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Syria Rebels Fend Off Aleppo Assault
Today's Headlines
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 6: Politix
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Taliban Financier Killed in Afghan Raid
Taliban financier Maulawi Abdul Rahman was killed in joint Afghan and NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A collection of multinational and multilingual and multicultural armed forces, all of differing capabilities, working toward a common goal by pulling in different directions...
operation in Balkh province on Saturday, Isaf said.

Afghan and NATO troops were conducting an operation to find Rahman, and during the operation he threatened the security force, Isaf in a statement.

"The force responded to the threat, killing him," the statement said.

Rahman co-ordinated the transfer of money, weapons and explosives to other bully boyz to facilitate attacks against Afghan and coalition forces throughout the region.

Separately, an Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan explosives expert was locked away
Please don't kill me!
in a joint operation in the Archi district of Kunduz province on Saturday.
Posted by: trailing wife || 07/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  More evidence that sanctions don't stop terror financiers--soldiers do.
Posted by: American Delight || 07/29/2012 8:09 Comments || Top||

Africa Horn
Somalia's National Constituent Assembly postponed due to shelling
(Sh.M.Network)-Mortar shells in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, closed down a key talks venue for the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) tasked to debate the new constitution of Somalia.

Minister of Constitution and Reconciliation Abdirahman Hosh Jibril said Friday that the meeting was delayed for Saturday, citing technical reasons for the setback.

"A number of mortar rounds fired at the meeting hall located former police academy, where was expected on friday to hold for the third day the constitutional convene," he added.

No causalities were reported.

The NCA which is composed of 825 delegates is tasked with ratifying the new Somalia constitution, and selecting members of the next permanent parliament, after which the document will act provisionally until it can be subject to a national referendum.
Posted by: Fred || 07/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under: al-Shabaab

Al shabab attacks Somali army in Hudur, Bakol region
(Sh.M.Network)-Al Qaeda linked Islamic fascisti in Somalia have carried out an offensive against pro-government forces in Hudur, the capital of Bakol region, reports said on Saturday,

Locals said the fighting erupted after heavily armed fighting belonging to Al shabab launched an ambush attack on Somali troops positioned at a base near the southwestern Somali town of Hudur, sparking face-to-face festivities that raged for several hours.

"They [Al shabab] attacked our bases at the dusk of Friday and the national army managed to fend off the attackers from the area. Our troops inflicted heavy loss upon the Al shabab fighters during the fighting," said Mohamed Mo'alin, the DC of Hudur for TFG.

It is the latest battle between Al shabab and Somali forces in the region since the start of the holy month of Ramadan. The situation returned into normal and Somali troops are in control of the city and its surrounding villages.
Posted by: Fred || 07/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under: al-Shabaab

Somalia: Senior Al shabab commander killed in Bay region
(Sh.M.Network)-Unidentified Armed groups are reportedly shot and killed a senior Al shabab commander in Ufurow area of Bay region, southern horn of Africa Somalia.

Witnesses said two masked men armed with pistols have carried out the assignation against the Al shabab agent as he went out from a mosque in Ufurow village after performing the dawn prayer at about 5:00 p.m. local time on Saturday.

Sources indicated that the victim, whose name has only been released as Abu Salim was one the top beturbanned goon leaders in Bay region of southern Somalia and his death is a big blow to the Al shabab turbans-affiliated with Al Qaeda.

The exact motive of the assignation is unclear and the assailants were reported to have beat feet from scene of the shooting.

In separate incident, a building engineer was killed by gunnies dressed in military uniform at government controlled Lafole area, located on the outskirts of Mogadishu on Saturday, locals reported.
Posted by: Fred || 07/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under: al-Shabaab

Africa North
Christian, Muslim Villagers Clash In Egypt
[Ay Pee] Hurling Molotov cocktails at each other, followed by the Moslems burning down Christian houses because a Christian laundry employee burnt the wrong person's shirt in a village south of Cairo.
Posted by: trailing wife || 07/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Dont worry the MB will sort it out now they are in charge!
Posted by: Fester Clunter7205 || 07/29/2012 6:26 Comments || Top||

Africa Subsaharan
26 Arrested, 2 Dead in Raid after Indians Killed in Nigeria
[An Nahar] Nigerian soldiers have jugged
Please don't kill me!
26 alleged members of Islamist group Boko Haram
... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality...
and killed two others in a raid after an attack that left two Indian nationals dead, a statement said Saturday.

Separately on Friday, a military patrol vehicle was attacked in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, with two alleged Boko Haram members killed and two soldiers maimed in a resulting clash, and 25 suspects jugged
Please don't kill me!
The raid following the deaths of the Indians occurred late Thursday and early Friday in Maiduguri, where Boko Haram has been based amid an insurgency that has killed hundreds in Nigeria's mainly Moslem north.

"The operation led to the arrest of 26 beturbanned goons and the killings of two suspected members of Boko Haram," a statement from a military task force in the region said.

"Some of the suspects killed and jugged
Please don't kill me!
were responsible for the killings of two Indians, a holy man and several other killings in Maiduguri in the past."

On Wednesday, suspected Boko Haram members attacked a factory in Maiduguri, killing the two Indians and stealing about $600 (nearly 500 euros) in cash.

Boko Haram has been blamed for scores of attacks that have killed hundreds, mainly in the north. It has also carried out robberies to finance its operations.

Authorities also located and detonated a homemade bomb in Maiduguri on Friday, a statement said.
Posted by: Fred || 07/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under: Boko Haram

#1  I see the detained to killed ratio is about a dozen to one. How does that happen in a firefight?
Did they grab the nearest uninvolved civilians? Did the goons give up wholesale, without even runnning away?
Is this serious, developed-world cop discipline?
Posted by: Richard Aubrey || 07/29/2012 7:37 Comments || Top||

#2  apparently the Nigerian security forces trailed the militants to a hideout in a neighborhood. then arrested them at that location. Besides the 26 "militants" they also captures 2 AK-47's and an IED. So it's pretty clear that there was not a real firefight at the point of apprehension (although there might have been a shootout at another location earlier). Seems questionable whether all 26 people are militants, since number of weapons is small.
Posted by: Raider || 07/29/2012 10:23 Comments || Top||

#3  Did they grab the nearest uninvolved civilians?

Seems questionable whether all 26 people are militants, since number of weapons is small

If Boko Haram is following the tactics of other armed African groups , there will be a significant number of levees; youth and young men (and possibly women) impressed from villages. At the least, they'll serve as shields.

Plus there will be new volunteers and aspiring members of Boko Haram who are not yet trusted to carry a weapon.

Weapons can also be cached. One needs just enough to do the job and keep the unarmed in line.
Posted by: Pappy || 07/29/2012 10:58 Comments || Top||

Al-Qaeda Kills son of Sheikh Majid Al-Thahab in Yemen Capital
[Yemen Post] "Those who stand against al-Qaeda will be killed." This was the message that Sheikh Majid al-Thahab received upon the killing of his son by al-Qaeda.

A powerful explosion rocked the residence of al-Thahab in the Yemeni capital Sana'a Saturday morning killing his 12-year-old son.

According to al-Thahab, his son was given a wrapped package by the suspect while playing outside his home and was told that it was a gift for his father. The son entered the house and upon opening the package it exploded and killed him at the spot.

Al-Thahab said that his residence was already witnessing tight security after al-Qaeda militants threatened to retaliate for his firm stance against them.

Majid al-Thahab fought al-Qaeda months back in southeastern Yemen and played a major role in forcing the militant group to retreat from areas it controlled in the southeastern province of al-Baitha. Al-Qaeda overtook the city of Radaa and clashes resulted in the death of more than 38.

"Al-Qaeda is behind the attack and the killing of my son. This is a terror group that has no mercy and is heartless," said Sheikh al-Thahab.
"We have handed over the evidence we have to the Yemeni government and will await the government stance," said al-Thahab.

Al-Thahab called on the Yemeni government to stand up to its duties and serve justice.

Al-Thahab, is the tribal leader of Gaifa clan in the province of al-Baitha. The clan is one of the most powerful in Yemen.

The attack is the latest from al-Qaeda and a warning sign that the capital Sana'a will be a prime target to the attacks.

Two weeks ago, nine military students were killed in an attack at the Military Academy in the heart of Sana'a.
Posted by: Fred || 07/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Arabia

Security officer whacked near Sa'naa
A security official said unidentified gunmen assassinated a security officer, Jaber Hadi Jaadan, in western of Sanaa on Friday. The official said he did not know the reason behind the killing, but noted that it fell within a pattern of recent attacks on senior army and security officers by Al-Qaeda militants.
But he doesn't know why...
On Tuesday, unknown gunmen assassinated a security official in Mukalla, the provincial capital of Hadramaout province, while a day earlier, gunmen fired at the car of Yahya Al-Arasy, President Hadi's press secretary. He escaped unharmed.

Earlier this month, Col. Abdullah Al-Maouzaei, charged with hunting down members of Al-Qaeda, was killed when his vehicle blew up as he turned on the ignition outside his home in the southern port city of Aden. Lt. Col. Mohammed Al-Qudami, who was the intelligence chief for one of the sectors of Sanaa, was killed in a similar way.

Maj. Gen. Salem Ali Al-Quton, an army commander leading the fight against Al-Qaeda in the country's south, was killed last month in Aden by a suicide bomber while he was traveling in a three-car convoy.
Sucks to be a senior officer in Yemen...
Posted by: Steve White || 07/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:

Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Three terrorists killed in Ingushetia clash
Special services have killed three terrorists militants in a battle in the Russian republic of Ingushetia. A law enforcement source said, “A few bandits were blocked in Ordzhonikidzevskaya village. When told to surrender, they opened fire,” adding that the attackers were killed by return fire.

He said the terrorists militants were suspected of blowing up shops and attempting to kill law enforcers.

Policeman gunned down in Dagestan

A police patrolman was gunned down late on Friday in a remote village in Russia’s republic of Dagestan. According to investigators, a group of unknown attackers blasted the car driven by the police officer with automatic gunfire. The policeman died at the scene from his injuries.

An Interior Ministry spokesman said, “Some 20 7.62-mm and 17 5.45-mm spent cartridges were found at the site of the attack."

Two policemen injured in Ingushetia roadside bomb

Two police officers were wounded on Saturday when a roadside bomb blew up near their vehicle in Russia’s republic of Ingushetia. A spokesman for the republic’s interior ministry said, “A homemade explosive device, planted on the right side of a road exploded near the Muzhichi village, when a UAZ vehicle of Ingushetia’s Interior Ministry was passing by."
Posted by: ryuge || 07/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

One hurt in grenade attack
[Dawn] A man was injured and some vehicles were damaged in a grenade attack near a department store in Gulshan-e-Iqbal near NIPA on Friday evening.

Police said that two men on a cycle of violence lobbed a hand grenade near the store. A man was maimed and three cars parked were damaged in the grenade kaboom.

The maimed was taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for treatment.

The store had been facing extortion threats in the past, the police said.

Policeman, suspect killed

A policeman and a suspect were killed in an encounter in the Manghopir area on Friday.

Police said that the shoot-out occurred in Kunwari Colony where Police Constable Mohammad Anwsr tried to stop two suspects on a cycle of violence. However,
we can't all be heroes. Somebody has to sit on the curb and applaud when they go by...
they fired on the policeman. The policeman returned fire, leaving one of the suspects maimed, they added.

The suspects managed to escape into Kunwari Colony. The maimed police constable was taken to a private hospital where he died during treatment.

The police said that two and a half hours later the body of a man with a gunshot wound was brought to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital from the area. The man was identified as Khatib Khan Mehsud, said Manghopir SHO Chaudhry Bahsir.

He was the same man who had been hit by a bullet fired by the slain police constable, the area SHO added.
Posted by: Fred || 07/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

Seven militants killed in Orakzai
[Dawn] Seven bully boyz were killed by security forces in Dabori area of Orakzai Agency
... crawling with holy men, home to Darra Adam Khel, the world's largest illegal arms bazaar. 14 distinct tribes of beturbanned primitives inhabit Orakzai agency's 1500 or so square kilometers...
on Friday.

Sources said security forces targeted four krazed killer hideouts in Janduli and Botakhel villages with heavy artillery and killed seven krazed killers.

They also said sepoy Abdul Malik was injured after a landmine went kaboom! near a convoy of security forces in Gall village of Dabori area.

Sources said the soldier was under treatment at Kalaya hospital.

They said security forces cordoned off the area after the kaboom and began a search operation.

In Bajaur Agency, aka Turban Central
...Smallest of the agencies in FATA. The Agency administration is located in Khar. Bajaur is inhabited almost exclusively by Tarkani Pashtuns, which are divided into multiple bickering subtribes. Its 52 km border border with Afghanistan's Kunar Province makes it of strategic importance to Pakistain's strategic depth...
's Salarzai tehsil, the corpse count of Thursday's car boom blast increased to 15 as three more victims died of critical injuries at a local hospital on Friday.

The bodies were later given to the relevant families for burial.

Besides scores of locals, members and volunteers of anti-militant peace committee also participated in funeral prayers in large numbers.

The peace committee put in place special security checks for funeral over krazed killer threats by deploying scores of armed volunteers.

Tariq Khan, a member of peace committee, said hundreds of volunteers would be deployed near Pak-Afghan border today (Saturday), while more security posts would be established in sensitive areas.

Sources said a grand jirga, where representatives of all local tribes and peace committees, would take place today (Saturday).

They said ways and means to counter militancy, contain cross-border attacks and eliminate pro-militant rustics would be
discussed by the jirga.

...back at the pound, Zebulon finally found just the friend he'd been looking for...
Khar administration has increased security in the region and planned to deploy hundreds of Bajaur Levies and FC personnel in commercial and sensitive places in the area.

A local official said leaves of Bajaur Levies personnel had been cancelled and that they had been asked to resume duty from Monday.
Posted by: Fred || 07/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under: TTP

Quetta Quorpse Qount
That hurts my soul. Please don't do it again.
QUETTA: Unidentified gunmen, riding a motorbike, opened fire on a veterinary store at Quary Road on Saturday, killing a veterinary doctor belonging to the Hazara community. The doctor, identified as Dr Noor Ali, died on the spot. The assailants managed to escape the crime scene.

Police rushed to the site soon after the incident and cordoned off the area. The deceased was shifted to the Civil Hospital for autopsy. "It could be a case of sectarian targeted killing," police sources said. However, no one had yet claimed the responsibility of the killing.

Also on Saturday, a tribal leader was killed while his associate injured in an incident of firing in Osta Muhammad area, Jaffarabad district.

The police said that unidentified armed men opened fire on Mir Abdul Qadir Umrani and Akbar Shah, killing Umrani and injuring Shah on Ali Abad Road. The assailants managed to escape from the scene. Qadir was identified as the son of tribal leader and politician, Haji Mithal Khan Umrani. The deceased and injured were shifted to a nearby hospital for autopsy and treatment respectively. The police have registered both cases and started investigation.
Posted by: Steve White || 07/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

Gunmen Kill 5 Iraqi Women from Same Family
[An Nahar] Gunmen rubbed out a women, her three daughters and her daughter-in-law in the Iraqi city of Samarra on Saturday evening, security and medical officials said.

The women were killed at a house in Al-Shuhada area of Samarra, north of Storied Baghdad
...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate...
, after iftar, the meal in which Moslems end their daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan, a police lieutenant colonel said.

The source said the gunnies were targeting the older woman's husband, Hamid Majid, who is the director of a school in Samarra, but that he was not there at the time.

A medical source at Samarra hospital said it had received the bodies of five women who had been rubbed out.
Posted by: Fred || 07/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Iraq

Southeast Asia
Philippine clashes in Basilan leave 19 dead
The fighting in Basilan has already left 19 casualties, including 10 soldiers and nine Abu Sayyaf terrorists militants, as government troops continued to hunt down al-Qaeda-linked rebels in the jungles of Sumisip town.

A spokesman for the Armed Forces’ Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said 16 other soldiers and eight terrorists militants were injured in the encounters. Lt. Col. Randolf Cabangbang, however, said the operation has been hampered by bad weather.

The fighting erupted in Barangay Cabengbeng at around 7:30 a.m. Thursday, and continued in Barangay Mebak, also in Sumisip town, nearly eight hours later.

In the first clash, Cabangbang said government troops clashed with at least 50 followers of Wyms Wakil, alias Bacoy, which left eight soldiers dead and six others injured.

Among the slain terrorists militants were sub-leader Hassan Asnawi and his son Jumaidi, Nurham Asnawi, Juhair Aliman, Kaobut Mastul, Hudjata Marain, Meloy Patpi, and a certain Je ne sais quoi Balong. Cabangbang said Wakil himself was injured, along with Jarad Marain and Jaz Umangkat, among others.

Wakil’s group is responsible for the slew of attacks on rubber plantation workers and soldiers since January, already killing 16 people and injuring 34 others.

Despite the death of 10 soldiers, the military does not view the Basilan incident as a setback. AFP spokesman Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr. said, “Incurring casualties is part and parcel of the discharge of our duties and responsibilities to protect the people. (We will do it) even at the cost of our precious lives."

Meanwhile, some members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) were detected trying to reinforce the armed group involved in the Basilan clashes, according to a security official who asked to remain anonymous. The official said rebels under fugitive MILF commander Dan Asnawi were seen coming from the towns of Al-Barka and Ungkaya Pukan.
Posted by: ryuge || 07/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:

Four Thai soldiers gunned down in brazen ambush
About 16 armed terrorists militants travelling in three pickup trucks let loose a hail of bullets at six soldiers patrolling on motorcycles in Pattani province Saturday morning, killing four of them instantly.

The terrorists militants, a few of them wearing hoods, gunned down the soldiers while they were riding along Mayo-Ban Palat Road.

The brutal attack was caught on a security camera installed in a well-hidden place nearby. The five minutes of footage was then leaked by local officials to the media. Those who want to see extreme violence may view the video on YouTube. It is not appropriate for children, the workplace or those easily upset.

In the footage, the faces of some of the terrorists insurgents were clearly seen and authorities arrested three suspects Saturday evening.

Army deputy spokesman Col Winthai Suwaree said, "We want people to condemn the actions of the southern militants. Soldiers are ready to sacrifice everything as long as the people understand us and give us moral support."

Local police said the soldiers were not able to defend themselves and were blown off their motorcycles.

The assailants rushed the victims and shot them in the groin and head before taking four M16 assault rifles, armor, radio devices and helmets.

Sgt Prida and Pvt Akom, who were behind the others, were injured and shot back at the assailants. The gunfight lasted about five minutes before the assailants fled.

Muslim leaders and peace advocates denounced the attack. Former deputy chairman of the Yala Provincial Islamic Committee, Nimu Makaje, said the attackers were not Muslims because they did not honor Allah's teaching that his followers should help promote peace and unity. He said, "They must stop their actions now. It is a sin to kill people."

This killing of four soldiers was the fourth major incident of violence since the start of Ramandan.
Posted by: ryuge || 07/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6480 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The TTP + AQ in J&K taint that far away ...

* DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > TEHREEK-E-TALIBAN PAKISTAN [TTP] THREATEN MYANMAR [Burma] OVER ROHINGYAS, demanding that Pakistan halt all DIplomatic relations wid Myanmar due to the latter's Govt. policies agz Rohingyas.



* SAME > ROHINGYAS CHANGING TEKNAF DEMOGRAPHICS. May become the majority in Burma widin 10 years.

ARTIC = Rohingya Muslims described as comprehending + openly planning to use procreation as benign weapon, BUT A WEAPON NONETHELESS, agz Burma's non-Muslim Ethnics.

* SAME > BURMA'S MONKS [Buddhist, pro-Democracy = activist] MONKS CALL FOR MUSLIM COMMUNITY TO BE SHUNNED. Support the Govt's Policy of providing little or no Humanitarian Assistance to the Rohingya Muslims, arguing that the Rohingyas as Muslims covertly plan to eventually conquer + exterminate Burma's Buddhist + indigenoous cultures.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 07/29/2012 23:52 Comments || Top||

Syria Rebels Fend Off Aleppo Assault
[An Nahar] Syrian rebels staved off a fightback by regime forces in Aleppo
...For centuries, Aleppo was Greater Syria's largest city and the Ottoman Empire's third, after Constantinople and Cairo. Although relatively close to Damascus in distance, Aleppans regard Damascenes as country cousins...
on Saturday amid growing concern about the risks of reprisals against civilians in the country's commercial capital.

After massing for two days, troops backed by tanks and helicopter gunships moved on southwestern Aleppo where rebels concentrated their forces when they seized much of the northern city on July 20.

At least 29 people were killed, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, contributing to a figure of around 140 nationwide.

The watchdog said more than 20,000 people, mostly civilians, have now died since the uprising against Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Scourge of Qusayr...
's regime erupted in March 2011.

"It started at 4:00 am (1:00 GMT) and eight hours later it's still hell. This is madness," an Agence La Belle France Presse correspondent reported from the Aleppo district of Salaheddin.

Civilians crowded into basements seeking refuge from the bombing, with the Observatory's Rami Abdel Rahman describing the festivities as the uprising's "fiercest."

"There are thousands of people in the streets fleeing the bombardment. They're being terrorized by helicopter gunships flying at low altitude," said an activist, adding many had taken refuge in public parks.

Official news agency SANA reported fighting in Furqan district where "a terrorist group was terrorizing residents."

It said two "terrorists" had been killed and three others captured, and their arms and vehicles seized.

Colonel Abdel Jabbar al-Oqaidi of the rebel Free Syrian Army said his forces had repulsed troops in Salaheddin and that the regime offensive had been stopped.

"We managed to force the army to the neighborhood of Hamdaniyeh," he told AFP on the phone, adding that while the army had been halted on the ground, artillery and gunships continued to pound the city.

Abdel Rahman said the fact the soldiers had been stopped in Salaheddin "does not necessarily mean a withdrawal as their strategy is to bombard ... to cause an exodus then launch an assault even more fierce."

An AFP correspondent said rebels were poised to launch a final raid on a strategic police post in the city center, where 100 men armed with Kalashnikovs have been holding out for three days.

Its capture would open a corridor between Salaheddin and the rebel-held district of Sakhur, some six kilometers to the northeast.
Posted by: Fred || 07/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6497 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

#1  The Second Battle of Fallujah lasted 45 days. If the Syrian rebels have as much local support as the Fallujah insurgents, they should hold out at least that long - until mid-September. In fact, the rebels should hold out longer, given that government forces don't have anywhere the firepower of the US military. Here's a Wikipedia account of the damage to Fallujah's infrastructure:

Fallujah suffered extensive damage to residences, mosques, city services, and businesses. The city, once referred to as the "City of Mosques", had over 200 pre-battle mosques of which 60 or so were destroyed in the fighting. Many of these mosques had been used as arms caches and weapon strongpoints by Islamist forces. Of the roughly 50,000 buildings in Fallujah, between 7,000 and 10,000 were estimated to have been destroyed in the offensive and from half to two-thirds of the remaining buildings had notable damage.[50][51]

Fallujah had a population of 300K and a land area of about 12 sq miles, for a population density of about 25K per sq mile, roughly 2/3 Brooklyn's. Aleppo has a population of 2.1m and a land area of about 70 sq miles, for a population density of about 30K per sq mile, also similar to Brooklyn's.

The Syrian military have their work cut out for them, given how similar the mission is to Fallujah, but with 7x the population and a city that needs to continue functioning* in its role as Syria's center of commerce. I expect Syrian armored vehicles and choppers will be performing a lot of fire support missions against the rebels. Infantry will probe until they have contact, and try to fix the rebels in place while the big guns and gunships pound away at rebel positions.

* Fallujah could be demolished without any consequence because Uncle Sugar was providing Iraq with a $100b a year subsidy. The Syrians are pretty much making do with the peanuts they're probably getting from Iran. The Chinese and the Russians are clearly in a position to provide huge amounts of money to keep Assad solvent, but the question is whether they are willing to do so.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 07/29/2012 1:24 Comments || Top||

#2  I have to think Assad's logistical problems are mounting. Reports say Assad forces have abandoned everywhere north of Aleppo.
Posted by: phil_b || 07/29/2012 3:27 Comments || Top||

#3  Discussing this with my 13yr old and his first question was 'where do the Syrians get their gas, cause if i was the rebels i would knock that out and make them fight without their tanks' logistics win wars. felt pretty good that my son gets that intuitively.
Posted by: abu do you love || 07/29/2012 6:10 Comments || Top||

#4  from video footage, about 2 hours ago, the rebels captured one tank and one small additional amoured vehicle

also, it seems Assad's forces are doing an extensive bombing and strafing exercise before ground assaults

part of the reason for this may be that the govt's troops are too low in morale do maintain a high intensity action for very long
Posted by: lord garth || 07/29/2012 14:15 Comments || Top||

#5  also, it seems Assad's forces are doing an extensive bombing and strafing exercise before ground assaults

part of the reason for this may be that the govt's troops are too low in morale do maintain a high intensity action for very long

Artillery prep has been a standard aspect of war since the slingshot was invented. The reason our guys don't do it as much these days is because of concern for collateral damage and the availability of smart bombs. The Syrian government doesn't have the same concern for collateral damage and probably doesn't have smart bombs. Fighting in cities is difficult because every brick wall is a fortified fighting position. My recollection of Marines fighting in Fallujah is that they had on-call tank, artillery, helicopter gunship and AC-130 fire every time they encountered resistance. The Syrians simply do not have that kind of precision or integration - so they do things the WWII way - artillery barrages before infantry advances.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 07/29/2012 18:28 Comments || Top||

#6  Typical Russian tactic. Some 28,000 Russian artillary pieces participated in the taking of Berlin in WWII.

Posted by: Besoeker || 07/29/2012 18:35 Comments || Top||

#7  Come to think of it, culturally-speaking, the standard Middle Eastern way of war has been to use artillery barrages at every opportunity. Crusader armies were picked apart bit by bit by swarms of arrows fired backwards by horseback archers even as they fled, never allowing the Christian men-at-arms to close with them. Were the archers low in morale? Who knows? The reality is that the region is probably populated by the descendants of the horse archers whereas the only remnants of the Crusaders still there are the ruins of sacked castles and piles of shiny bones worn down by sandstorms in the desert.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 07/29/2012 18:43 Comments || Top||

#8  I have to think Assad's logistical problems are mounting. Reports say Assad forces have abandoned everywhere north of Aleppo.

I think that's the meaning of concentration. They are massing their troops around Aleppo to prevent supplies or guerrillas reinforcements from coming in. We were in Iraq for almost 8 years, and we were never able to prevent foreign fighters from coming in despite our incomparable combination of state-of-the-art sensors and firepower. I wouldn't expect the Syrians to do a better job.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 07/29/2012 18:51 Comments || Top||

#9  Typical Russian tactic. Some 28,000 Russian artillary pieces participated in the taking of Berlin in WWII.

Yet facing volkssturm [the militia] and Hitler Jugend [kids], the Russians would suffer 300000 casualties with 75000 dead after all that artillery.

Same tactic in Chechnya. First wave in was wiped out. The Russians finally settle for an extensive siege via bombardment. Unless the Syrians have a sustain supply for an extensive period of bombardment, the tactic is questionable. Somewhere in the back of their minds has got to be what the situation will be with nothing in the depot if they exhaust their ammo on the insurgents and then face Israel , particularly if their puppets in Lebanon provoke something.

So far only the Americans today have shown a degree of skill of taking built up areas.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 07/29/2012 20:34 Comments || Top||

#10  Unless the Syrians have a sustain supply for an extensive period of bombardment, the tactic is questionable. Somewhere in the back of their minds has got to be what the situation will be with nothing in the depot if they exhaust their ammo on the insurgents and then face Israel , particularly if their puppets in Lebanon provoke something.

So far only the Americans today have shown a degree of skill of taking built up areas.

The military that almost overran northern Israel during Yom Kippur is going to run out of ammo? Fighting against maybe 20K insurgents armed with light weapons? I have my doubts.

As to the possibility of Hezbollah launching anything against Israel, that's just not realistic, given that Syria is simultaneously Hezbollah's quartermaster and paymaster. They do things every so often to justify subsidies from Syria and Iran. Precipitating the destruction of their friend and ally Assad is not going to help them at all. In fact, if the ammo situation ever becomes an issue, we are going to see Hezbollah ammo dumps and missiles being transferred to Syria, in addition to Hezbollah fighters becoming active participants there. A Sunni Arab Islamist regime in Syria is bound to attempt to reunify Lebanon with Syria, and therefore a mortal threat to Hezbollah.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 07/29/2012 21:03 Comments || Top||

#11  As to our guys being uniquely skilled at taking cities, we need to take into account the fact that the taking of Fallujah involved going up against a few thousand guys armed with light weapons and their faith in Allah. There is no comparison with the Battle of Berlin. The German defending Berlin numbered over 700K. They operated 1500 armored vehicles, 2200 aircraft and 9300 artillery pieces. The German had had many years of time in which to create fortified bunkers for a last stand in Berlin, using the full resources of the German state. They had large numbers of anti-aircraft artillery to defend against (Western) Allied air raids that could be used as light artillery. Bottom line is that this is an apples and oranges comparison.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 07/29/2012 21:28 Comments || Top||

#12  this has been an excellent discussion

On the issue of timing, if this was a case of syria vs a city in another country, syria would definitely want to wait until their opponents were starved and low on ammo

but this Syria vs a Syrian city with rebels; every day Syria doesn't take Aleppo is a day in which the rebels get recruits, stay motivated, etc.
Posted by: lord garth || 07/29/2012 22:11 Comments || Top||

Russia warns of looming ‘tragedy’ in Aleppo
Russia warned Saturday that a “tragedy” was looming in Syria’s second city of Aleppo but said it was unrealistic to expect the government would stand by when armed rebels were occupying major cities.

“We are persuading the government that they need to make some first gestures,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference alongside his Japanese counterpart.

“But when the armed opposition are occupying cities like Aleppo, where yet another tragedy is brewing as I understand,... it is not realistic to expect that they (the government) will accept this,” Lavrov added.

The Syrian army launched a fightback against rebels in Aleppo on Saturday, amid concern among Western governments about reprisals against the civilian population of the country’s second city.

“How can you hope that in such a situation, the government will simply reconcile itself and say ‘All right, I was wrong. Come on and topple me, change the regime’?” Lavrov asked rhetorically.

“It’s just not realistic -- not because we are holding onto this regime -- but it simply doesn’t work,” he said in the news conference in the southern city of Sochi which was broadcast live by state media.
That's why we need the world powers to step up and play Dutch uncle to Pencilneck. A dacha on the Lower Volga solves a lot of problems...
Russia has repeatedly rejected accusations Moscow is backing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in the crisis, claiming it has an even-handed approach while rebuking the West for siding with the rebels.

Aleppo has turned into what could be the key battleground of the 16-month uprising, as government forces launched a major push to drive out rebel fighters on Saturday.

Troop reinforcements poured into the southwest of the commercial hub of some 2.5 million people, where the rebels concentrated their forces after seizing much of the city on July 20. Before this month, Aleppo had seen sporadic protests but had been largely spared the bloodshed that has engulfed other cities since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule broke out in March last year.

The battle for the city of 2.5 million people is seen as a crucial test for a government that has committed major military resources to retaining control of its two main power centers, Aleppo and Damascus, in the face of a growing insurgency. While neither side has managed to gain the upper hand, the outcome of the uprising is being watched anxiously in the surrounding region and beyond, amid fears that sectarian unrest could spread to volatile neighboring countries.
Posted by: Steve White || 07/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Well, I want a thumbs up or down from Moscow. Playing rack time will only indulge more killing. Is it Iran or Syria? You really want to sit on this and how do you back it if it spirals again? Russia?
Posted by: newc || 07/29/2012 0:48 Comments || Top||

180 killed by Syrian regime forces on Saturday
About 180, including 21 children, were killed by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday, the Revolution Council reported, amid a brutal army offensive to retake the country’s commercial capital Aleppo.

Four buildings were set ablaze early in the day in Aleppo’s Salaheddin district as opposition fighters battled a long-anticipated army offensive. Four helicopters launched salvoes of rockets before the rebel-held district, which has been surrounded by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, was bombarded by artillery and tanks.

Families fled the fighting, clutching jars of preserves and bottles of milk and water amid food shortages. Three women sheltering in a Salaheddin basement were all armed with small pistols.

“I would choose death rather than be attacked by the regime soldiers,” said one.

Many panic-stricken women and children have fled the quarter since Friday for other parts of the city, leaving behind only groups of men.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said that more than 20,000 people have been killed in Syria since the start of an anti-regime revolt in March 2011.

“At least 20,028 people, among them 13,978 civilians and rebels, 968 army defectors and 5,082 members of the regime forces have been killed since the start of the revolt on March 15 of last year,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Britain-based Observatory.

The head of the Syrian National Council (SNC), the main umbrella group for opposition to President Assad, said the SNC’s foreign allies would be responsible for bloodshed in the city if they did not act quickly to prevent it.

“Our friends and allies will bear responsibility for what is happening in Aleppo if they do not move soon,” Abdelbasset Sida, visiting the United Arab Emirates for talks with officials, told a news conference early on Sunday.
Now that you've publicly warned the Russians, cut a quiet deal with them. They can keep their naval base if they help you and pull the rug out from under Pencilneck. All under the table, of course...
Asked how the SNC’s allies could help, Sida said they would have to act outside the United Nations Security Council because initiatives within the council could be vetoed. Russia has blocked efforts to threaten Assad with U.N. sanctions.

“Any action has to be from outside the Security Council through an Arab League initiative and through a resolution passed by the General Assembly,” he said.
Posted by: Steve White || 07/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:

Syrian Olympic official: "Army is protecting people"
LONDON -- The head of Syria’s Olympic team at the London Games is choosing his words carefully to describe the ambitions of the country’s athletes and the government, whose forces were bombarding his home city of Aleppo.

Three Syrian athletes were competing on the first full day of competition in swimming, shooting and boxing Saturday. Back home, the army pounded Aleppo by helicopters to flush out rebels.

Baher Khayata told The Agency That Cannot Be Named he was worried about his family, trapped in Aleppo during one of the most significant battles of the 17-month uprising in Syria. He said the army was trying to “protect people and keep them safe,” and that expelling armed opposition members from Aleppo “is maybe the way to stop bloodshed throughout Syria.”
Posted by: Steve White || 07/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6479 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I thought the best way to stop bloodshed across Syria was for Assad to jump off a 20-story building, but perhaps I'm naïve.
Posted by: Eric Jablow || 07/29/2012 7:41 Comments || Top||

#2  I thought the best way to stop bloodshed across Syria was for Assad to jump off a 20-story building, but perhaps I'm naïve.

You're naive: all the Alawites & most of the Christians will have to jump along with him.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 07/29/2012 13:53 Comments || Top||

#3  I thought the best way to stop bloodshed across Syria was for Assad to jump off a 20-story building, but perhaps I'm naïve.

Sunni Arab bloodshed, yes. Of course, it would only mark the beginning of the complete destruction of non-Sunni Arabs in Syria.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 07/29/2012 21:33 Comments || Top||

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Sun 2012-07-29
  Syria Rebels Fend Off Aleppo Assault
Sat 2012-07-28
  Helicopter gunships strafe Aleppo
Fri 2012-07-27
  62 Mexican Policias Federales kidnapped in Michoacan
Thu 2012-07-26
  Syrian envoy to Cyprus defects
Wed 2012-07-25
  Syrian forces attack mosque, kill 30
Tue 2012-07-24
  Syrian Army Retakes Most of Damascus
Mon 2012-07-23
  23 wounded in Iraq car bombing
Sun 2012-07-22
  Pencilneck may use chemical weapons against rebels
Sat 2012-07-21
  Islamic Jihad Leadership Abandons Syria For Iran
Fri 2012-07-20
  Syria Rebels Take 'All Iraq Border Points'
Thu 2012-07-19
  Pencilneck runs away to Latakia
Wed 2012-07-18
  Two Buses With 40 Israeli Tourists Blown Up At Bulgarian Airport
Tue 2012-07-17
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Mon 2012-07-16
  US Ship Fires on Boat off Dubai, 1 Dead
Sun 2012-07-15
  At Least 83 Killed across Syria

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