Friday, 30 May 2014
"The price Assad's side has paid for these limited gains has been so high that I don't see how they can endure much more to defeat a rebellion that does not lose its will to fight.
And with our external arms and training and other support, there is no reason for the rebels to give up before the government does."
Syrian Regime Hunts Down Men Dodging Mandatory Army Service'Across the country, an increasing number of would-be soldiers are ducking Syria's mandatory 18-month military service requirement.
In most cases, the young men are either hiding out — or taking up arms for the opposition.
Hossam, a 26-year-old from Hama, has been summoned by the Syrian army to fulfill the compulsory 18-month service required of all young men here. But three years into a conflict that has killed more than 62,800 fighters from all sides, he is refusing to comply.
"The Syrian army is no longer the nation's army, and nothing motivates me to join it," he says.'
And that's why Assad isn't going to win, however many bombs he drops trying. This fracturing for society is ignored by those who have looked at the balance of weaponry held by Assad and the opposition and assumed inevitable victory for the former.
"Within the currently prevailing dynamics, in which moderate insurgent forces remain comparatively weak man-for-man, it could be argued that it is too soon for Friends of Syria states to encourage moderates to actively oppose Jabhat al-Nusra on the ground. In the immediate term, doing so would also pose a significant risk to the prospects of ongoing battles with the government. Like it or not, FSA-branded groups are coordinating dozens of ongoing operations with Jabhat al-Nusra across the country. The unrivalled ability of Jabhat al-Nusra suicide operatives to break through established military defenses makes it a force that the insurgency as a whole would struggle to live without, for now. After all, the recent gains in Idlib between 23-26 May were only made possible by at least six large suicide vehicle bombings, all by Jabhat al-Nusra fighters (including an American national, "Abu Hurayrah al-Amriki"). Without more sophisticated heavy weaponry, moderate insurgent forces have simply proven incapable of exerting anything matching equal force.
This may be a controversial thing to admit, but without doing so, one risks further jeopardizing the prospects of the military opposition to one day attain at least a favorable political solution. The West's sustained failure to sufficiently support the moderate Syrian opposition means we are now faced with dynamics that cannot be overturned at the click of a finger.
Recent coverage regarding President Obama's purported decision to establish a military program for training moderate insurgent forces is a much-needed first step on this road ahead. But make no mistake, much more will ne necessary to turn the tide of the conflict. Patience is wearing thin within moderate insurgent circles and without a genuine qualitative and quantitative enhancement in military support, it is only a matter of time before the West loses any of its remaining leverage over internal conflict dynamics."
Wednesday, 28 May 2014
"After more than three years of genocidal slaughter in Syria, it is time to face the fact that Barack Obama was never serious at all in seeing Assad deposed. Not only has the Obama administration never contemplated getting involved in Syria the same way it did in Libya, it has done everything in its power to make sure the Syrian opposition never got the kind of arms and assistance that would have changed the balance of power on the battlefield."
‘Friends’ of #Syria: Right Direction, Wrong Speed' "[The opposition] need[s] the force they have now, which is trying to protect local villages and try to harass the regime and level the playing field. They need something that eventually will be able to hold ground. And they need a counterterror capability – all of which is responsive to Syrians. And we are not on a path currently to provide that. … That’s the conversation that we [West and its allies — NGS] need to have."
This is good news for the revolution but it is too little help and too slow in coming. It is a positive development compared to their previous policy of imposing a heavy arms embargo on the Free Syrian Army but negative compared to what can and should be done to the save the Syrian people and their revolution.'
Tuesday, 27 May 2014
"I quickly got involved and was very enthusiastic about the revolution," said Hanana, who also worked as a music theory teacher at a Damascus music school. "In addition to teaching, I worked in community service just like everybody else because a lot of people needed help. But then friends started disappearing. Friends were kidnapped and tortured and many wouldn't come back. It was intense."