What gives the story probability is it first broke on a pro-Assad, anti-FSA, anti-USA source–Russia Today (RT) though Syrian state media denied the story. Now an online activist identifies the dead man as Jamil Hassan, Head of Air Force Intelligence Directorate which has played the most prominent role in arresting, torturing and executing civilians and protestors with anti-Assad views. The air force has also been busy indiscriminately bombing Syrian towns and cities.
I’m sure news of Jamil’s death will be widely celebrated. No info yet on how he died.
ITEM: A Japanese female journalist as been killed by Assad’s shabiha militia who also kidnapped three journalists. Supposedly she was hit by a sniper.
FIGHTING IS ACCERATING IN DAMASCUS AS FSA CHANGERS TACTICS
Al Jazeera reports that there areclashes between the Free Syrian Army and the regime military in the Mezzeh district of Damascus the closest neighborhood to the heart of the Assad regime. Enduring America describes why this development is important:
Like Kafer Souseh, any violence here is automatically important because it is so close to the center of the capital. There are also fresh reports of violence in the Ghouta suburbs immediately east of the capital.
Making predictions at 4 in the morning is usually risky business, but it appears that our prediction came true – what we are seeing is an escalation of the violence in and around the capital, fueled by what appears to be more insurgent activity.
The FSA’s movements are very different, however, than they were at the “battle for Damascus” more than a month ago. The FSA has not made any attempt to actually hold any territory. The result is that the Syrian military is extremely active, but is usually only finding FSA elements when the insurgents launch an ambush.
Many of the areas where fighting is reported are, hypothetically, securely in the hands of the Assad army. If this fighting continues, the Assad army may have to move additional forces into the capital, a move which could have consequences in other areas – like Aleppo, Deir Ez Zor, and Daraa.
Such tactics would have the additional effect of neutralizing Assad’s airpower when it comes to attacks on the FSA. By the time it arrives, the rebels are gone. I assume their HQ’s would be mobile as well.