UPDATE – 7:53 EDT
FSA within a mere 6 KM of Presidential Palace.
UPDATE – 7:40 EDT
Bashar al-Assad wounded in attack, is now in a Latakia, Syria hospital.
According to the FSA, the Damascus bomb was not a suicide bomber. It was a set bomb that was remotely detonated.
Assad was evacuated to the Alewite stronghold on the coast.
By Scott W. Winchell
MG Vallely and his group met with Syrian opposition forces in June on the Turkish/Syrian border near Idlib, Syria and much has happened since. The news has been buzzing from his breaking news on chemical weapons and more. The information is still flowing, and these communications were never more important than now.
We are witnessing the final push for the termination of Syria’s Bashar Assad regime. Events have escalated and the chaos of destruction and bloody deaths are headlining this interior war. Assad’s inner circle was devastated yesterday in the explosion in Damascus:
…the Syrian Defense Ministry was bombed in Damascus. Defense Minister Dawood Rajha, and his Deputy, Assad Shawket – Assad’s brother in law – and General Mohamed Al Chaar were both confirmed dead in the blast. Former Defense minister, Hassan Turkmani died later from injuries.
What does this mean? It means the full aggressive assaults occurring now and the bloodshed will escalate as the dog is cornered. It is also likely to escalate into regional chaos as desperate measures are unleashed, locally, and abroad.
Free Syrian and SLA forces are pressing across the nation. Again, the warning cannot be loud enough, what happens there, will impact the west – today is another example of the dangers lurking on a scale reaching all corners of the globe.
We are seeing mass Syrian military and political defections, pin point attacks on regime leaders, the reported exodus of Assad’s family to Latakia, Turkey, the quick organization of new units of freedom fighters, and bellicose ranting coming from Moscow over any UN intervention. The Russians are worried, their naval base at Tartus is a key aspect of their future plans.
According to PolicyMic writer Ahmed Median who is currently stationed across the border from Syria in Lebanon, the rebel Free Syrian Army is now moving freely the Syrian capital, Damascus. Dozens of military chiefs have reportedly defected and fled to Cyprus. Five more with the command of 120 tanks defected today after the attacks and it is expected that regime is going to lose control over many cities where protests have raged for the last year.
Today, on the anniversary of the 1994 Buenos Aires bombing incident, we also saw Hezbollah, a staunch supporter of Assad bomb several buses of Jewish youth in Bulgaria. These are not isolated events – they are all tied together. The bloodshed has again spilled into Tripoli, Lebanon as well. The tension in Lebanon is at a point not seen since the civil wars according to Michele Aoun, where the Palestinians and Hezbollah have engaged.
Since Stand Up America broke the story on chemical weapons the Assad Regime possesses based on intelligence gathered on MG Vallely’s trip to the Turkish border with Syria, the situation has unfolded exactly as he was briefed. The SUA team led by MG Vallely met with Syrian Opposition Leaders and provided intel spec-ops plans that now seem to be working at a faster pace than anticipated.
Since the trip, the press confirmed that chemical weapons were being moved, and a high-ranking defector said he was “convinced” Assad would use chemical weapons on the Syrian people. However, what they failed to expound on was that they have already been used.
Sources also tell us that Assad is now keeping his CW arsenal mobile for fear of attacks from not only the rebels, but possibly from Israel or other outside forces, where the WMD’s are known to be in several locations as SUA has previously reported. There is also the fear of the weapons landing in the hands of Hezbollah as the regime falls to its knees. Mobility is key, and chaos ensures us that some of these munitions will find interesting new homes (read Lebanon, al Qaeda). The FSA is also reporting that Assad’s forces are being fitted with gas masks.
FSA and SLA leaders told MG Vallely in June that the weapons had already been used in several locations, including Homs, but independent verification has been impossible to obtain. General Vallely had explained also of the freedom fighters gaining great confidence, showing a new sense of urgency, and the adoption of high order intelligence gathering and organization.
The fighters had indeed learned how to employ emerging actionable intelligence. They are now able to perform quick hitting operations because they were no longing just defending street corners and enclaves. Instead, they had prepared units to be deployed at a moment’s notice.
Information is still flowing to MG Vallely from the leaders of the Syrian freedom fighters, and updates will be made when we are cleared to post them. Much is happening, and the fluidity of events is likely to become an even thicker fog of war, a fog bank that is spreading to many places.
Now that the end is near, the Washington Institute reports:
Today’s apparent assassination of top military officials in Syria marks a new and possibly decisive phase in the civil war between Bashar al-Assad’s regime and the broad, loosely coordinated, but clearly potent opposition. For the United States, this turn of events should shift the policy discussion from a UN debate over renewal of the ineffectual Annan peacekeeping mission to ways of exploiting the disarray, namely by pressing Assad to leave power while avoiding outcomes such as chaos, ethnic bloodbath, or jihadist takeover.
MG Vallely reiterates what he was told by opposition forces, “The freedom fighters want a true peace, a secular nationalistic government, and peace with her neighbors. They do not want to follow what happened in Egypt.”