On the first map below, you can see that two main roads leading north toward Homs. Where they separate in the south the left fork heads directly to Homs. The right fork cuts east then turns north. Where it cuts north you’ll find Mahin, recently taken by rebels. Just southwest and almost adjoining is an “army storage area” which seems to be the one in question.
FSA commanders, many of whom defected, say the regime has an incredible supply dump there and that rebels are in a great spot to take it ( they’ll need to watch for ISIS to show up as usual and swipe the spoils after other fighters have done the hard work). There are supposedly enough weapons to seriously arm every rebel in Syria-- in this case, forces in Qalamoun, those already pressuring Homs from the north and west (see blue area on second map below) and (most needy of all) the lightly armed ones presently encircled in Homs. If rebels can break that siege and rearm comrades inside with superior weapons the siege could not be restored. Forces in south Homs and near Qusayr could possibly be cut off in every direction by superior forces, especially if reports of an extremely large and well-armed force heading toward Homs from Deir Ezzor in the east are correct.
In the Qalamoun area alone rebel forces are estimated at 25,000 to 45,000. These are veteran fighters, already well-armed and prepared for battle. Those numbers are sufficient to block any assault from Damascus to Homs while assisting attacks elsewhere (Al Qusayr? The border to the west? Shayrat Military Airbasejust north of Mahin?) Rebels supposedly have already captured an artillery base adjoining that airport.
If the supply depot lives up to its billing and if rebels seize it, they can cut off Damascus from Homs via three successive barriers (Qalamoun, Homs and a third west of Homs). Can the regime break through one, let alone all three, and do so with quickly with minimal losses then turn around to deal with rebels taking advantage of thinned out defenses in Damascus and Daraa Province? Even if that were possible, how could it prevent rebels from retaking lost ground between Qalamoun and Homs? I doubt the regime would have any offensive capacity left, and would likely have lost additonal airbases and aircraft in this fatal dance.
Qalamoun: REPORTS OF DEFECTIONS AT NASRIYA AIRPORT
Rebels began shelling this base two weeks ago right after destroying its fuel supply. The latter will be difficult to replace in a rebel-rich area. It hasn't made any attempt to resupply the air base or reinforce supply base defenders near Mahin. That suggests it is either incapable of doing so or can't find troops who can be trusted not to defect.
Homs: 5 TANKS DESTROYED, 80 ALAWITE TROOPS KILLED
Johnny Six posts the following video from the “second phase” of the battle for Homs. I must have missed the first.
LIBERATED IN IDLIB: Al-Arbaain Mountain, near Ariha (Source: Tazimorocco)
LIBERATED IN DAMASCUS: A large part of an Alawite regime stronghold near Tishreen Military Hospital by the Lewa AL-Tawheed Brigade.
ANOTHER ENDANGERED AIRPORT?
The town of Kharaba, 15 kilometers west of Sweida, now belongs to the FSA. A regime convoy headed toward the town was driven off. Thalah Airbase is directly north.
Events of Interest in Daraa Province:
--HUGE CAR BOMB WIPES OUT ALAWITE REGIME FIGHTERS
Rebels took the town between Palmyra and Deir Ezzor about two weeks ago in a battle where the regime lost hundreds of fighters. When the regime began bombing the exposed town, rebels withdrw. Regime troops moved in. Now they are getting hammered once again.
--REBELS STRIP WEAPONS OFF BODIES OF SHABBIHA WAR CRIMINALS AFTER TAFAS VICTORY