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Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:15 AM

Syrian warplanes strike Damascus outskirts

Source: Aljazeera

Air raids on Saturday hit the suburb of Zamalka to the east, Douma to the northeast, and there were multiple strikes on the Eastern Ghouta region that runs along the eastern edge of the capital, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The latest fighting in Damascus, some of the heaviest to hit the city since July, began on Wednesday with a series of rebel attacks on regime checkpoints along the main road from the capital to northern Syria. Fierce battles have erupted over control of the Damascus ring road. On Friday, rebels shut down the road for several hours, activists said.

Fawaz Tello, a veteran opposition campaigner connected with rebels in Damascus, said the operation was part of a slow encroachment by rebels on the capital. "Even if the rebels withdraw from the ring road, it will become, like other parts of the capital, too dangerous for the regime to use it," Tello said from Berlin.

"We are witnessing a 'two steps forward, one step back' rebel strategy. It is a long way before we can say [President Bashar al]-Assad has become besieged in Damascus, but when another main road is rendered useless for him the noose tightens and his control further erodes."

Read more: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/02/2013294503878113.html

BBC magazine: Syrians thought their jets were for combat with Israel. "Now they know better."

Pity the Syrian people.
They had been given to believe that fighter jets in the arsenal of the state - those Russian-made MIGs they once viewed with pride - were there for the stand-off with Israel. Now they know better. The runs over Aleppo, the bombings of Idlib, have laid bare the truth. It is no accident that the founder of this regime, Hafez al-Assad, emerged from the ranks of the air force, which is not often an incubator of coup-makers. There would come a day, the masters of this minority regime doubtless knew, when fighter jets would be used at home.

Of the rebellions that broke out among the Arabs in the last two years, the struggle in Syria was bound to be a case apart. Think of the Tunisian dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali calling it quits and leaving with his loot, of Hosni Mubarak stepping aside after 18 magical days of protest - this Syrian rebellion's ferocity belongs to a different world of insurrections.

The Syrians must have understood the uniqueness of their situation. They took their time before they set out to challenge the entrenched regime. The first stirrings came two or three months after the other Arabs rose against their rulers. In a refugee camp on the outskirts of Antakya in Turkey, a young lawyer from Jisr al-Shughur - a Sunni town that tasted the full cruelty of the security forces - told me that he had been ready for a long war. He had left his home in the first summer of the rebellion, in 2011, but brought with him his winter clothes.

He was under no illusions about the rulers - they would fight a scorched-earth war. They were a minority, historically disdained, but all powerful. They had risen by the sword, knew no other way, and were certain that defeat on the battlefield would be the end of the world they had carved out over the last four decades.


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Reply Syrian warplanes strike Damascus outskirts (Original post)
pampango Feb 2013 OP
Comrade Grumpy Feb 2013 #1
David__77 Feb 2013 #2
marybourg Feb 2013 #3

Response to pampango (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:24 PM

1. The uprising is an existential threat to Assad and Syria's minorities.


They have very little incentive to give up.

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:16 PM

2. "Minority regimes" can be a good thing, but BBC's sectarianism is terrible.

BBC talk of "Alawite regime" reminds me of the Polish or Hungarian right-winger clericalist rants against "Jewish-communism." The relatively nonreligious Alawite population of Syria deserves much respect for serving as a bulwark against medieval theocracy, for the rights of all religions (and to the extent possible, non-believers) to follow their conscience.

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Response to David__77 (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 07:34 PM

3. Is this the same regime that used to daily bombard Israel from the

Golan Heights? (Before Israel captured it from them of course, for the sake of those not old enough to remember this bit of history)

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