- WestJet grants Christmas wishes for 250 airline passengers
- U.S. vet held in North Korea says statement was coerced
- NTSB hearing on San Francisco airliner crash postponed
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford insists he has dried out, vows sobriety test
- Greenpeace video warns that climate change is wrecking Santa’s home
- Herman Cain profiled in ‘Political Power’ comic book
- Hagel renews Qatar defense pact despite differences over Iran, Syria
- Fire departments fear Obamacare will gut volunteer ranks
- Rep. Alan Grayson loses $18M in stock scheme
- Christmas secularists get 6-foot beer-can Festivus pole at Florida Statehouse
Russia says Assad is losing control
Envoy acknowledges possibility that rebels could win civil war
“You see a strategic shift in which the rebels are now actively targeting the regime’s supply lines and air bases as a way to limit its effectiveness in the air, which is the rebels’ biggest weakness,” said Elizabeth O'Bagy, a research analyst at the Institute for the Study of War.
The rebels have seized enough arms and ammunition from the bases to last for a month of fighting in the north, according to multiple rebel sources inside Syria who spoke on background.
Despite these setbacks, the regime still has plenty of firepower. In Damascus, Mr. Assad has two military divisions that are largely intact and have not seen much fighting.
“For what it’s worth, the regime still has a significant arsenal,” said Ms. O'Bagy. “It is premature to say the regime is on its last legs. In areas where the regime has strategic interests, it can continue to defeat the rebel offensive.”
She said the only way the rebels will be able to take over the cities and notch up strategic victories is if they get a substantial boost in weapons capability and training. The rebels have received arms from their Persian Gulf allies. However, the United States has been reluctant to provide weapons out of concern that they will fall into the hands of Islamic extremists.
The resistance suffered a setback this week when the State Department designated the rebel group, Jabhat Nusra, as an al Qaeda front and a foreign terrorist organization. The group is widely acknowledged as one of the more effective and better organized rebel units fighting the Assad regime.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
- U.S. teacher shot dead in Benghazi after al Qaeda call for violence
- Syria nightmare: Fresh fears about al Qaeda fighters there returning home as sleeper terrorists
- Iran official: Sanctions 'utterly failed' to stop nuclear program
- China accuses Japan of raising tensions over new air defense zone
- Joe Biden meets Xi Jinping in China to try to defuse tensions on air defense zone
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whiskey: U.K.-born expert
- FITTON: A closer look at the Benghazi lie
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Troops forced to rely on welfare, holiday charity
- Oregon fails to sign up single person on health care website as states struggle
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- George Zimmermans girlfriend flips on assault: Let my boyfriend go
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Notes from a running nerd: musings and more on all things running.
NFL junkie Eric Golub reports on his favorite obsession. There is no football offseason. Every February he pretends to care about other sports while sobbing uncontrollably each Sunday until September.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow