If the regime still holds Khanassir--which is open to question-- its victory is already pyrrhic and unsustainable.
Shabbiha KIA’s have been more than triple what Hezbollah suffered in three weeks at Al-Qusayr, losses considered heavy back then. This is despite the insurgeants' lack of an air force and relatively limited artillery. Whatever survives of the original convoy will not last long in Apache country without strong and continuous air and artillery support.
Those 368 KIAs understate the manpower attrition within ten days or so. For one thing wounded fighters tend to outnumber KIAs four or five to one which means many other shabihha will be incapable of returning to combat as well. Secondly, Al Safira was not the only place the regime lost serious manpower. In that same period many checkpoints, bases, neighborhoods were overrun and many tanks and convoy vehicles eliminated. Thanks to its immense unpopularity the Alawite regime finds it easier to replace expended shells, bombs and ammo than to replace expended fighters.
Here is the acknowledgement from shabbiha souces:
As if the news from Al Safira isn't bad enough for the regime, a new convoy of insurgeants from the Liwa Saltan Mehmet Al Fatih has arrived.
Raqaa: ACTION AT BASE 17
Explosions and gunfire are being reported. Have the rebels started campaigns against isolated air bases in the north? Shut ‘em down and rebels can release forces for attack elsewhere while regime forces in the north lose extra protection.
DO YOU KNOW WHY CITIZENS AND REBELS ARE CELEBRATING IN DARAA TODAY? If not, see:
KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN DAMASCUS AREA VERIFIED BY VIDEOS
ALAWITE AIR FORCE SUCCESSFULLY BOMBS THREE BABIES (Warning: graphic video)
NY TIMES HAS A LENGTHY “MUST READ” FOR SUNNI/SHIA & NON-MUSLIMS
“The Philosopher of Islamic Terror,” by Paul Berman, was written ten years ago but remains just as relevant today. Its subject is Sayid Qutb who inspired the Islamic Republic of Iran as well as Al Queda and whose influence on high figures in the Muslim Brotherhood continues. One thing has changed since Muslims got their own dose of Al Queda, once popular so long as its actions were confined to killing non-Muslims. To live a Taliban lifestyle is to grasp what Qutb-influenced types intend for all muslims once the counter-example of the West has been eliminated. It is also not much fun to experience the methods employed by extreme Islamists to impose their “ideal” state on muslims. Ask folks in Syria, Iran and Iraq about such joys.
THE NATIONAL (UAE) MAKES FOUR PREDICTIONS FOR SYRIA
I agree with the last two only. I doubt Damascus can retain its links to Lebanon and the coast or that Latakia can be held if Jisr Al Shughour falls. Militia alone, regardless of numbers, cannot hold off the rebels once Idlib and Aleppo fall and if regime forces and airpower have too much to handle elsewhere.
Mama's Boy Bashir would be so much better off today if he hadn’t listened to Mother Mahkhouf and Uncle Vladimir in March of 2011!
SUFI SHRINE BLOWN UP IN DEIR EZZZOR
Al Queda-linked ISUS, not known for tolerance, is Suspect Number One..