UNCONFIRMED: Dreaded head of Syrian Air Force Intelligence dies in Russian hospital


by FG

What gives the story probability is it first broke on a pro-Assad, anti-FSA, anti-USA source--Russia Today (RT) though Syrian state media denied the story.  Now an online activist identifies the dead man as Jamil Hassan, Head of Air Force Intelligence Directorate which has played the most prominent role in arresting, torturing and executing civilians and protestors with anti-Assad views.  The air force has also been busy indiscriminately bombing Syrian towns and cities.  

I'm sure news of Jamil's death will be widely celebrated.  No info yet on how he died.

ITEM: A Japanese female journalist as been killed by Assad's shabiha militia who also kidnapped three journalists.  Supposedly she was hit by a sniper.


Al Jazeera reports that there areclashes between the Free Syrian Army and the regime military in the Mezzeh district of Damascus the closest neighborhood to the heart of the Assad regime.   Enduring America describes why this development is important:

Like Kafer Souseh, any violence here is automatically important because it is so close to the center of the capital. There are also fresh reports of violence in the Ghouta suburbs immediately east of the capital.

Making predictions at 4 in the morning is usually risky business, but it appears that our prediction came true - what we are seeing is an escalation of the violence in and around the capital, fueled by what appears to be more insurgent  activity.

The FSA's movements are very different, however, than they were at the "battle for Damascus" more than a month ago. The FSA has not made any attempt to actually hold any territory. The result is that the Syrian military is extremely active, but is usually only finding FSA elements when the insurgents launch an ambush.

Many of the areas where fighting is reported are, hypothetically, securely in the hands of the Assad army. If this fighting continues, the Assad army may have to move additional forces into the capital, a move which could have consequences in other areas - like Aleppo, Deir Ez Zor, and Daraa.


Such tactics would have the additional effect of neutralizing Assad's airpower when it comes to attacks on the FSA.   By the time it arrives, the rebels are gone.   I assume their HQ's would be mobile as well.



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Bashar Assad is ready to leave power. 



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I needed to hear that at least in Syria there is still hope. Unfortunately in Iran the situation seems to be hopeless.


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The Washington Post today has an article about China and how insiders and the favored military make out like bandits--a natural development in a closed, undemocratic system with no public check such as free press and open and fair elections. The generals run the economy and do quite well for themselves.  Does that remind Iranians of anyone?

In China, relatives of Party officials build lucrative businesses on family contacts


Now here's an interesting topic.   Y0u may be surprised at the answer to "What makes America so hated?"  Hint: It's not something the US does or does not do and is independent of American foreign policy.  Second hint (for Iranians specifically): You have already noticed how the regime uses it for domestic purposes.  

Have you also noticed how ultra-nationalists like Ayatoilet and Amir for Secular monarchy also NEED (yes need) anti-Americanism and anti-westernism as much as the mullahs.  I'd say people who behave like the mullahs should be treated with the same suspicion when it comes to why they do so.


It's not just foreign policy that makes Americans unpopular in the Muslim world



Since I'm on the topic of how foreign policy sometimes reflects domestic concerns, Iranians might find the following story interesting.  It'a about how and why Netanyahu's rages against the IRI are based as much on domestic budget problems than on actual worries about Khamenei's intentions.

In some ways American foreign policy under Obama has been the exact opposite.   Everyone says economic constraints, aggravated by the Tea Party, and election concerns have inhibited foreign policy which is anything might be more aggressive otherwise, especially in Syria.


Familiar theme to Netanyahu’s call to arms