Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Syria on the ropes: Convincing proof. UPDATES

Two recent reports from Strategy Page:
"Some of the terrorist groups that have been based in Syria for decades are backing away from the Assads and looking for a new sanctuary. This is especially true of the senior Hamas leadership, who have, until now thought themselves safer in Syria than in Gaza. But ninety percent have now gone to Gaza, leaving about thirty Hamas members in Damascus to show that the terrorists still supported the Assads".
An anti-Assad rally in Homs in July

The battles between rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters and government security forces are growing larger. In the south, a recent clash saw hundreds of armed men on each side fighting it out. The FSA forces also had some tanks and artillery. But for the most part, the FSA concentrates on cutting off supplies for troops and police battalions. The convoys carrying these supplies are vulnerable to ambush, and as the FSA makes more of these attacks, more soldiers and police decide to desert or switch sides. Army and police commanders must devote more and more of their time to monitoring the loyalty of subordinates.

"There are no indications the Assads are seeking sanctuary anywhere. Exile options are limited, with Iran being the most likely sanctuary. This religious dictatorship would not appeal to the secular (to Iranian eyes) Assad clan. So a fight to the death is shaping up, and it could get very nasty."

In northern Syria, a dozen members of air force intelligence defected to the rebels. This is unusual, as the military intelligence personnel are normally the most loyal to the Assads. The Syrian National Council (SNC) announced an alliance with the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

The Arab League imposed additional sanctions on Syria. In particular, travel restrictions were placed on 19 senior officials in the Assad government. Their assets were also frozen in Arab countries. On December 15th, air traffic in and out of Syria will be cut in half.

Update:  It's a stalemate concludes STRATFOR.  
Update: 10,000 troops desert, 1/3 of conscripts don't report for duty. Haaretz Dec. 21

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