April 18, 2013 | 20 comments
April 5, 2013 | 0 comments
March 7, 2013 | 7 comments
January 24, 2013 | 9 comments
January 2, 2013 | 3 comments
Minority numbers aren’t adding up for Bashar Assad’s defenses.
(Page 2 of 2)
A rebel leader in Aleppo, quoted by Anthony Loyd on June 19, 2012, has confirmed that many Sunnis in the province joined the pro-government shabiha militias and identified two clans, the Bari and Baqqarah, as supporters of the regime in Aleppo. With more than one million members, the Baqqara is also a major tribe in Deir ez Zor.
Even the notion of the Syrian uprising as a poor Sunni man revolt does not do full justice to this reality. According to Phil Sands, as late as January of this year, a senior tribal figure in the impoverished Deir ez Zor estimated that the Sunni tribesmen in the province were still almost evenly split between supporters and opponents of the regime.
It’s this hidden minority of Sunni supporters that was keeping the regime on its feet until now. Losing this support to the sectarian polarization would set the regime on fast track to oblivion.
Meanwhile, according to the latest reports from Deir ez Zor, the alliance between the Sunni tribes in the province and the regime finally unraveled at last. But, once it happened, large chunks of the province and the city of Deir ez Zor quickly fell under opposition control. This is not the first time that the opposition has taken over center of the city of Deir ez Zor. But this was the first time a government-assault to recapture the city was repelled, leaving the streets of Deir ez Zor strewn with destroyed tanks and other military equipment.
At stake have been most of Syria’s oil and control over the border with Iraq which is known to be used to smuggle weapons and foreign fighters into the country. In fact, Deir ez Zor has well-armed and battle-hardened tribal allies on the Iraqi side of the border. Bashar Assad had been having it bad enough in Homs. But “Benghazi” turned out to be an even tougher nut, with the Free Syrian Army claiming to control 70% of Deir ez-Zor.
Deir ez-Zor - June 28, 2012
Now, as fighting reaches Damascus itself, with the Defense Minister reportedly killed in a suicide bombing, things look ever more bleak for the regime. The end appears to be at hand, with chaos set to rule the day. Where is this supposed Syrian army of more than 600,000 now?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online