"Syria has not modernized its military in nearly 30 years," a source
said. "It does not have the spare parts or logistics to keep going for
The assessment came as Western countries were beginning to warn their
nationals to leave Syria immediately. On June 18, the British Foreign Office
said its nationals should leave Syria immediately while foreign carriers
were still operating, Middle East Newsline reported.
During the three-month revolt, Assad has increasingly used the military,
particularly MBTs and armored personnel carriers. The sources also reported
the use of the military's Soviet-origin Mi-24 attack helicopter fleet.
The sources said the Syrian Army MBT corps has been firing toward rebel
strongholds in such cities as Dara, Hama and Homs. The MBTs have been
deployed with the Army's Fourth Division, under the command of Assad's
younger brother, Maher.
ers of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
The sources confirmed opposition reports of defections from the Syrian
Army. But they said the defections have not been sufficient to hamper ground
or air military operations against the opposition.
"The military has been moving slowly and accompanied by the more loyal
security forces," the source said. "The regime is being very cautious in
trying to push the military too far."