Despite a relentless pounding from Syrian military and loyalist militias, the rebel forces continue to more than hold their own against a better equipped force. The rebels have once again attacked security compounds in Aleppo and also along the border with Iraq:
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday that one of the assaults in Aleppo sparked a firefight that killed and wounded a number of government troops. It gave no figures.The fighting continues to inflict casualties on civilians and the war of words over Assad's backers continues as well. Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi again attacked Iran over its support for the Assad regime during the meeting for nonaligned nations taking place in Tehran. Iran subsequently attacked Morsi for his calls for the nonaligned nations to act to bring the civil war to an end. Iranian officials have remained steadfast in their support of Assad.
Last month, rebel forces took control of parts of Syria's commercial hub, sparking fierce fighting there.
Also Friday, the monitoring group said government troops and rebels were locked in battle north of the capital, Damascus, and in Albu Kamal, on the Iraqi border. Internet video appeared to show fighting in Homs, Daraa and Damascus.
Part of that reason could be that Assad thinks that he's winning. Despite Assad losing control of significant portions of the country, he thinks his military has the upper hand against the rebel forces. That could be due in part to delusions of grandeur, his military leaders telling Assad what he wants to hear rather than what the situation on the ground really is, or that he believes that the crackdown is working to rid himself of the rebel threat via a meatgrinder.
Turkey is calling for a safe haven, which seems to be a step towards establishing a no-fly zone to protect Syrians from the onslaught of air attacks.
UN Secretary General called on Assad to stop using heavy weapons against civilian populations. The call will go unheeded, as Assad has repeatedly shown that his only interest is preserving his power, not human rights or arranging some form of power-sharing with the opposition.
France is looking at ways of funneling aid to those parts of Syria that are controlled by the rebel forces.
Labels: Ban Ki Moon, Civil War, diplomacy, Egypt, human rights, Iran, Middle East, Mohamed Morsi, Syria, Turkey, United Nations, war crimes