Syrian army supply crisis has regime on brink of collapse, say defectors
The Guardian / Luke Harding
27-Jul-2012 (2 comments)

Bashar al-Assad's military machine is on the brink of logistical meltdown and collapse, because it lacks petrol and food, and is having problems resupplying its soldiers, according to a Syrian general who has defected to the opposition.

Much has been made of the Syrian military's supposed superiority over the opposition, but General Mohammad Al-Zobi told the Guardian: "The benzine is nearly finished. They are running out of rockets. There is scarcely any bread or water for the soldiers."

Zobi defected two months ago alongside his air force colleague General Saed Shawamra. They slipped out from Tiftanaz airbase in the middle of the night. From the city of Idlib they crept across the border to Turkey. On Wednesday they crossed back into Syria, their mission now to finish off the revolution against Assad.

The men, from Dera'a province, are among around 100 senior military commanders who have joined Syria's rebels, appalled – they say – by Assad's brutal war against his own population. According to Zobi, the embattled Syrian regime can last "one or two months at most". "After that Assad will leave Syria. He'll go to Russia or maybe Iran," Zobi predicted, sitting in a village in ru... >>>


Going down, baby! Going Down

by FG on

I've tried to limit my posting here to news items or analysis I see as exceptionally important.    This story surely qualifies. It is gets credibility from something else I read about a few days ago: A Syrian army unit was forced to abandon a stronghold because it ran out of food, apparently several days earlier, had the troops were too hungry to stay.   Imagine that!  

Yes, Assad's supply lines are hard to sustain.  The rear echelons of troops on the way to Aleppo have suffered a number of attacks.   Supposedly, one regiime column headed for Aleppo was forced to retreat by attacks before it got there.   That needs further confirmat111ion, however.

Observe how regime's shortages aren't confined to ammo, fuel, food and reliable footsoldiers.   It has to be increasigly short on reliable senior who require weeks of training for a regime short on time and who can be trusted to execute defectors rarther than join them.   Consider that Assad has lost 100 senior commanders to defections alone and the momentum of defections has increased since Damascus!   How many more high officers have been lost to casualties or capture?   

Meanwhile James Miller at EA remains skeptical of the regime's ability to carry out its intended massacre of lightly armed FSA forces in Aleppo.   As supporting evidence he points to FSA successes in fighting off Assad's (demoralized) forces in so many places elsewhere.  They haven't even fully succeeded in Damascus which was supposed to be "a two-day job?"  How long has it been now?      

Visualize what happens elsewhere if Assad's army gets bogged down in Aleppo and victory is nowhere near as quick as planned?  How would morale be effected on both sides?   How many Bad Guys will drift off in Aleppo as it goes on?  Where Assad sees a major victory which will break the FSA is more likely to break his own forces if not won quickly.   I doubt he can do that.  This may be what the FSA counts on.   



Has Russia supplied the mullahs with M25s?

by FG on

(If not, that's one more area in which Iranians enjoy huge potential advantages the SUCCESSFUL Syrian opposition lacks).

 ... the president's most lethal weapon is his notorious M25 helicopter gunship. Syria has 22 of them, stationed in pairs at every airbase across the country, according to Zobi. They are remorseless killing machines able to fire 64 rockets on each mission and 2,000 machine gun rounds of varying calibres. They can stay in the air for four and a half hours.

  "You can't shoot them down. It's impossible. They fly at an altitude of 4.5kms, above the range of a Kalashnikov," Zobi said. The gunships have a crew of four: two pilots, a gunner and an engineer.'


The lovable Putin supplied Syria's Mass Murderer with six more M25s this month.  


1. It is important that the Russians will pay a high price in Syria and the Arab world for its role in enabling Assad to slaugher and survive this long.   Hopefully Iranians will never forgive Russia if Putin does the same for Khamenei. 

2. If Put does pay such a high price for his crimes in Syria, will he be reluctant to offer the same support to an equally dead duck and isolated regime in Iran? 

3. What happens if Assad flees to Russia.  Any refusal to hand him over will handicap Russian efforts to undo damage in the Arab world and Syria.  The same applies if Putin repeats his mistake in Iran.  

4.  Russia's willingness to support Iran may be a bit less enthusiastic that in Assad's case.  

Putin refused to sell a very advanced anti-air system to Khamenei yet showed no reservations in selling the same system to Assad.  For this reason and others, Iranians have a better change of getting a no fly zone upon request than Syrians did.     

What complicates Russia attitudes toward Iran are domestic concerns about radical Islamists.   Even friendly ones can turn on an ally like a snake.  Thus Assad aided Al Queda in Syria and now they "thank" him with suicide bombs. The USA had a similar experience in Afghanistan.   So does Pakistan with  grateful" Taliban.