As the map demonstrates Deir Ezzor is danger of being split in half, after which rebels can concentrate on eliminating the weaker half before turning full force on what is left.
Assad’s airforce has been trying to destroy bridges leading to the Ahoiqh neighborhood but without success so far. http://imgur.com/rtkSAVw
REBELS SAY “THANKS VERY MUCH, MR. ASSAD.”
Assad has shifted many troops from Hama toward Latakia, and rebels are quick to take advantage. Not only have they reinforced Homs for a second time in a week but they've also liberated 23 villages in rural Hama.
Something similar happened a year ago: Rebels launched an offenive in Aleppo to relief pressure on their comrades in Damascus. Each time the regime gets whipsawed like that, it tends to lose more territory at both ends.
The fall of so many Alawite villages in Latakia is some of the worst news Assad has had since this war began even if he takes them back.
At the eastern end of Latakia the regime has set up a Grad launcher and howitzer at the eastern end of Latakia and is bombing the mountains (and getting bombed in return?). Elsewhere Ahar Al-Sham has dispatched this convoy of heavy artillery to bombard the Prophet Yunis mountain (See video below).
If the defenders of this house are shabiha, you can calculate their live expectancy for yourself, whether in the fighting or shortly thereafter. I’m sure they are well aware of how they are perceived.
ANOTHER GOOD REASON TO ASSIGN TLAS AS HEAD OF NATIONAL ARMY
Reason: To tempt Putin away from Assad.
Tlas has an Alawite mother and Sunni father. He is acceptable to both the USA and Russia, defected early and has no blood on his hands. Yet he is still resented by some rebels for crimes his father committed or because he is not an Islamist.
A day or so ago I noted Tlas could give Alawites with a viable alternative to Assad at a time when they badly need an escape from a sinking ship. Obviously his appointment would make a mockery of the regime's "Rebels are all Al Queda” propaganda line.
Idriss would become Defense Minister under the proposal.
In Adra, a ceramics factory has been turning out a product with a very limited market these days—tiles featuring Assad’s face. Alas, rebels have seized the factory and have been entertaining themselves by smashing the tiles.
Also in Adra, several regime tanks burn after being shelled at the besieged Brigade 55.
QABOUN, NORTH OF DAMASCUS
Eight T-72 tanks have been seen leaving Air Force Intelligence and heading for the Syronix camp.
HARRA, SOUTH OF DAMASCUS
The regime recaptured this town above Nawa some time ago and is now busy burning houses in an ethnic cleansing operation directed at Sunnis. Assad won’t hold it long once a rebel offensive in the province gets underway.
Further south, near the border with Jordan, rebels liberated Outpost 29.
NEXT SITES TO GO DOWN IN ALEPPO & IDLIB?
In Aleppo, the Air Force Intelligence Branch is now under heavy assault. With the fall of Khan al Asal, a nearby artillery base and Meng airport it would make for quite a month.
As noted yesterday, things are picking up in Idlib as well with increasingly powerful attacks on the brick factory. The latest: A group of officers attempting to leave the factory for a nearby army base died today when rebels blew up their BMP.