I've just had a one hour conversation with my source, and I have new information on the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian Army.
As highlighted in my August 8th Tweets the major push to put all fighting factions that make up the opposition under the Syrian National Army is under implementation. Yesterday's announcement of the creation of the Syrian National Army under the command of Major General Mohammed Hussein Haj Ali is big. The Syrian National Army now commands major FSA factions across all Syrian Governorates, including, but not limited to
- Attawheed (the largest in Aleppo)
- Ansar Al Sham (Damascus)
- All of Deraa (All of Horan Valley)
- Most of Latakia (inc Costal Turkmen Brigade)
Over the next few days (expected on Thursday) the Syrian National Army will announced it's new structure and what it encompasses (brigades and leadership).
Negotiations with the Al Farouq Brigade(s) have failed. They still want to follow the command of the Syrian Military Coucil of Middle Syria (Mantika Al Wusta). Al Farouq Brigade of Homs has become like a successful franchise, arming and training franchisee brigades in Rastan, Qusoor, and elsewhere in Homs.
Talks with FSA factions fighting in Idlib are ongoing, and are a little tough. Given their track record it is hard to convince them to train. Also, Idlib FSA factions usually have different financiers, so they can't be enticed to join the Syrian National Army via financial motives. The FSA factions in Idlib have been operating autonimously since the beginning, and have the best track record against the Syrian Army since the beginning of the revolution.
In the mean time, the FSA confirm they have MANPADS, as I have confirmed before. But you know how it is, it's better to say you don't have any for more to come.
Then we come to Assad's forces; to sum up what my source said eloquently: They are fucked. Assad forces land supply lines are like walking on thin ice, almost every convoy is attacked. Tanks can't be moved, no air freight, etc. That's why you see more and more jets dropping barrels filled with screwdrivers, metal shrapnel, and TNT. Assad can no longer transport big bombs.
Troops from the 4th, 5th, 9th & 17th Division (estimated around 100k) can mostly not leave their bases. They can only shell towns from their news base, and the majority of these troops haven't taken a break from their tours since deployment.
In short, Assad Army morale is at an all-time low, the latest loses (including jets and military bases) have increase defection, and they are slowly getting desperate. The lack of supplies (along with new arms) is exactly why FSA brigades can take over whole military bases like Abu Aduhoor, Taftanaz, etc.
The new commander of the Syrian National Army is from Horan, Daraa, and is one of the reasons all the Daraa factions joined.
Make no mistake, unlike the animosity in between political factions of the Syrian Oppostion, ALL FSA factions agree amicably to disagree.
One more thing my source sounded very sure of, he has been told directly by representatives of regional powers that the refugee problem is becoming really serious. My source was really sure that Turkey will establish a safe-zone if refugees exceeds 100,000, and I can see he's right because of Syrian Government rhetoric. Assad met with the Red Cross chief and promised help, Bashar Jaafari was pleading for refugees to return, seems like they know something as well. Yesterday the information minister spent a good 30 minutes begging refugees to come back, pitching safety, honour, rebuilding, etc.
Update September 5th The Guardian has interviewed General Muhammed Hussein al-Haj Ali, commander of the Syrian National Army.
More High Level Defections Predicted In Syria
The Head Of The Investigation Into The Qubair Massacre Defects To The Syrian Opposition
Rastan's Al-Farouq Brigades Show Off Their Latest Loot - Tanks
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