Information Date: May 22 2013
Event Date: Now and Ongoing
Information Item: The Syrian Stalingrad
Information Platform: Various
Source Reliability: Reliable
Information Validity: Valid
Relevant Information: In October 2012 I wrote an article entitled “Pay Attention to the Battle over Al-Qusayr in Syria” in this article I explained the strategic importance of the city of Al-Qusayr and the surrounding area.
These very days, after months of fierce fighting over the city and its outskirts, Assad’s troops, together with Hezbollah, Iranian soldiers and Iraqi Shiite militants are launching a massive attack on Al-Qusayr. They are indiscriminately bombing the city with rockets and artillery and are attacking from the air as well, resulting in a currently unverified number of civilian casualties and fatalities.
Al-Qusayr, a city of some 25,000 people is ruined beyond recognition.
The rebels, inside the city, using the ruins as shelters, are determined not to let the city fall. They are continuing to stream (video link) thousands of militants – both from the Free Syrian Army as well as Islamic affiliated groups – into the city to battle Assad’s forces. Over the past few days tens of dozens of militants on both sides have been killed and the numbers are accumulating every minute. It appears that the city Al-Qusayr is turning into the Syrian Stalingrad (video link).
The Assessment: The war in Syria has been raging for more than two years. Some 100,000 people – most of whom are civilians – have been killed.
In spite the horrifying pictures and visual images of the monstrous crimes and atrocities conducted by both sides; the reaction of Arab leadership has been mostly characterized by declarations, announcements and threats.
The war in Syria emphasizes – and not for the first time – the incompetence of the Arab world’s Leadership.
The constant stream of reports and video footage documenting the battle over Al-Qusayr is fueling the rage and feelings of revenge in Arab cities throughout the region. Reportedly, clashes between Sunnis and Shiites in the predominately Sunni city of Tripoli in northern Lebanon reignited over the last 72 hours resulting in fatalities and generating a panic which resulted in hundreds of families fleeing the city.
Will the battle over Al-Qusayr generate a public rage and outcry that will spark proactive Arab involvement in the war in Syria? The days ahead will tell…
End Intelligence Bulletin