The moment Taftanaz air base fell, Assad badly needed a victory--and quickly. The very next day we were told that Darayya not only has fallen but that it was now totally under regime's control. That story was a complete whopper--unless bombing rubble counts. No doubt Assad's worn-down assault troops will be surprised to hear they've won. The news should increase their respect for superiors.
After weeks of high-loss assaults, 3,000 rebels not only remain, stubborn as ever, but they continue to inflict losses sufficient to drive back invading forces. That raises serious questions about how the regime will do when the bulk of rebel forces come south (after first polishing off Deir Al Azor, Aleppo, Itlib Province and Latakia and--if they are smart--the entire coast.)
A second lie (twice told on Enduring America) comes from Iranian propagandist Manouchehr who falsely claimed that the pro-opposition group cited below has confirmed a big rebel defeat. See what they are really saying instead. (Manouchehr often gives us fake quotes from Iranian reformers praising the fairness of regime elections and encouraging participation).
According to Ned Parker of the LA Times, Darayaa remains a tactical stalemate, which translates to " even for both sides."
Strategically, however, stalemate in Darayaa constitutes a significant victory for the rebels when one considers what each side set out to do. For the rebels to hang on indefinitely, as they have, constitutrs a major strategic victory. To to hang on for weeks until pushed out would have been a minor rebel victory. By contrast the regime had to take Darayaa and as quickly and completely as possible. given its proximately to vital government targets. By any measure the failure to do so is a strategic defeat of major dimensions--a display of relative impotence.
REBEL COMMANDER: "The Assad soldiers are trying to enter Dariya, but our Free [Syrian] Army is doing well to protect it...It is always the same situation in theafternoon.... They try to send in tanks … and soldiers try to enter the city, and our Free Army prevents them, and the war starts.
"The regime is present in Dariya. Both sides have control over some parts," he said.
SYRIAN OBSERVATORY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (cited in Manoucher's lies); "The regime is present in Dariya. Both sides have control over some parts," he said.
SATURDAY WAS A TYPICAL DAY: Parker writes, "tanks tried to enter Dariya, and a MIG fighter jet shelled the neighborhood that was once home to more than 200,000 people but now has about 10,000. At least 3,000 are fighters, according to rebels and activists there...The opposition forces blew up a tank Saturday, and three rebel soldiers died in the fighting, Abu Hamza said. (Three out of 3,000! Another day of victory for Assad).