ITEM: 50 Republican Guards defect/ New map shows how well West can track regime’s shift of assets. Source: Tazimorocco.
ITEM: A new map shows incredible detail on regime movements suggesting inside help.
A Republican Guards defection on that scale would be shocking. The guard is almost exclusively Alawaite and supposedly the most loyal. If the regime can no longer rely on it, it can't last much longer. At minimum word of this will spread and affect all regime troops, elite and regular. The large number suggests lots of planning and some pre-agreement with rebels.
For sake of analysis, assume the defection report occurred as reported. Consider possible motives: Anger over the chemical attack, fear all Alawites would be blamed and a desire to avoid seeing the heart of Damascus and much of the coast in ruins (which would echo moves of the former Wehrmacht commander in Paris who surrenderd rather than follow orders to burn the city?
You have to at least consider larger possibilities: If Obama knew this (and other such events) were coming it would explain his "stop the presses" movement which came at the last minute after so much fiery rhetoic, in which case we can expect more interesting developments will follow.
In that case did Russia play a part? Assuming hothead Maher Assad pushed things too far for even many Alawite officers and Putin, it's not impossible. Putin has acted despicably but may want to salvage something. He and Obama share national security interests in salvaging part of the government--an acceptable part that would get rebels where both men want them--at the peace table. The chemical attack could give Russia leeway for a covert deal to remove such “obstacles” without losing face. Both Putin and Obama know Islamic extremists will benefit the longer this war drags on, especially if it creates splinter states and anarchy. Even worse, the longer the war continues, the near certainty Al Queda will get its hands on chemical weapoons that would threaten both nations.
Not one of these common goals can be met without decapitating the worst war criminals. What happens if Alawite officers do the job? Imagine the benefits.
The next item suggests either that rebel intelligence and satellite surveillance have done an almost inhuman job or regime insiders are providing a treasure trove of information.
AMAZING MAP SHOWS HOW WELL WESTERN INTELLIGENCE CAN TRACE REGIME’S TROOP MOVEMENTS
Told the regime was shifting its assets around, an intelligence source recently said, “No problem. We know where they are.” If the map below is for real, it seems true almost to the last man. The map shows where Assad has moved his assets in a specific neighborhood. It also raises two more questions which should scare the regime: “To what degree have rebels benefitted in the past from similar detailed intelligence?” and “How can they exploit it?”
NOTE: If you accidentally bring up the maps I posted earlier, press the return arrow at upper left. If you move down, you’ll see a map of where the neighborhood fits in Damascus itself.
--Muslim FSA soldiers (note the FSA) have been protecting elderly Christians and even escorting them to church on Sunday.
--There are at least 80,000 FSA rebels and only a few thousand Al Queda at this point. Some of those want to move on should Assad falls.