0E1EIBbc The fighters, however, are not affiliated with Jabhat Al-Nusra or any other Jihadi groups, their rhetoric and their adherence to the independence flag indicate that they are the “moderate” Islamists we hear so much about. There are no more moderates in this fight. We have waited too long. http://youtu.be/Mly9pm9FeDA “Those who don’t defect, will be killed” http://youtu.be/W7_qUMqtjcg The incident took place on March 4. In many ways, the options ahead for international intervention have become increasingly limited and perhaps the scenario described by Chester Crocker is the most realistic one at this stage.
In nearby Khirbet Ghazaleh, rebels destroy a tank http://youtu.be/u_mg7kCuenw
Meanwhile members of Jabhat Al-Nusra were busy destroying a shipment of alcoholic beverages http://youtu.be/_MY0bY5m9Qk Elsewhere, in Minnigh, rebels from JAN taking part in laying siege tot eh airport turn down a request from an old man to join them http://youtu.be/CykhsJ8MKYM
In Deir Ezzor, shelling by pro-regime troops besieging the provincial capital damages its famous suspended bridge. Locals believes it could soon collapse http://youtu.be/ISbTP-eSTUk Elsewhere in the City, clashes continue http://youtu.be/zdEtslCyhQ8
More and more villages come under shelling by regime forces as they intensify their assault on the provinces of Homs and Hama: Deir Fool, Homs local rush to save the wounded http://youtu.be/IKcKrLdshdo , http://youtu.be/paYYsUIfwPY
People stream out of the recently liberated Raqqah City to evade bombing b y MiGs http://youtu.be/1OLmxwfb8P4