Friday, July 20, 2012


Bashar al Assad now calls the UN general, Robert Mood, pleading for a ceasefire, this according to a report in today's The Guardian on line, written by Ian Black and Luke Harding.

Report Harding and Black:

"Diplomats revealed that Assad had phoned the head of the UN monitoring mission, General Robert Mood, pledging to implement Kofi Annan's peace plan shortly after Wednesday's devastating bomb attack in Damascus, which killed four senior members of his military-security command. The UN says Assad and the rebels have failed to observe a ceasefire."

By the way, yesterday, one of Iran's ministers complained that the United States has a double standard, complaining about some assassinations and not others. (Sorry, no cite for this.)  Why, for example, had the U.S. not condemned the bombing assassination of the four senior members of the Syrian government's defense department?

This criticism seems misplaced and totally not germane.  The men who were killed in Syrian Defense headquarters were the very ones responsible for ordering and putting into effect the shelling of civilian populations in Homs and Idlip and many other cities where there have been anti-government demonstrations.  They approved bombing civilian homes and killing civilians indiscriminately.  These were war crimes.  The fact that they were the targets of a bombing planted by the insurgents prompts musings that they themselves received justified punishment for their egregious war crimes.

As to the progress of the insurgents in fighting the Syrian government, Harding and Black write:

"The capture of Syria's borders by the opposition was an important moment, analysts said, and showed Syria's 16-month conflict was now a fast-moving guerilla war. Fawwaz Traboulsi, a Beirut-based historian and columnist, said the tactics and strategy of the Free Syrian Army had improved, in contrast to the early days of the uprising.

"It's conducting a war that is very close to a guerrilla war. The FSA can move very easily. It can withdraw. It is taking whole regions and holding them," he said."

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