All of the following developments are being reported in Enduring America's daily roundup. When EA is skeptical about reports, it tells you so and explains why it is skeptical. In this case, it finds most accounts credible. For details, go the following link where you'll also find links to EA's sources:
--The the highway linking the capital with Damascus International Airport to the city's south, an unprecedented development (airports are critical to regime reinforcements). Go down to 1259 GMT to see a video which demonstrates the crippling effect on a major highway. Imagine trying to bring reinforcements through that mess.
...EA has also received information that a highway between Darayya (map) and the capital has also been closed, and battles are escalating there as well.
... Mustafa Osso, an activist based in Syria said: It seems there is a new strategy to bring the fighting into the centre of the capital. The capital used to be safe. This will trouble the regime." (I'd say it will certainly demoralize the regime, re-invigorate the opposite and spur perceptions among insiders that it's near time to abandon ship). As EA reports, "There are two primary elements to the opposition in Damascus - peaceful protesters, and Free Syrian Army insurgents. While the FSA is engaged in gun battles, the protesters are using this opportunity to demonstrate and to show other signs of defiance."
(Assad is getting whipsawed. These attacks will force him to send troops to the Damascus area leaving the countryside under oppodion control. Meanwhile, for all the size of his military, consider that most of it is confined to barracks as unreliable. Can't Iranians learn from Syrian tactics?)
... another Syrian activist, Susan Ahmad, told Al-Jazeera English the fighting was initiated by government forces because the Free Syrian Army had secured a foothold at striking distance from major state installations.
... Snipers are ascending to high places and government building, they target anything that moves. There are reports of 3 martyrs. The shelling and clashes in Nahr Esha and Midan continue (reported by the LCC.
... A military armored vehicle of Assad forces has been destroyed in the Midan area of central Damascus, death of several snipers stationed on the rooftop of buildings targeting passersby. Several members of Assad forces have been killed. (EA notes that this breaking new is unconfirmed, but the CFDPC has proven highly reliable in the past).
--One after another, EA describes different neighborhoods of Damascus being shelled. (Surely this has an eroding effect on support for the regime in each such neighnorhood--).
-- As EA notes, Damascus may capture the headlines today, for obvious reasons, but this fight rages in nearly every corner of the country today.
--At 12:40 check out this video of a car, riddled with bullet holes, burning in the Midan district of Damascus. According to the CFDPC, the car was fileld with Assad thugs, and it was destroyed by FSA fighters.
--The New York Times, which used a weekend report to turn last weekend's mass killing in Tremseh into a "battle" between the regime and insurgents, takes a much different line today. (See 1139 GMT for a summary and link).
-- DEFECTION: Claimed footage of Major-General Adnan Sillu, the former head of Syria's chemical weapons programme, announcing his defection:
Doesn't it sound as if Assad's regime is falling at a rate much faster than expected. To Iranians: When a regime is this unpopular, when it must cover too much ground, when it can't trust many troops and must confine them to barracks, when the opposition combines military resistance (using hit and run tactics) with large scale peaceful protests, how long can any tyrannical regime last?
Finally, Scott Lucas has joined James Miller's earlier Assessment. See:Syria Audio Feature: "Gradually The Regime is Losing Control" --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24
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