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Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:25 PM

Syrian rebels capture air base near Damascus

Source: Associated Press

BEIRUT (AP) Syrian rebels captured a helicopter base just outside Damascus Sunday in what an activist called a "blow to the morale of the regime" near President Bashar Assad's seat of power.

The takeover claim showed how rebels are advancing in the area of the capital, though they are badly outgunned, making inroads where Assad's power was once unchallenged. Rebels have also been able to fire mortar rounds into Damascus recently.

The director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdul-Rahman, said rebels seized control of the Marj al-Sultan base on the outskirts of Damascus on Sunday morning. He said at least 15 rebels and eight soldiers were killed in the fighting that started a day earlier. The rebels later withdrew from the base.

Rebels appear to be trying to take over air bases and destroy aircraft in order to prevent the regime from using them in attacks against opposition forces around the country.


Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-rebels-capture-air-near-damascus-140725464.html



This seems particularly significant because of the proximity of this attack to Damascus. It means that the rebels are operating effectively on the ground, and are able to successfully target Assad's air power which remains his chief tactical advantage.

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Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply Syrian rebels capture air base near Damascus (Original post)
al bupp Nov 2012 OP
Arctic Dave Nov 2012 #1
leveymg Nov 2012 #2
al bupp Nov 2012 #5
ButterflyBlood Nov 2012 #3
David__77 Nov 2012 #4
pampango Nov 2012 #6
ripcord Nov 2012 #7

Response to al bupp (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:28 PM

1. I don't think you can call it "capture" if you have to leave.

 

Sounds like they were able to breach the security, blow stuff up and leave.

Still, no small feat.

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Response to al bupp (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 02:40 PM

2. That's like saying that the VietCong captured Tan Son Nhut AB near Saigon in '68

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Response to leveymg (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:41 PM

5. A temporary capture it may have been...

Nevertheless, it demonstrated essentially the same thing then as now, that the insurgents have the ability to concentrate significant formations, enough force to overrun an airbase, and yes, blow things up, particularly winged things.

The fact that they retreated after capturing the base simply means they understood they had become sitting ducks to an air assault in that position. Then as now insurgents are happy to retreat to safe havens following a tactical victory, inviting their opponents to come hastily after them.

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Response to al bupp (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:04 PM

3. Maybe not capturing, but crippling the base is good enough

Once the air support is lost there's not going to be much standing between a bullet and Assad's head.

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Response to al bupp (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:26 PM

4. I'm not sure I believe it.

I really don't know what to believe. Both the government and insurgents are certainly engaging in war propaganda. Of course there have been significant losses for the government over the past several months, but I don't necessarily think it's on its deathbed.

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Response to al bupp (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:42 PM

6. A few days ago it was a military base in the north of Syria.

Syrian Rebels Seize Military Base, Munitions

Syrian rebels have taken over a large military base in the country's north, carting off tanks, armored vehicles and truck-loads of munitions their leaders say will give them a boost in their fight to topple President Bashar Assad.

The fall of the base of the Syrian army's 46th Regiment is a significant step in the rebels' expanding of control in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo, along Syria's northern border with Turkey.

Earlier Monday, AP reporters saw scores of rebels unloading trucks full of rockets, mortars, artillery shells and rifles taken from the base into a rebel headquarters near the Turkish border.

Al-Faj said the battle was one of the greatest munitions coups for the rebels since the start of the uprising against Assad in March 2011. The conflict has since morphed into a civil war, with scores of rebel groups across the country fighting Assad's troops.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/britain-officially-recognizes-syrian-opposition-17766530#.UKwb5uOe93Y

Assad can still win this civil war, but things are not going well for him right now.

He must have thought that his military advantage would enable him to hold onto power in any civil war scenario but those advantages are being whittled away. Still the opposition is fragmented and not nearly as well equipped as his military.

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Response to al bupp (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:47 AM

7. I hope the rebels can do it soon

It is already making their neighbors nervous, this spreading could really be bad, and with that idiot Assad involved you never know what he might do.

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