HT: BBC News and The Guardian
The news coming out of Syria is plenty this morning as Hisham Ikhtiar, al-Assad's security chief, succumbed to the wounds he received from Wednesday's attack at the national security bureau, while fighting continued through-out the country, particularly in the Damascus suburb of Midan and a state funeral was held for the other officials killed in the blast.
Rebels apparently launched an assault on military positions in Midan, where heavy fighting has been ongoing for several days now, when Assad's ground forces - backed by armoured vehicles - regained control of the main market and the rebels were forced to make a tactical retreat. Journalists were allowed into the suburb, confirming the government's victory.
Other reports indicate fighting in Damascus has eased, as Assad's forces control the bulk of the city and the rebels are stuck in the suburbs fighting an "unfair fight" as a Dutch journalist described it to the Guardian. It has also been reported that Assad's forces have regained one of the border crossings they lost yesterday.
This hasn't exactly been the best day militarily for the rebels, as they have lost vital ground to Assad's forces and their assault on Damascus appears to be losing steam, which has exposed a pivotal weakness for them: while they have proven the ability to successfully plan attacks and maintain their own against Assad's forces, when heavy weaponry is brought in they eventually are forced into retreat and you can't win a war like that.
And all of this has led to a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions - 30,000 Syrian vehicles have crossed the border into Lebanon the past 48 hours, while Iraq is evacuating their citizens via plane as the border's have been closed and over three hundred were killed in fighting yesterday; the highest death toll since this conflict started last year.
We are witnessing history in the making, one way or another. Either Assad will be brought down in a wave of rebel glory, or his brutal tactics will save his regime by shedding the blood of his countrymen with sadistic cruelty.
What say you?
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