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In Eaastern Damascus forces suffered major defeats yesterday. Assad may flee

Balatarin

Clearly yesterday was an awful day for Assad's ground  forces who reportedly lost a number of battles--major and minor--yesterday in the Damascus area.  Reports say all defenders were killed in the attack that seized one base.   What's not clear to me is whether there is overlap in the reports below.  That is, was the 22nd brigade at Harasta or East Ghouta?

 

--Several differerent reports say the base of the 22nd brigade fell yesterrday.,  That would be a huge blow to morale and would also add to rebel supplys.

 

--Many members of the 41st brigade have defected at Daheit Al Assad.

 

--Plumes of smoke are coming out of the Vehicles Administration Building after being taken by the FSA in Harasta.

 

--In fighting at Irbeen, southwest of Harasta, rebels captured a tank.

 

--Reports say rebels have captured a base in East Ghouta.

 

--EA notes that the rebels are within a few miles of Assad's chemical weapons storage factilities.

 

--An engineer based in Damascus reports the rebels are winning in their battle for the airport whose fall would undermine army morale and limit escapes for long-time regime supporters as well as Assad himself.  In upscale districts, panic is growing and diplomats and the wealthy are fleeting abroad, especaill to Turkey and Egypt.  Panic, of courses, induces more panic.  Meanwhile prices of food, fuel and medicine continue to rise.

 

OBSERVATIONS:

 

ALTERNATE POSSILITY RE: CHEMICAL WEAPONS: The proximity of intended rebels--rather than intended use --could account for movement there.  Assad claims using them would be suicidal and has been told that Russia would also see it as a red line and drop support.  So what's the point in doing it.

 

LINK TO MAP SHOWING CHEMICAL FACILITIES NEAR DAMASCUS; Sorry! I hoped  to offer a link but that isn't possible yet on the new site.  You can find a link to it at today's Enduring America roundup.  EA says there is a second chemical facilities storage location to the southwest somewhat further from rebel lines.  The bad news is that the base is isolated and may be easy to surround.

 

RUMORS OF ASSAD'S INTENDED FLIGHT:  Assad is supposed lyseek exile in the region (where Iran seems the only possibility) or South America according to sources report that, including the Washington Post which also reports that Russia may be dropping support for Assad in the UN Security Council though it would still oppose military intervention barring use of chmical weapons.

 

EVALUATING THOSE RUMORS: The rapidly deteriorating military situation. is one thing giving credence to such rumors.  The second is the rebel approach.    Neither the West nor Putin would want those weapons to fall into jihadi hands and thus both are being pushed into pressuring him hard because the clock is running out..  Nevertheless, they insist Assad will be held to account for his mass crimes.  

 

The UN general secretary has also gone on record against any immunity deal in contrast to Britain's prime minister.  Even if Assad should get such a bonus, I suspect jihadis will hunt down him and his family.since he'll be dependent mainly on private bodyguards (a job I wouldn't want).  Of course if the airport falls, the exile issue may become irrelevant.

 

ASSAD HAS TWO GOOD REASONS FOR RUMOR DENIAL: First, he obviously cannot take all his hard ine pals into refuge with him.  Secondly, if the news were confirmed, how long would Assad's forces continue to fight?   For obvious reasons,  neither Assad nor those who despise him abroad would want immediate disintegration.   I'd imagine they would be taking steps--by agreement with the regime--to protect those chemical wapons. 

 

US MAY INTERVENE MILITARILY WITHIN DAYS! (Guardian UK).  Obama has warned it will happen if Assad uses such weapons or appears ready to do so.  I'd add a third "red line" as probable--Any situation such as the present involving the jihadi danger.   Assad would likely accept intervention in return for exile though the latter may not include immunity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Balatarin

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FG3049

FG3049

IN SYRIA

FSA fighters have been filmed celebrating the capture of the Baathist HQ in the town of Al-Safirah and may have captured the town. Just on its outskirts are a series of bases defending Assad's largest depot for chemical weapons.

A huge bomb has just gone off in the Mezzah neighborhood of Damascus where many government buildings are located.

IN IRAN:

--The regime announced plans for supervised instruction of chastity and hajib in the schools. (Prediction: It would only breed contempt, snickering and rebelliousness. Take it from one who had to put up with vicious nuns in elementary school. It taught me to hate nuns and to distrust clerics and religion in general, especially those who rely on force to compel conformity).
--Nurses are fleeing Hajib-Land at an incredible rate and for many reasons. "You go, girl!" as the Americans say.

I can't believe the 700,000 per year figure cited by Enduring America refers to Iran alone but who knows? At any rate there are plenty of reasons for young women to flee Mullah Land, where Duictator for Life Assad Khamenei, rules with an iron hand, where women are discriminated against in education and elsewhere and banned in certain professions, and where the Religioius Police humiliate everyone--women especially, while make all fun a criminal matter.

Similarly Iran continues to lead the world in a brain brain, as the best and brightest flee elsewhere to enrich other lands with their high-level skills and deprive the IRI of further economic resouces.

Aside from the special reasons above concerning women, there are so many reasons for an educated young Iranian to flee: the rigged and pre-vetted elections,, the gross justicial system and jails, the lack of a free press and internet, rhe social police, the constant intimidation and censorship of press, the internet and personal speech, the regime's well-earned global pariah status and consequent isolation (the sense of living in a huge jail being palpable), the regime's thuggery toward anyone who complains and their kin, the trashing of their funerals and beating of mourners afterward--all approved by Mr. K.

Now toss in the the extremely high unemployment among college grads and the payless paydays if you can find a job, especially one in which you don't have to pander and bow to mullah rulers.

Will the last one to leave turn out the lights?

--Nasreh Satoudeh, imprisoned like other defense attorneys who dared to actually defned political prisoners, has broken her hungerr strike after domestic and international pressure led the regime to meet her demands.

SaidAmin

Saïd Amin Saïd Amin is a tech entrepreneur born in Tehran, Iran. He is the Founder of World Singles Networks (ArabLounge, IranianPersonals, etc.), a leading provider of niche online dating services and the owner of Iranian.com.

the region is a bloody mess.