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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Assad's Confindence is Delusional

This week the Media has been full of stories touting Assad's confidence. This article from Reuters is typical of this propaganda barrage:
Analysis: Confident Assad sees Syria tide turning
By Dominic Evans
BEIRUT | Tue Jul 9, 2013 10:02am EDT
Inside the People's Palace, in the hills overlooking the Syrian capital, visitors who have seen the Syrian president in the last month say security is surprisingly light for a man who has lost control of half his country to a rebel uprising.

Assad's air of confidence - a constant through more than two years of conflict - appeared almost delusional when rebel mortars and bombs were tearing at the heart of Damascus and fighting closed its airport to foreign airlines late last year.

But after weeks of counter-offensives by Assad's army in the south of the country - against rebel supply routes east of Damascus and most recently in the border town of Qusair - that optimism looks less irrational. More...
They are accepting Assad's confidence at face value and then promoting it. What they should be saying is that Assad is still delusional and in spite of his victory at Qusayr, there is no reason for claiming the tide is turning.

I will list just two reasons drawn from today's headlines.

1.) Bashar al-Assad is running out of air planes.

Flightglobal, which covers aviation news, had a piece today on the terrible toll the bombing of the Syrian people has had on Assad's air force.
The Syrian air force is in bad shape, despite Russian help
By Arie Egozi
on July 10, 2013 4:37 AM
A massive supply of spare parts and ammunition helped the Syrian air force play a major role in the campaign the Assad regime launched two years ago against the rebels.

"The shape of the Syrian air force was very bad, and without massive urgent Russian help it could not use its old inventory to attack the rebel strongholds," said Yiftah Shapir, head of the Middle East strategic balance project at the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies.

The ongoing war and losses the Syrian air force suffered led to its inventory being halved.

Of the 350 operational fixed-wing warplanes the Syrian air force had two years ago, about half are now out of action because of combat losses or overuse that even spare part supplies from Russia cannot fix.

Shapir said the most advanced fighters the Syrians have are the MiG-29s that were supplied in the 1980s.

These are designed mainly for air superiority and have limited ground attack capabilities.

The two other types - the MiG-23BN and MiG-27 - are very old, and have suffered badly from a lack of spare parts and poor maintenance. More...

2.) Bashar al-Assad is running out of money.

According to an article published by the Market Oracle today, hyperinflation is making a joke out of the Syrian pound:
Value of the Syrian Pound Hits an All-Time Low
Jul 10, 2013 - 03:55 PM GMT
By: Steve_H_Hanke
As the accompanying chart shows, this has sent the implied monthly inflation rate in Syria skyrocketing.

Yes, Syria’s implied monthly inflation rate is now 91.9%. This means that Syria has exceeded the threshold for hyperinflation (an inflation rate of 50% per month). Only time will tell if this run on the Syrian pound will continue. But, for the time being, we can be sure that the Syrian pound will remain a troubled currency. More...

In an earlier post today, Assad may have Children Under Siege in Homs but has his Aleppo Offensive Fizzled?, I have shown that Assad "victory" in Qusayr has already slipped away from him, and his promised offensive to take back Aleppo has been put off indefinitely.

Assad, and it would now appear, his supporters in the western media, and working hard to promote his new narrative that the tide is turning and the revolution will be defeated. This propaganda ploy also raises an important struggle because wars aren't just about what is really happening on the battlefield. They are also determined by who appears to be winning.

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

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