Editor’s Note – Yet another day of Russia supplying the Assad Regime with weapons, yet, the rebels are making due and succeeding. The end days are near for Assad!
Just as the U.S. returns its attention to concealed weapons of mass destruction programs in Syria and (possibly) Iran, the Air Force is saying its mega-weapon for blowing up hidden factories of death is finally ready. The beleaguered Syrian regime of Bashar Assad is threatening to use chemical weapons against a foreign attack. His chemical arsenal is spread out amongst several concealed sites and stands a giant proliferation risk. Not the greatest opportunity for a mega-bomb — intelligence about the sites is dubious — but the U.S. would rather have the option than not.
Russian Plane full of Weapons & Ammo to Resupply the Syrian Army
Syrian warplanes & Helicopters shelling civilians in Douma, Damascus, 60 dead
By Khaled Yacoub Oweis and Erika Solomon
AMMAN/BEIRUT, July 25 (Reuters) – The Syrian army turned its forces on Aleppo on Wednesday, ordering an armoured column to advance on the country’s second biggest city and pounding rebel fighters there with artillery and attack helicopters, opposition activists said.
As hostilities intensified near the Turkish border, Turkey said it was closing its crossing posts, although the United Nations said refugees fleeing Syria would be allowed through.
Two top Syrian diplomats, in the United Arab Emirates and Cyprus, have deserted their posts, becoming the latest officials to abandon the Damascus government, rebels said.
The 16-month revolt against President Bashar al-Assad has been transformed from an insurgency in remote provinces into a battle for control of the two main cities, Aleppo and the capital, Damascus, where fighting exploded last week.
Assad’s forces have launched massive counter assaults in both cities. They appear to have beaten rebels back from neighbourhoods in the capital and are turning towards Aleppo, a commercial hub in the north. Syrian forces fired artillery and rockets on Wednesday at the northern Damascus suburb of al-Tel in an attempt to seize it from rebels, causing panic and forcing hundreds of families to flee, residents and opposition activists said.
The 216th mechanized battalion headquartered near Tel started bombarding the town of about 100,000 people before dawn and initial reports indicated residential apartment blocks were being hit, they said.
Read the rest here.
WASHINGTON – In his first year in office, U.S. President Barack Obama sent a letter to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad seeking a new start to a long-strained relationship.
In his third year, Obama demanded that Assad step down.
Now, nearing the end of his first term, with a presidential election looming in November, Obama is moving cautiously toward greater support for Syrian rebels, as international diplomatic efforts that had been Obama’s first preference falter.
Reuters has learned that the White House has crafted a presidential directive, called a “finding,” that would authorize greater covert assistance for the rebels, while still stopping short of arming them.
It is not clear whether Obama has signed the document, and U.S. officials declined to comment on the finding, which is a highly classified authorization for covert activity.
But in recent days, the Obama administration has signaled publicly it plans more help for the rebels.
“I have to say that we are also increasing our efforts to assist the opposition,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday.
The administration is seeking ways to help Assad’s opponents by increasing supplies of communications equipment and sharing intelligence about Assad’s troop movements. The United States has already sent encrypted radios.
The administration is also trying to help the rebels become better organized, planning for when Assad falls, and keenly monitoring Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles to ensure they are secure.
Read the rest here Reuters.