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Entries in Goran Tomasevic (2)


Syria 1st-Hand: A Month on the Front Line of "Bloody Stalemate" in Damascus (Tomasevic)

One of Goran Tomasevic's photos of the fighting at the Ain Tarma checkpoint, 30 January 2013

Rebel fighters in Damascus are disciplined, skilled and brave.

In a month on the frontline, I saw them defend a swathe of suburbs in the Syrian capital, mount complex mass attacks, manage logistics, treat their wounded --- and die before my eyes.

But as constant, punishingly accurate, mortar, tank and sniper fire attested, President Bashar al-Assad's soldiers on the other side, often just a room or a grenade toss away, are also well-drilled, courageous --- and much better armed.

So while the troops were unable to dislodge brigades of the Free Syrian Army from devastated and depopulated neighborhoods just east of the city centre --- and indeed made little effort to do so --- there seems little immediate prospect of the rebels overrunning Assad's stronghold. The result is bloody stalemate.

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Syria Live Coverage: Israeli Jets Strike Inside Syria --- But What Was the Target?

Mass funeral prayer for some of the 80 executed men pulled from the Quweig River near Aleppo on Tuesday

2059 GMT: The Israeli Attack. The White House has given implicit support to the Israeli airstrikes by shifting responsibility to Damascus and invoking the chemical weapons threat.

"We've been very clear that Syria should not further destabilize the region by transferring, for instance, weaponry to Hezbollah," said Deputy US National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes. "We also, of course, have been very clear beyond that that we're closely monitoring Syria's chemical weapons as well."

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