Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Tuesday, May 10, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Syria's Assad using overwhelming force to gain the upper hand

NICOSIA — The regime of President Bashar Assad appears to be gaining in efforts to quell the revolt in Syria.


Syrian opposition sources acknowledged that the Assad regime was employing both the military and security forces to stamp out the rebellion in many cities. The sources said the military and security forces, in coordination with several intelligence agencies, were moving from city to city and arresting or killing the rebels.

"The army has been besieging cities to prevent anybody from leaving or entering while security forces were moving from neighborhood to neighborhood and stamping out all resistance," an opposition source said.

[On late May 9, the European Union imposed sanctions on 13 Syrian regime members, including Assad's younger brother, Maher, Middle East Newsline reported. The president himself was not sanctioned.]

The sources said Assad has been using the Syrian Army's Fourth Armored Division to break the revolt. They said scores of T-55 and T-62 main battle tanks were providing support for Syrian special forces in such cities as Banias, Dera, Homs and Tafas.

Also In This Edition

On May 9, the London-based Amnesty International reported that more than 350 people were arrested in Banias over the previous three days. Amnesty said many of the civilians were held in a soccer field as authorities cut off water, electricity and communications. The southern city of Dera has also been denied basic services.

"Killings of protesters are spiralling out of control in Syria," Amnesty deputy director Philip Luther said. "President Bashar Assad must order his security forces to stop the carnage immediately."

The security forces have also sought to infiltrate the opposition command. The sources said Syrian officers were posing as anti-regime activists at demonstrations and underwent arrest to bolster their credentials.

The Assad regime was also said to have repelled hundreds of Islamist fighters who had targeted Syrian police and other officers. The sources said many of them fled either to neighboring Iraq or Jordan.

At the same time, Syrian intelligence has been intercepting cellular, satellite and other communications employed by the opposition. The opposition sources said this has facilitated the arrest of at least 2,000 people over the last few days.

"We believe Assad has been given significant help by the Iranians in either intercepting or shutting down all telephone services," the source said. "Without communications, the revolt turns into isolated resistance."

About Us     l    Privacy     l     l
Copyright © 2011    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.