"Syrian rebels trying to fight off an army offensive in Aleppo said on Tuesday they were running low on ammunition as President Bashar Assad's forces encircled their stronghold at the southern entrance to the country's biggest city.
Assad, dealt another political blow on Monday with the defection of his prime minister, has reinforced his troops in preparation for an assault to recapture rebel-held districts of Aleppo after repelling fighters from most of Damascus.
"The Syrian army is trying to encircle us from two sides of Salaheddine," said Sheikh Tawfiq, one of the rebel commanders, referring to the southwestern neighbourhood which has seen heavy fighting over the last week.
Mortar fire and tank shells exploded across the district early on Tuesday, forcing rebel fighters to take cover in crumbling buildings and rubble-strewn alleyways.
Tanks have entered parts of Salaheddine and army snipers, using the cover of heavy bombardment, deployed on rooftops, hindering rebel movements." Daily Star
As I expected the Syrian government is systematically sealing off the city of Aleppo as it brings up reinforcements. If this is in preparation for an eventual assault to clear the rebel held parts of the town, then that is probably a winning method. The rebels are running short of ammunition and food. High rebel casualties will be a major benefit for the government. There are a lot of Sunni young people arriving to join the FSA but they will be a hindrance rather than an asset in the short term until they can be trained.
None of this means that the Assad government will last forever, but the odds are improving that it will be around for a number of years. pl
Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Aug-07/183719-fierce-fighting-rocks-syrias-aleppo-observatory.ashx#ixzz22s7wvBck
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)