Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Military Space News .




WAR REPORT
Syrian rebels make gains against regime
by Staff Writers
Damascus, Syria (UPI) Nov 26, 2012


An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on November 25, 2012, allegedly shows Syrian government army defectors announcing the creation of a new movement the "Gathering of Free Officers" to be the core of the future Syrian army, at an undisclosed location in Syria. Photo courtesy AFP.

Syrian rebels, despite deep fractures between rival groups, have been making important gains against the forces of embattled President Bashar Assad. These aren't war-winning victories but they are hurting the Damascus regime.

In recent weeks, rebels have held a large swath of territory in northern Syria along the border with Turkey, a vital supply route, and seized several military bases, including key airfields.

At the same time, the rebels have held onto several districts of Damascus despite heavy counterattacks by some of Assad's best troops to the extent that the regime has had to mount airstrikes against parts of Damascus, the seat of its power.

Oxford Analytica says the "stalemate between government and rebel forces is set to break in 2013."

It observed in an analysis published Monday: "The balance of power has begun to tip in the rebels' favor with their attacks growing, the political opposition forming a new and more effective body and the government losing control of increasing swathes of territory.

"However, the regime remains united and is escalating its use of heavy weapons and air power."

Even so, analysts and regional diplomats say, it's becoming clearer that after 20 months of bloodletting in which up to 40,000 people have been killed, the grip of the regime, dominated by the minority Alawite Muslim sect, is weakening across the Sunni-majority country.

"The regime has failed to dislodge opposition militants from Aleppo," Syria's commercial capital and long a regime stronghold, "and the Damascus suburbs," Oxford Analytica noted.

The Syrian army was forced to abandon its last base in Aleppo, Syria's strategically important second city and the central battleground of the war, in early November.

That's only one of several major rebel gains in recent weeks that U.S. global security consultancy Stratfor says illustrates "shifting dynamic in the fighting and a clear erosion of the regime's strategic position in northern Syria."

Indeed, it could lead to the rebels cutting off Damascus from the Alawite-dominated Mediterranean coast, the regime's bolt hole.

The regime's elite and most loyal units, led by the Republican Guard and the 4th armored division commanded by Assad's younger brother Maher, clearly can no longer control large parts of the country.

"Rebel groups cannot defeat the regime but are able to attack military bases, economic targets and intercept main communications routes," Oxford Analytica commented.

However, it added, "a reorganized opposition will enable greater Western support -- however, this will fall short of military intervention.

"The civil war will intensify and the regime of President Assad is likely to collapse by the end of 2013."

Western powers, led by the war-weary United States, don't want to be dragged into an increasingly savage conflict that could trigger violent unrest in neighboring Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq.

This could spread even further across a region that's been in turmoil since pro-democracy uprisings broke out in early 2011 and brought down four Arab dictatorships.

But the Persian Gulf monarchies, which feel threatened by the ill-named Arab Spring and by Iran, Syria's key ally, are taking a harder line and providing arms and funding for the rebel groups.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar, in particular, are determined to bring down Assad's regime to end Shiite Iran's drive to extend its power across the Sunni-dominated Arab world.

Islamist-led Turkey has allowed rebel forces to base in its territory and has provided arms and funding as well, one reason why the opposition is able to hold ground in the north.

Deep-seated rivalries within the Syrian opposition have prevented the cohesion of rebel forces since the uprising against Assad erupted March 15, 2011.

This has also allowed Salafist jihadists, such as al-Qaida, to gain a foothold in Syria.

Their fighters, many of them veterans of other wars, are the most effective of the rebel forces. They have proven to be formidable foes of the regime because they're heavily financed by power brokers in the gulf.

But the opposition, increasingly desperate for Western support, overt or otherwise, finally set aside its rivalries in Qatar Nov. 11 to boost the prospect of getting rid of Assad, whose family has ruled Syria since 1970.

The formation of the National Council for Revolutionary and Opposition Forces under a moderate leadership is likely to boost rebel links with the West and possibly pave the way for a government-in-exile.

.


Related Links






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





WAR REPORT
Syria rebel officers plan post-Assad army
Beirut (AFP) Nov 26, 2012
Syrian rebel officers have formed a commission to lay the foundations for a future army and liaise with the political opposition on issues such as arming fighters on the ground, a spokesman said on Monday. The announcement came in a video posted to YouTube on Sunday which shows some 50 Free Syrian Army officers wearing military fatigues assembled in a dimly lit basement room, one of whom rea ... read more


WAR REPORT
Russia warns Turkey against deploying Patriot missiles

Patriot performs flawlessly in Japan test firings

NATO to consider Turkey request for Patriots 'without delay'

Turkey says will seek NATO Patriot missiles as soon as possible

WAR REPORT
Turkey insists Patriots would be 'purely defensive'

India tests missile interceptor

South Korea deploys new cruise missiles: report

N. Korea preparing for missile launch

WAR REPORT
Precision, Wireless Ground Handling of X-47B Unmanned Aircraft

Lockheed Martin Acquires Chandler May

USAF and Raytheon evaluate avoidance capabilities for safe UAS flight

Israel destroys Gaza drone workshop: army

WAR REPORT
Lockheed Martin to Demonstrate Key Component of Tactical MilSat Communications System

The Skynet 5D secure telecom satellite is received in French Guiana for Arianespace's December Ariane 5 mission

Lockheed Martin Completes On Orbit Testing of Second AEHF Satellite

LynuxWorks LynxOS-SE Deployed by ITT Exelis in New Line of Software-Defined Radios

WAR REPORT
Russia frees physicist convicted of spying for China

Dog noses inspire explosives detector

10 killed in Yemen military plane crash: ministry

Britain defends shooting pigs for army medic training

WAR REPORT
Japan's opposition pledges national security boost

Defense contest over major gulf arms buys

China eyes S. America as defense customer

Marine general sworn in at US Southern Command

WAR REPORT
India counters China map claims in a tit-for-tat move

Japan appoints new ambassador to China

US-Myanmar detente forces Chinese rethink: experts

Estonian embassy in Minsk to become NATO liaison

WAR REPORT
King's College London finds rainbows on nanoscale

Optical microscopes lend a hand to graphene research

Controlling heat flow through a nanostructure

ORNL pushes the boundaries of electron microscopy to unlock the potential of graphene




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement