This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Friday, July 27, 2012

 A Difficult Coup From Inside

 "Every day some more fighters come from the villages...  We just want to defend these places [in Aleppo], so let God bless us.  The regime does a lot of shelling at night to make people afraid, to destroy buildings and kill more people - to make people curse the FSA... they say: 'You come here, and now the bombs come' - so we try to protect people. But we need weapons, more weapons, from any country."

And in anticipation of a bloodbath in Aleppo, with the regime forces determined to wipe out the rebels entirely and restore Aleppo to its former status, people are leaving, taking with them as many of their possessions as they can, filling trucks with refrigerators, televisions, whatever they can stuff into them.  Planning to cross the border to Turkey, or to stop at villages in northern Syria where conflict doesn't rage.

Aleppo hasn't always supported the uprising.  Its neighbourhoods of two and a half million people are split between government supporters and those who support the opposition.  Because of the anticipation of a huge defining confrontation looming on the near horizon between rebels and beefed-up government troops, more rebels are entering the city.

From outside the country it looks increasingly like a massacre will take place in Aleppo. Tank columns are moving on the city, air strikes by helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft represent an escalation in the battle to crush a rebellion with rebels armed with the most elemental of weapons in contrast to a military equipped with heavy artillery.

Because of its position close to the Turkish border where foreign fighters are claimed to be joining the opposition, Aleppo is seen to be of strategic importance to both antagonists.  Hezbollah has stated that it is prepared to send thousands of its men to Syria to aid President al-Assad, should the conflict become enlarged with the entry of foreign forces.

Former Brig.-Gen. Manaf Tlas, a former member of al-Assad's trusted inner circle who defected weeks earlier has informed the Asharq Al-Awsat daily in Saudi Arabia that he sees no future for al-Assad in Syria.  He blames the president's intransigence and brutality on close advisers whom he warned al-Assad against, to little avail.

He is in Saudi Arabia to ask for assistance in the creation of a new Syria.  "The structure and system of the regime makes a coup from inside very difficult", he explained.  And perhaps that is his way of claiming that he had no option but to flee, that although he made an effort to stop President al-Assad from his current destructive course, it useless.

Strange thing about all these high-level defections, of Sunni generals and diplomats and former confidants of the Alawite president; they supported and were part of his elite entourage to their great benefit, and only abandoned him, despite the divide between Alawite/Shia and Sunni, when it looked increasingly as though the regime would falter and fall.

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