The situation in Syria really seems to be coming to a head quickly now. The situation is being driven by the facts on the ground created by the recent successes of the Free Syria Army. Their growing strength and change in tactics has been bearing fruit. Several months ago, they changed their focus from the defensive struggle of trying to protect opposition communities from Assad's attacks to the offensive tactic of going after Assad's bases and his supply lines.
They have captured base after base and with each installation, an arms cache was captured as well. Many of the captured soldiers joined the FSA as well.
There is still no solid indication that the FSA has received MANPADS from NATO, Qatar or Saudi Arabia, but they definitely have gotten them from Assad. They have posted the videos to prove it. First videos of the attacks on the bases, then videos of the MANPADS captured, and now at long last, videos of Assad's jet bombers and attack helicopters being swatted out of the skies the modern way.
While they have been growing in strength and capturing supplies, they have had good success in troubling Assad's lines of communications. Recently the FSA has been able to hold key roads supplying Aleppo.
They hold most of the border crossings with Turkey, and together with the Jordanian forces, all of the border crossings to Jordan.
But the most telling battle is happening in Damascus were the opposition in now in control of about half of the capital and has been threating the airport to the point that most air traffic has been halted.
It is clear that Assad is losing control and losing it fast at this point. This is in spite his stepped up murderous attacks on the people of Syria.
For example, Assad is now reported to be using a new weapon in Syria that rolls into one weapon, two of the most criminal and genocidal weapons used against the Vietnamese by the United States, a weapon so terrible, I didn't even know it existed before he used it. Assad is dropping cluster bombs that contain napalm on his own people!
In this climate, the fear that Assad will resort to chemical weapons in a last ditch effort to destroy the revolution is real.
I now think the two day Internet and communications blackout I reported on last week may have been a test run to see just how successful he could be in turning out the lights and just what the world would do if this mass murderer closed the door to carry out his grisly work in secret. It's back up now, but not without a new batch of malware targeting activists.
The world did nothing. The focus was on Gaza because 170 Palestinians were killed that week. That many Syrians are killed every day.
Now the world leaders are playing the stick and carrot game in an effort to get Assad to go quietly, with some warning him that there'll be the devil to pay if he uses chemical weapons and others offering him political asylum if he leaves without using them.
This just in:
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet international Syria mediator Lakhdar Brahimi in Dublin on Thursday to try to put a U.N. peace process for Syria back on track, diplomatic sources said.A few days ago Obama moved his "red line" from what he might do if Assad used "a whole bunch of chemical weapons" in August to a much more definitive statement that any use would be unacceptable and would definitely provoke a military response. Other administration sources have reported that intelligence reports say that Assad has been moving this chemical stores around.
NATO has also issued a warning and is sending Patriot missiles to Turkey to be placed along the Syrian border.
It is being reported that Obama has sent troops and an aircraft carrier task force off the coast of Syria to backup those words and France is also preparing an invasion force.
Wednesday evening NBC broke the news that Assad had already put sarin nerve gas into bombs but hasn't put those bombs into planes yet.
While the threat that Assad may use chemical weapons is well founded, I believe the real fear of Obama and the NATO allies is that the Syria opposition will win without their help and they will have no leverage in shaping the new Syria.
They are rushing in now so they don't look like the ignoble son of the emperor in Gladiator who rode in after the fight was over saying "Father, Father, have I missed the battle?" and they have to hear "NATO, you have missed the war."
And since Syria is not Libya, in their minds some backwater North African country with little choice but to sell that light sweet crude at world market prices no matter what else they do internally. Syria is much bigger stakes. Syria is at the heart of the Middle East and revolutionary democracy in both Syria and Egypt will put an end to Israel's hegemony in the region.
For these reasons they really haven't done much to help the Syrian people overthrow Assad. No air support for you!
The Syrian people have been forced to walk this road alone. What foreign help they have received has been from a few thousand Libyans and jihadists, together with some weapons and money from the Gulf states and more money from the US. A pittance really, as the deaths from exposure in the refugee camps will testify this winter.
Most military experts are saying that it is too late to stop Assad from staging a chemical attack if he decides to go that route. But if stopping mass slaughter was their true purpose they would have acted long before this.
I suspect they may intervene now even if he doesn't use them, using the protection of chemical weapons as the excuse. But the real purpose will to get some "boots on the ground" to give them leverage in shaping the post-Assad Syria.
This must be opposed. Syria is for Syrians now.
A Massacre took place in Albahdaleye,committed by Assad's. Assad's thugs arrested , brutally tortured and then executed 25 Syrians.
The Associated Press is reporting:
US aware of Assad asylum offers
By MATTHEW LEE
WASHINGTON (AP) The Obama administration said Wednesday that several countries in the Middle East and elsewhere have informally offered to grant asylum to Syrian President Bashar Assad and his family if they leave Syria.
Administration officials also said they were continuing to encourage those close to Assad to defect and said they believed that Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi, who disappeared this week, is currently in London.
The State Department said it couldn't vouch for the sincerity of the Assad asylum offers and noted that they raise serious questions of accountability for abuses committed by his government. But spokesman Mark Toner said the U.S. is convinced that Assad must leave and cannot play any role in Syria's future.
"We do understand that some countries both in the region and elsewhere have offered to host Assad and his family should they choose to leave Syria," Toner told reporters. He would not name the countries. More...
Syrian leader prepares to use chemical weapons
9:42 pm on 12/05/2012
U.S. officials told NBC News that as soon as Syrian President Bashar Assad gives the order, the countrys military will use chemical weapons against its own people.
Yesterday there seemed to be no firm evidence that the Syrians were mixing the precursor chemicals for the nerve gas sarin. The chemical weapon could be loaded into bombs that would be dropped from Syrian Air Force fighter-bombers. But on Wednesday, NBC News said, American officials came to believe the bombs had indeed been readied with the lethal agent. The sarin bombs were not yet loaded onto the fighter planes, however, and Assad has not issued the go order.
Secretary of State warned President Assad once again that he would be crossing a red line if he used nerve gas against the countrys rebels. But theres little the outside world can do to stop it, one official told NBC News. Secretary Clinton, in NATO headquarters in Brussels, said the Assad government was increasingly desperate and on the verge of collapse. The 21-month civil war has cost 40,000 lives already.
We believe their fall is inevitable, Clinton said. It is just a question of how many people have to die before that occurs. More...
NATO has also weigh in with a warning to Assad:
NATO warns Syria against chemical weapons use
Secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen says any use of such arms will draw 'immediate reaction' from world community.
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2012 20:06
Any use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during the ongoing uprising to overthrow his government will draw "an immediate reaction" from the world community, NATO's chief has said.
Secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen's warning on Tuesday came as Syrian forces continued to hit rebel districts near Damascus, while state media reported that rebel forces had hit a school, killing dozens of children.
"The possible use of chemical weapons would be completely unacceptable for the whole international community and if anybody resorts to these terrible weapons, I would expect an immediate reaction from the international community," Rasmussen told reporters at the start of a meeting of alliance foreign ministers in Brussels. More...
Haaretz said today:
The signs that the Syrian army is losing control of the country are growing fast, so too are growing the chances of a foreign military intervention.
By Anshel Pfeffer | Dec.06, 2012 | 4:10 AM |
The signs that the Syrian army is losing control of the country are growing fast, so too are growing the chances of a foreign military intervention. Fighting took place in dozens of locations across Syria, including near chemical weapons stores.
#syria FSA say they have taken all the Syrian border stations along with Jordan. Alex Crawford (@AlexCrawfordSky) December 6, 2012
And RT is saying:
According to the Australian:
Thousands of US troops arrive near Syrian shore on USS Eisenhower
Published: 06 December, 2012, 00:04
The USS Eisenhower, an American aircraft carrier that holds eight fighter bomber squadrons and 8,000 men, arrived at the Syrian coast yesterday in the midst of a heavy storm, indicating US preparation for a potential ground intervention.
While the Obama administration has not announced any sort of American-led military intervention in the war-torn country, the US is now ready to launch such action within days if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad decides to use chemical weapons against the opposition, the Times reports.
Some have suggested that the Assad regime may use chemical weapons against the opposition fighters in the coming days or weeks.
The arrival of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, one of the 11 US Navy aircraft carriers that has the capacity to hold thousands of men, is now stationed at the coast of Syria, DEBKAfile reports. The aircraft carrier joined the USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group, which holds about 2,500 Marines.
We have (US) special operations forces at the right posture, they dont have to be sent, an unnamed US official told The Australian, which suggested that US military troops are already near Syria and ready to intervene in the conflict, if necessary. More...
Allies weigh Syria no-fly zone and special forces
Michael Evans and Deborah Haynes
December 06, 2012 12:00AM
A NO-FLY zone, ground troops and special forces form the main planks of British-US contingency plans drawn up over recent months in anticipation of a Syrian chemical attack.
If a political decision is made to intervene, a limited no-fly zone could be imposed to stop the Syrian Air Force dropping bombs with chemical warheads.
Meanwhile Al Jazeera Live Blog is reporting that Russia is now attempting to distance itself from the Assad regime and will be working with Turkey on a future Syria sans Assad:
Russian and Turkish diplomats will soon start working on new ideas for ending the conflict in Syria which emerged in talks between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Tayyip Ardogan, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.
Putin and Erdogan agreed to differ on Syria at Monday's talks in Istanbul but Russia has distanced itself from President Bashar al-Assad and tried to position itself for his potential exit from power.
Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, confirmed diplomats would discuss what Putin said were "some new, fresh ideas" but gave no details.
"It was agreed that these ideas will be discussed in more detail by our diplomats in the very near future, in order to understand how viable they are and how great their potential to resolve (the Syrian crisis)," Peskov said. More...
Don't ever say you didn't know what was going on.
Just say what you were doing while it was going on.
The number of people murdered in Syria had reached 184 by the end of Tuesday, and includes 1 woman and 33 children. Here are some of them.
Damascus Suburbs, Jesrin: Child Martyr Mohammad Darwish
Child Ahmad Meshhadani, Shaba, killed by systematic shelling.
Unknown child martyr, Shaba, killed by systematic shelling.
Jasreen of Damascus, Child Martyr
Child Martyr After Shelling in Abada, Damascus Suburbs
Martyr Mohamad Ibrahim Maatouq in Mouadamiya, Damascus Suburbs
Martyr Rami AlJadomi in Sayeda Zainab, Damascus Suburbs
The Martyr Mahmoud Mohamed Ali in Al-Moadamieh, Damascus Suburbs
Douma | Damascus |Martyr Yaseen Khalil Al-Hanash
Douma, Unknown martyr, killed by systematic shelling
Mohammad Shikhah, Hotaitat Al-Turkman, killed by systematic shelling in Shaba.
Abdulrahman Fayez Al-Qoatli, Saqba, killed by systematic shelling.
Unknown martyr, Al-Meleha, killed by a sniper shot
Unknown martyr, Shaba, killed by systematic shelling.
Anas Abdulrazzaq Al-Naqqab, Moadamit Al-Sham, killed by systematic shelling.
Yaseen Abdulrazzaq Al-Naqqab, Moadamit Al-Sham, killed by systematic shelling.
Hazza, kid wounded by Assad's shelling
Martyrs and wounded in the massacre of Bustan Al-Qasser, Aleppo
Charred Body in Maysaloun Neighborhood, Aleppo
Aleppo- Meselmiyeh Village : 4 years old Ahmad al- Hasan
Aqrab: Many people die and more get injured due to the indiscriminate shelling
Qusayr, Homs: a civilian killed by Regime shelling
Al-Houle | Homs | Martyr AbdelHaleen Al-Rashwaani
Martyr Zikra Ateeh in Dara Katbeereh, Homs
Martyr Ahmad Dali in Aqrab, Homs
Al-Qusayr | Homs: People race screaming, to find any form of shelter from heavy regime shelling. A child and a man lay injured as they receive help
Maarba: A child dies after been hit by the regime cluster bombs.
Martyr Malek Abduljalil in Maaraba, Daraa
Three martyrs due to the shelling on Howieqa neighborhood, Deir Ezzor
Howaiqa: Regime airstrike leaves many people wounded
Martyr Mohamad Ahmad Barakat in Maaret Al-Numan, Idlib
Idlib, Maarran al-Numan: Martyr rebel fighter Zaher Naous
Anti-interventionists, is this still "just like Iraq?"
Here are my related diaries on Syria:
#Syria comes back on-line as mystery flight leaves #Damascus airport #SYR441UPDATED: #Syria goes dark as "cleansing" begins in Damascus
BREAKING: #Assad's Troops Wipe Out a Playground Full of Children in #Syria
BREAKING: #Russia denies #Syria-n army on brink of collapse
BREAKING in Syria: Explosion rocks #Damascus as people use "Truce Day" to protest regime
We condemn Israel. So why the silence on Syria?
Norodom Sihanouk at his finest & more on Syria
Meet a Syrian who doesn't think both sides are equally bad and is betting her life on it!
Two statements about Syria
Syria Today: New videos from the revolutionary war
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 1:13 PM PT: