Facing military defeat, Khamenei May Employ Assad's Chechnya tactics. HOWEVER...


by FG


1. In Iran where are the counterparts to "fight or die" Alawites or the ever loyal 5th Armored Division?   

2. Is it likely that Iranian minorities (Kurds, Arabs, Bahai and man Azeris) would rally around their #1 tormentor? 

3. Are "negative attitudes" among his troops today greater or less than among Assad's forces when Syria's revolution started? 

4. Is it possible to pulverize towns and cities without control of the air?  Assad's monopoly not only inflicts direct damage but also allows additional damage from tanks and artillery which defectors would not leave behind otherwise.  Lacking air power, Khamenei's only option is Stalingrad-style urban warfare which always favors the defense. 

5. Compared to Assad, Khamenei's troops have to cover far more ground and oppress far more people, possibly with even less troops.  Aside from defectors, how many will be confined to base?


1. Several practical factors deterred a no-fly zone but don't exist in Iran's case. 

2. Assistance from Russia, Hezbollah, China and Iran prolonged Assad's regime.  Where will Iran find foreign "enablers?" 

3. The argument in favor of western invention were less clear cut and the risks higher in Syria.


1. They won't ask until they learn the same lesson Syrians did: Tyrants view any refusal to fight back with contempt... not admiration.  Hence we have seen 33 months of "no mercy" as the reward for tainted pacifism.  It's time for realism!

2. No request for assistance will be honored until Iranians demonstrate that "It is a real revolution this time not a reformist tea party." 

3. If the West agrees to help, we cannot provide it instantly for logistical reasons and because allied forces must first remove Iradar, anti-air and anti-missile installations before turning attention to flashier tasks most desired by Iranians.

4. No foreign power will rovide ground troops other than small special force units working closely with the Iranian Free Army.


If you have family members or close friends in the military, ask them to make ORAL pledges to defect (with their weapons) the moment Khamenei starts brutalizing demonstrators again. Such pledges need not and should not require consultation with other troops before Khamenei crosses the Red Line.   At that point, the quicker pledges respond and the more who do so, the quicker the start for the Second Iranian Revolution.


more from FG

Revolutionaries in Syria Claim 60% of Aleppo as UN Condems al-As

by vildemose on


 On Friday, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning the Syrian regime for using heavy weapons in civilian areas. Russia and China are increasingly isolated in the world community because of their support for al-Assad, and were angry that they lost that vote so decisively. The UNGA vote shows that opposition to al-Assad’s methods is hardly just “Western,” but is rather characteristic of most countries in the world– including many in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

 Revolutionaries in Syria Claim 60% of Aleppo as UN Condems al-Assad

All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir


Desperate Syrian delegation begs Russians for help

by FG on

Senior officials are in Moscow begging for financial aid and oil products.   The regime has virtually exhausted the $17 billiion in reserves it has in March of 2011 when the demonstrations started and needs to replace what has been defeated.

The regime hopes the loan will be approved within a few weeks but will the regime last that long.   Now the rebels have attacked Damascus while regime forces on tied up in Aleppo where only the rebels have made progress.  The FSA got manh reinforcements today with more on the way. 

Russia has protected Syria from U.N. sanctions and continued to supply it with weapons throughout the conflict, as all Syrians are aware.

In Jordan, Syrian agents have been caught in an a series of terrorist plots directed at defectors and at Jordanians who provided them with aid.  In one two incidents they attempted to poison an apartment complex's water supply (with rat poison and with cynanide).   For that story see:







by FG on

In the Wizard of Oz, a much feared wizard behind a curtain turns out to be an old man with a microphone.  Induced fear aids the enemy.

IRCG generals are masters at bluffing which is why they huff and puff so often. Having convinced Iranians they have no chance if they revolt, they've avoid putting it to the test.   I don't claim the regime is toothless but I do argue that,  if confronted intelligently, it's chances of victory are terrible-- much as a pack of hyenas take down a lion by going after his testicles.

In 2009 people insisted the regime had too many powerful weapons and would not hesitate to use them on its own people.   How many times did experts assure us that "any use of force will play into the regime's strength?"   Syrians proved such experts wrong.  Assad had better weapons and less terrain to cover.  Where is he now?  Iranians need to check out this passage from today's NY Times:

...many of the Syrian government’s most powerful weapons, including helicopter gunships, fighter jets and tanks, are looking less potent and in some cases like a liability for the military of President Bashar al-Assad....Rebels have turned part of Mr. Assad’s formidable arsenal on his own troops...

 Perhaps even more worrying to Mr. Assad, his military has come to rely more heavily on equipment designed for a major battle with a foreign enemy, namely Israel, rather than a protracted civil conflict with his own people. Close observers of his military say Syria is having trouble keeping its sophisticated and maintenance-intensive weapons functioning.

Admittedly, Assad was caught flat-footed when huge demonstrations broke out while Khanenei has had three years to get ready for whar is certain to come.  Yet as I noted in an earlier post, his approach has a major vulnerability as Syrians demonstrated.  Force his thugs out of the city and into Chechya-style tactics and he cannot survive. For the earlier post, See: 

Anti-protest tactics that worked in 2009 have a fatal flaw that Iranians failed to test


This "formidable" equipment resembles a tank in a jungle when employed in urban terrain.  If withdrawn for bombardment purposes,it will kill a minimum of enemies and a maximum or civilians, expend fuel and pricy weapons like water and provide the enemy with almost unlimited recruits (many drawn from one's own troops).  A guy I knew--a scout who was the first American soldier to cross the Rhine at Ramage--would laugh every time he described how a German tank wasted a whole shell firing at him. Obviously it missed.  

A perfected version of the the successful tactic used by Khamenei in 2009 will nevertheless remain vulnerable to lightly armed defectors.  A sweet dose of Stalingrad tactics will force the mullahs into Chechya mode.

The Times report confirms one from The Guardian (UK) posted on July 27.  See: //iranian.com/main/news/2012/07/27/syrian-army-supply-crisis-has-regime-brink-collapse-say-defectors

Here's a portion of the Times report which is very rich in deails:

The strain is likely to grow more acute as the government depends on helicopter gunships to extend its reach to parts of the country rendered impassable to logistics convoys and even armored vehicles by the rebels’ improvised bomb

 Analysts said Syria’s fleet of Mi-25 Hind-D attack helicopters, which numbered 36 at the start of the conflict, is insufficient to hold back rebels as the number of fronts, from Aleppo and Idlib in the north to the suburbs of Damascus in the south and Hama and Homs in the center of the country, continues to proliferate.

Maintenance technicians are struggling to keep the machines aloft in an intense campaign and in the searing heat and sand associated with summer desert war. Estimates are that only half his fleet can be used at a given time, with some helicopters cannibalized for spare parts and Mr. Assad dependent on supplies from Russia.


The Times also provides a stat I haven't seen anywhere:-1100 Syrian troops KILLED in July.  Injuries are surely many times that. Many of those will be hors de combat.   Throw in defections and the regime likely lost as many as 10,000 troops in July.  

With its most loyal troops getting hammered in Aleppo while much of th country remains under attack, how many will it lose in August? Will Aleppo have falled to the rebels as September opens?  What effect wlll all this have on regime defections?  Meanwhile,  over 60 percent of regime forces are confined to barracks as unreliable.   The 5th Armored Division is getting pounded and can't be everywhere. See:

MILITARY ANALYSIS-- Syrian Leader’s Arms Under Strain as Conflict Continues






EA now says regime defeat in Aleppo is most likely outcome

by FG on

 Without being alarmist, the most likely scenario may not be a regime assault on the city. Soon, the Free Syrian Army could be poised to take Aleppo --- all of it.

Enduring America paints a devastating professor in its daily Syria roundup:

 The roads north of Aleppo are virtually clear of the Syrian army. The area as far east as Kobani (also known as Ayn-al-Arab), and as far west as Dar T'Izzah, all the way north to the border with Turkey, is either completely or largely in insurgent hands. Free Syrian Army fighters have captured perhaps hundreds of vehicles, some of them armoured, and a few of them are tanks.

The FSA has more and more weapons, and has proven it can beat Assad's armour. Those fighters have been hit hard by the helicopters and jet fighters, but have proven that they are strong enough to take those hits. We have now gone many days without a regime victory in the area, and the FSA continues to advance. Perhaps as much of 70% of Aleppo is under some degree of FSA control, while the insurgents are closing in on Assad's military bases south of Salaheddin.

Common knowledge says that the regime will strike soon, but common knowledge said that the regime would retake the city last Saturday. It didn't happen. The FSA won the battles. In fact, there is no available empirical evidence that suggests the Assad regime can win the future battles inside Aleppo....

Since February, the Syrian military has not retaken a single city or town that has been in insurgent control for more than 2 weeks. Reporters on the ground are saying that the FSA is become better equipped and better supplied and that its ranks, both inside Aleppo and outside, are growing.

... Tomorrow will mark the second week since the Free Syrian Army began to take territory inside Aleppo city. Despite all the talk of impending Assad military success in the city, the FSA has either gained new territory, or held territory they had already gained, nearly every single day.


A mutating regime turns to tactics that make no military sense

by FG on

FASCINATING: EXCERPTS FROM A REPORT BY THE NON-PARTISAN INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP FITS THE ABOVE TOPIC PERFECTLY  One is tempted to say that the  regime has been uniformly cold-blooded and indiscriminate from the start, but that is not so. The conflict experienced several phases: from the regime’s political concessions, both half-hearted (which prompted stronger popular demands) and coupled with brutal repression (which further undermined their credibility); to its so-called security  solution (which, by seeking to force entire communities into submission further energised the opposition and pushed it toward armed resistance); and, finally, to its so-called military solution (a scorched earth policy of rampant destruction and looting that turned what once was viewed as  a national army into a broadly reviled occupation force)......................... With each stage, the regime burned yet another bridge,  leaving it with neither way back nor way out.................. Of all the ongoing changes, perhaps the most significant  and least appreciated is what, over time, has become of the regime. The one that existed at the outset of the conflict almost certainly could not have survived the spectacular  killing of top officials in the heart of its traditional stronghold; street combat in Damascus, Aleppo and a string of other towns; the loss of important border crossings with Turkey and Iraq; all amid near-total economic devastation  and diplomatic opprobrium.................................................................. As its political backbone disintegrates, the regime is being reduced to its repressive apparatus, while the latter itself gradually morphs into an entity more akin to a militia than an army in both make-up and ethos..........................   The regime...is mutating in ways that make it impervious to political and military setbacks,  indifferent to pressure and unable to negotiate...a large portion of the Alawite community now feels it has no option but to kill or be killed............................................................................................................ //www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/Middle%20East%20North%20Africa/Iraq%20Syria%20Lebanon/Syria/128-syrias-mutating-conflict.pdf