The term stalemate is heard a lot these days in descriptions of the military situation in Syria today, just as it was for months on end in Libya, until the rapid takeover of Tripoli and the final collapse of the Qaddafi regime revealed the real movement that was taking place while the pundits were calling it a stalemate.
If one looks beyond the MSM, UN and NGO reports, it is easy to see that what is happening in Syria is not a stalemate. The FSA has not only managed to hang on in Aleppo in spite of the Assad regime's use of massive and indiscriminate violence in its months long attempts to dislodge it. Fighting continues in Damascus and all across Syria with the FSA making slow but steady progress. They can do this, and continue to grow, in spite of the losses inflicted on them by the Assad regime because they enjoy wide support among the Syrian people and defectors from Assad's army continue to swell their ranks.
The Assad regime continues its genocidal policy of slaughtering anyone who opposes it regardless of whether they have take up arms against the regime or not. This has pushed the death toll in this 20 month conflict past 37 thousand by some counts. Most of these are civilians killed by Assad's forces.
Only the defeat of the Assad regime by the Free Syrian Army has the possibility of ending the violence in Syria. Assad's violence against his opposition among the Syrian people proceeded their armed self-defense and it will not end if they lay down their arms. It will only increase if the resistance to Assad should collapse. In that case, Syria will most likely live a reign of terror unlike anything seen so far.
This video posted today on YouTube shows what happens when soldiers from Assad's army meet soldiers from the Free Syrian Army. They surrender. This is why Assad must rely on long range weapons, his Syrian soldier are proving to be very unreliable when tasked with killing other Syrians.
The LA Times introduces us to a FSA fighter today:
Also today Syrian Freedom Tumblr posted a series of videos in which a Free Syrian Army battalion takes an air defense base in East Goula:
In Syria, a rebellion calls for revolutionary measures
Law student Hanadi, 19, is eager to see action on the front lines. Her ticket? A marriage of convenience to a militia commander fighting to oust Bashar Assad.
DAMASCUS, Syria The crack of a sniper rifle and the boom of exploding shells seemed to take turns as Hanadi slipped out of the apartment and onto the dark street.
Seconds later, a shell landed nearby and Hanadi groaned, worried that the Syrian army would storm the neighborhood that night before she got her camera back from the repairman, leaving her unable to record the fighting.
Walking down the street, carefully planting her feet, she glanced left and right through open doors, concerned that her husband might see her.
At the corner, a few young Free Syrian Army fighters manning a checkpoint recognized her immediately.
"Abu al-Majid is inside," one of them said, referring to her husband and pointing in the direction she had just come from.
"What do I want with Abu al-Majid?" she replied. They warned her about a government sniper ahead, but she continued walking through the intersection.
When antigovernment protests first began in Dara in March 2011, the then-high school senior didn't join, believing that President Bashar Assad was blameless. That changed in June though, when Assad called the opposition "germs."
"From that point I joined the opposition," she said. "They came out asking for freedom, so I came out also asking for freedom."
The following school year, as a first-year law student at the University of Damascus, Hanadi, who asked that her last name not be used so as to protect her family, would skip classes to attend protests.
As the armed uprising that had devastated much of the rest of Syria finally made its way into Damascus in late July, she traded her placard for a syringe as a volunteer nurse at an opposition-run field hospital. Soon she put down the needle and picked up a camera to join a rebel militia and record clashes at government checkpoints and outposts.
Now, as the violence and bloodshed only grow, Hanadi, 19, has traded up once again: replacing her camera with a Kalashnikov.
Weeks ago, rebels clashed with government security forces in several south Damascus neighborhoods. As government forces bombarded the neighborhoods with airstrikes, the opposition fighters fled from district to district and eventually withdrew to the suburbs as their ammunition ran low.
Hanadi's rebel militia was one of the last to leave, from the district of Asali, and she left for the suburbs unwillingly.
"The worst thing for me is the tactical withdrawal," she said a few days afterward. "I swear the next time we attack I will be the first one in and the last one to leave until my last bullet."
Being at the front line was what she came for, she said.
After all, the Kalashnikov was her promised dowry. More...
The banner of Islam - a battalion of Saif al-Islam - the first few minutes of the start of the storming operation air defense battalion in East Gouta in 4 parts.
The FSA is also starting to get a few of the heavy weapons they need to defeat Assad although it is not clear from where or how. In this video they show off a SA-2 anti-aircraft missile, probably captured in one of their raids on Syrian air defense bases, although it is not clear whether they also have the controller and other requirements to make this missile operational.
This is what they are fighting to put an end to:
Here are my related diaries on Syria:
Syrian Defector: Assad behind "terrorist" bombs
How Assad fights "terrorism" in Syria
REVISITED: FSA says it killed Russian General in Syria
Turkey attacks Syria
Truth Out: How Assad helped France kill Qaddafi
Panetta: Unilateral U.S. Military Intervention in Syria Would Be a Serious Mistake
BREAKING: 305 Syrians slaughtered in bloodiest day yet
Syria: Secret source of rebel arms revealed
BREAKING: Amnesty on Syria - Assad Regime guilty on indiscriminate slaughter
Syrian Revolution Digest shows "disgusting" photos!
Syria: The Killing Field the World is Learning to Live With
Barack Obama's Courtship of Bashar al-Assad
LIVE VIDEO: World Silence is Killing #Syria Rally in #DC
Free #Syria responds to Robert Fisk
UPDATED: #Assad: "#Syria doesn't need a green light!"
#Obama opposes French support for #Assad's opposition in #Syria
BREAKING: Amnesty site hacked, Assad propaganda posted
BREAKING: 630 Slaughtered in new massacre in Syria
Special message from Syrian children to Obama
Assad's Redline and Obama's Greenlight!
General Meade at Gettysburg
Tell US gov't to stop endangering Syrian activists
UPDATED: #Obama "green lights" #Assad's slaughter in #Syria
Syria: Turning Battlegrounds into Playgrounds
BREAKING: Bashar al-Assad is alive as deaths in Syria reach 25,000
The Left and the Arab Spring
Iran increasing its intervention in Syria
Syria: Images from the Battle of Aleppo
Fears grow of WMD attack in Syria
UPDATED: FSA says it killed Russian General in Syria
BREAKING: Syria releases new images of Bashar al- Assad | Are they fakes?
NOT BREAKING NEWS: Just another massacre in Syria
UPDATED: Syrian prime minister defects
Syria: FSA says Iranian pilgrims really Republican Guard
Syria: Aleppo under Siege!
BREAKING: UN votes to condemn Assad Regime as Reuters posts false story on Syria
BREAKING: Kofi Annan resigns as envoy to Syria
Syria: Bashar al-Assad not heard from on Armed Forces Day!
BREAKING: Senior Syrian diplomat to Armenia defects
BREAKING: Big Explosion hits #Damascus #Syria
UPDATED: Syria's Charge D'Affaires Quits London Post
BREAKING: Ground assault on Aleppo begins!
BREAKING: Protests across Syria in spite of Assad regime violence
ALEPPO: Step outside the Matrix and witness the Horror
UPDATED: US fears massacre in #Aleppo, #Syria
BREAKING: Reports of clashes between Jordan Army & Assad's Syrian army
BRAKING: Obama stops Putin from re-arming Assad in Syria
Syria: Foreign meddling increases as crisis builds
BREAKING: Aleppo, Syria bombed with fighter jets
BREAKING: Syria issues a correction, it has no WMD to use
BREAKING: Arab League asks Assad to step down!
Bashar al-Assad: New images released as slaughter continues in Syria
no blood for oil
BREAKING: Activists report toxic gas attack in Deir ez-Zor, Syria
Glenn Greenwald sees Islamist Terrorism as main issue in Syria
Will Syria's Assad make a chemical attack in Damascus on Saturday?
BREAKING: I know where Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is!
BREAKING: Massive Fire near #Assad's Presidential Palace in #Damascus, #Syria
BREAKING: Is Syria's Bashar al-Assad dead or dying?
BREAKING: Damascus explosion kills Defense Minister, other key figures
The battle for Damascus is coming
BREAKING: General Strike in Damascus
BREAKING: Intense fighting reported in Damascus now!
BREAKING: Syrian defector spills beans as important new defection reported.
Does Syria's Assad have something on Kofi Annan?
Tremseh Massacre in Syria: What we know
BREAKING: ~227 reported massacred by Assad's forces in Tremseh, Syria today!
Syria: Is Assad regime on the verge of collapse?
BREAKING: Russian Warships reported in Syria
BREAKING: #Russia changing on #Assad but not as fast as conditions in #Syria
UN Observers say violence in Syria is Unprecedented
BREAKING: Defection of major Assad insider reported in Syria
BREAKING: WikiLeaks releases 2.4 million #Syria emails
When did "Never Again" become "Whenever?" | #Douma
BREAKING: Incredible mass rally in Aleppo, Syria today!
BREAKING: HRW releases torture report on Syria
BREAKING: Syrian General defects with 293 to Turkey
BREAKING: Items not in the MSM on Syria
My response to Phyllis Bennis: Where is the non-violent opposition in Syria?
BREAKING: Syrian Air Force attacks Douma, 10m from Damascus, thousands flee
BREAKING: As Syria Burns, UN Blows More Smoke
BREAKING: Kofi Annan to propose Syrian unity gov't sans Assad!
BREAKING: Douma, Syria under massive attack, another massacre feared
BREAKING: Another mass defection from Syrian army
BREAKING: #NATO says No War in #Syria shoot down of #Turkey jet
NATO meetup tomorrow as more defect from Syria
BREAKING: Turkey calls for NATO consult on downing of jet by Syria
BREAKING: Senior Syrian Officers Defect
UPDATED: Russia reported to be preparing to evacuate from Syria
BREAKING: Syria fighter pilot defects
BREAKING: Britain stops Russian ship carrying attack helicopters for Syria
BREAKING: Russian troops headed to Syria
Qaddafi forces Strike Back in Libya
BREAKING: UN suspends mission in Syria
Libya & Syria - two videos - no comment
BREAKING: Russia denies supplying Syria with NEW attack helicopters
Syrian people rise up against the massacre
Another "Houla style" massacre in Syria
Fake Houla Massacre Photo: Was the BBC set up?
Idlib, Syria protest today on anniversary of Kent State killings
BREAKING: Massive protests in Syria following Friday pray
Syria is bleeding
Syria: Ceasefire faltering as mass protests breakout