In an Oct. 14 briefing to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy,
Ford said the rebels began to regularly use IEDs in attacks in July, Middle East Newsline reported. In
an address from his office in Damascus, Ford said IED attacks were taking
place around the country, including the suburbs of Damascus.
"It really only started in earnest in July and August, but it seems to
be that it is becoming more pronounced," Ford said. "We are even seeing this
in the Damascus suburbs."
More than 3,000 people have been killed in the revolt against Assad
since March. Western diplomats said the casualty rate has been mounting
as the opposition to the regime was turning increasingly violence.
"There are also now regular attacks on buses," Ford said. "Sometimes the
buses carry civilians. Sometimes they carry soldiers."
The ambassador said anti-regime fighters were coming from neighboring
Iraq. He also cited the increase in desertions from the Syrian Army,
particularly in such cities as Dera and Rastan.
On Oct. 14, the Lebanese Army captured a weapons shipment believed
ordered by the rebels in Syria. The official Lebanese National News Agency
said the shipment, found in a van destined for Syria, contained
rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns.
"We are seeing more violence," Ford said.