Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Aleppo: Will Assad 'sweat the insurgents out' or will he go for the jugular?

"... Syrian forces have been steadily gathering armour and troops on the outskirts of Aleppo, many parts of which are believed to remain loyal to the regime. The foreign minister, Walid Moualem, on Sunday claimed rebel fighters had been ousted from neighbourhoods in Damascus they had held for more than 10 days. Speaking during a visit to Iran, Mouallem said of the rebel campaign: "So they moved on to Aleppo. I assure you their plots will fail."
The coming battle is seen by both sides as a crucial phase in the uprising. Rebels advanced without the heavy weapons they had been pleading for ....
The commander said unless the opposition could get access to heavy weapons it would take "two to three years" to defeat Assad's military machine. He did not think Damascus would wage a large-scale frontal assault on Aleppo; instead it would bomb rebel-held districts from the sky....'

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