-- Firas Tlass (a high level Assad defector)
I am a relatively insignificant person, so the fact that I think Obama has liked Assad, as expressed it in my last diary, is hardly worth all the angst and vitriol it generated.
However, the fact that a growing number of Syrians, and a growing mindset on the Arab Street, is of the opinion that the United States has really been supporting the murderous Assad dictatorship and not the people in this struggle, is something that should be of great concern to all Americans and can't be changed by a thousand donuts from Kossacks because it is based on what the US has done rather than what its leaders have said.
Even before the Wright brothers invented powered flight, aerial assault had proven to be one of the most efficient, if indiscriminate, ways to kill human beings. Sadly, for those of us still living down below, "Death from Above" brought in a banner crop in 2012.
Almost certainly the award for the most kills from the air in 2012 goes to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. More than 50,000 people were killed in Syria last year, many of them by Assad's use of air power.
Even while he loses territory to those fighting for a free Syria because he lacks the manpower to put enough boots on the ground to hold it, he has still been able to make life unlivable in these liberated zones through aerial bombardment.
As a result, the entire region is now being destabilized by what is quickly approaching a million Syrians that have fled their country for the safety of a neighbor's and some of the oldest inhabited cities on Earth are being destroyed.
A new battle for Damascus has been initiated by the Free Syrian Army. Perhaps the final battle! From samer (@samersniper) we have this report
Wednesday 6th of February 2013 | 25th of Rabi Awwal 1434 AH Several FSA battalions and brigades in Eastern Ghotta destroy both Hirmilleh and Kabbas checkpoints on the Southern ring road, at the eastern entrance of the capital Damascus
February 6, 2013 February 6, 2013
For those that have family in #Damascus establishing contact now is a good time as developments will probably lead to telecommunications cut— Alexander Page (@AlexanderPageSY) February 6, 2013
As usual Reuters is on the ball, as I get ready to publish, they beat me to it with:Syrian rebels fight close to heart of Damascus
By Khaled Yacoub Oweis and Mariam Karouny
AMMAN | Wed Feb 6, 2013 6:08pm EST
Syrian rebels battled President Bashar al-Assad's forces on the edge of central Damascus on Wednesday, opposition activists said, seeking to break through to the heart of the capital.
Their offensive aims to break a stalemate in the city of 2 million people, where artillery and air strikes have prevented rebels entrenched to the east from advancing despite their capture of army fortifications, the activists said.
"We have moved the battle to Jobar," said Captain Islam Alloush of the rebel Islam Brigade. The district links rebel strongholds in the suburbs with the central Abbasid Square.
"The heaviest fighting is taking place in Jobar because it is the key to the heart of Damascus," he said. More...
How you failed Syria, let me count the ways: you abandoned her when her movement for democratic change was nonviolent. You let Assad violate her and kill her children. You turned your back on her children when they rushed to her rescue, and pretended you were unaware. You uttered words of sympathy and encouragement, and sent few blankets and tents to people who were at the mercy of mortars and MiGs, not only the elements. You tied her fortunes to complicated geopolitical agendas that are beyond her control or interest. You let her legitimate aspirations and her all too human and humanitarian needs be the last entry on a long list of objectives. What do you expect of her now? Would tell her she is wrong to hate you? Would you blame her should she implode? Do you really think she would care anymore?
According to observations being reported by EAWorldview and Brown Moses, there are strong indications that the secular Free Syrian Army has recently been getting a significant supply of new weapons of types not possessed by the Assad regime, and so not captured weapons.
These new weapons appear to be going mainly if not exclusively to the "moderates", al Nursa and the the jihadist don't seem to have any.
These new weapons, which include advanced anti-tank weapons, recoilless rifles and RPGs, but not anti-aircraft missiles or MANPADS, are starting to have an effect on the battlefield and have played a big part in recent FSA advances on the ground, most notably in Damascus.
And it is these rapid fire advances on the ground that are driving this whole process at the international level including the latest flurry of big power "discussions" [jockeying for position] around the Syrian crisis, Brahimi's new leaks and the exodus of Russians from Syria.
When NATO intervened in the Libyan conflict by enforcing a no-fly zone and providing air support for the revolutionary armies, there was a large segment of the left and the anti-war movement that cried bloody murder.
They said it was deji vu all over again. They predicted that the air strikes were just a prelude to NATO boots on the ground and they hit the streets to demand "NATO out of Libya", "US hands off Libya" and so on. They were "The Anti-Interventionists" and Libya today is an example of what happened when they failed, when their demands were ignored, and the world intervened to stop a dictator from using military power to slaughter his own people in spite of them.
That is why they don't hesitate to trash Libya today at every opportunity.
Below the fold are a number of Stratfor Global Intelligence file emails that I have found in my research in the the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front [DHKP-C] that is being widely blamed for the suicide bomber attack against the US embassy in Ankara, Turkey.
These documents, which have been obtained by Wikileaks are being released as part of an investigative partnership between WikiLeaks and myself..