The term stalemate is heard a lot these days in descriptions of the military situation in Syria today, just as it was for months on end in Libya, until the rapid takeover of Tripoli and the final collapse of the Qaddafi regime revealed the real movement that was taking place while the pundits were calling it a stalemate.
If one looks beyond the MSM, UN and NGO reports, it is easy to see that what is happening in Syria is not a stalemate. The FSA has not only managed to hang on in Aleppo in spite of the Assad regime's use of massive and indiscriminate violence in its months long attempts to dislodge it. Fighting continues in Damascus and all across Syria with the FSA making slow but steady progress. They can do this, and continue to grow, in spite of the losses inflicted on them by the Assad regime because they enjoy wide support among the Syrian people and defectors from Assad's army continue to swell their ranks.
The Assad regime continues its genocidal policy of slaughtering anyone who opposes it regardless of whether they have take up arms against the regime or not. This has pushed the death toll in this 20 month conflict past 37 thousand by some counts. Most of these are civilians killed by Assad's forces.
Only the defeat of the Assad regime by the Free Syrian Army has the possibility of ending the violence in Syria. Assad's violence against his opposition among the Syrian people proceeded their armed self-defense and it will not end if they lay down their arms. It will only increase if the resistance to Assad should collapse. In that case, Syria will most likely live a reign of terror unlike anything seen so far.
This video posted today on YouTube shows what happens when soldiers from Assad's army meet soldiers from the Free Syrian Army. They surrender. This is why Assad must rely on long range weapons, his Syrian soldier are proving to be very unreliable when tasked with killing other Syrians.
In Syria, a rebellion calls for revolutionary measures
Law student Hanadi, 19, is eager to see action on the front lines. Her ticket? A marriage of convenience to a militia commander fighting to oust Bashar Assad.
DAMASCUS, Syria — The crack of a sniper rifle and the boom of exploding shells seemed to take turns as Hanadi slipped out of the apartment and onto the dark street.
Seconds later, a shell landed nearby and Hanadi groaned, worried that the Syrian army would storm the neighborhood that night — before she got her camera back from the repairman, leaving her unable to record the fighting.
Walking down the street, carefully planting her feet, she glanced left and right through open doors, concerned that her husband might see her.
At the corner, a few young Free Syrian Army fighters manning a checkpoint recognized her immediately.
"Abu al-Majid is inside," one of them said, referring to her husband and pointing in the direction she had just come from.
"What do I want with Abu al-Majid?" she replied. They warned her about a government sniper ahead, but she continued walking through the intersection.
When antigovernment protests first began in Dara in March 2011, the then-high school senior didn't join, believing that President Bashar Assad was blameless. That changed in June though, when Assad called the opposition "germs."
"From that point I joined the opposition," she said. "They came out asking for freedom, so I came out also asking for freedom."
The following school year, as a first-year law student at the University of Damascus, Hanadi, who asked that her last name not be used so as to protect her family, would skip classes to attend protests.
As the armed uprising that had devastated much of the rest of Syria finally made its way into Damascus in late July, she traded her placard for a syringe as a volunteer nurse at an opposition-run field hospital. Soon she put down the needle and picked up a camera to join a rebel militia and record clashes at government checkpoints and outposts.
Now, as the violence and bloodshed only grow, Hanadi, 19, has traded up once again: replacing her camera with a Kalashnikov.
Weeks ago, rebels clashed with government security forces in several south Damascus neighborhoods. As government forces bombarded the neighborhoods with airstrikes, the opposition fighters fled from district to district and eventually withdrew to the suburbs as their ammunition ran low.
Hanadi's rebel militia was one of the last to leave, from the district of Asali, and she left for the suburbs unwillingly.
"The worst thing for me is the tactical withdrawal," she said a few days afterward. "I swear the next time we attack I will be the first one in and the last one to leave until my last bullet."
Being at the front line was what she came for, she said.
After all, the Kalashnikov was her promised dowry. More...
posted a series of videos in which a Free Syrian Army battalion takes an air defense base in East Goula:
The FSA is also starting to get a few of the heavy weapons they need to defeat Assad although it is not clear from where or how. In this video they show off a SA-2 anti-aircraft missile, probably captured in one of their raids on Syrian air defense bases, although it is not clear whether they also have the controller and other requirements to make this missile operational.