<<“The spokesman…said in a phone interview from Daraa that Al-Nusra’s higher salaries and high-quality weapons have spurred many local FSA soldiers to break ranks and join the Islamist group. He estimated that 80 percent of Al-Nusra’s fighting force in Daraa is currently comprised of Syrians, and the other 20 percent of foreign fighters.
“Daraa is partially controlled by Al-Nusra Front and affiliated groups, but it could fall entirely to their hands,” he said.>>
“Schools, universities, hospitals, health clinics, churches, mosques, religious monuments, power grids, railways, bridges, oil fields, historical sites, museum assets, police symbols of public safety and order and other infrastructure were targeted by the rebels with unprecedented level of destruction and civilian plight.”
“All factions of the rebels claim they are the representatives of the Muslim Sunni majority, but the overwhelming majority of some six million Syrians who are displaced internally are Sunnis, now hosted by non-Sunni compatriots in safe havens under government protection…”
<<“This is not a revolution in the true sense of the word,” he says.
Not all segments of the population rose up against the state. The intellectuals who are needed in any revolution to succeed didn’t participate.”>>
“The so-called moderate fighting forces have been outnumbered and outgunned by brigades who operate under the “Islamic Front” banner.”
<<“…many of those people who spontaneously took up arms to defend the people against the regime are long gone. Those men had no other interest apart from defending themselves and the people.”>>
“In fact, the only rebel factions still strong enough to resist and fight the regime on the latest fronts are the radical Islamists. The town of Azizeh, just outside the Marjeh area in the east, the strategically vital Sheikh Najjar industrial zone, the old city and Aleppo’s central prison are all defended by al-Qaeda’s affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, as well as Salafist militants Ahrar al-Sham, a member of the Islamic Front.”
“A source in the Syrian army told Al-Akhbar that “the army is ready for any surprise attack,” pointing out that “opposition fighters are amassing in Daraa and if they attack it will be from there.””
“In conjunction with the attack on the Kimyaa Battalion, fighters from al-Nusra Front attacked the city of Busra al-Sham in the southwest of the Suwaida governorate. However, the army, along with the Popular Committees in the city, were able to repulse the attack which led to injuries among government forces defending the city and many casualties among opposition fighters.
For its part, the Syrian army led a surprise offensive yesterday morning using tanks and air strikes against the villages of al-Hajjeh, al-Dawayeh al-Kubra, al-Sughra, Bir Ajam and al-Buraika in the central and south sectors of al-Quneitra in order to exhaust opposition fighters and diminish their strength, as Al-Akhbar learned.”
“When a rebel was shot and severely wounded during a new offensive on Syria’s southern front, his colleagues knew the only hope of saving his life was to get him to Israel…Israeli soldiers checked the patient for booby-traps and weapons, and then whisked him over the border and rushed him to hospital.
This scenario from last week has played out more than 200 times in the past six months, rebels in southern Syria said…“More than 250 of our people have gone across, they get amazing medical care there,” said a rebel commander in Deraa”
“The rebels appear to have more firepower than in February. Mortars regularly rain down on government-held areas. They may not have as much destructive force as the Syrian army’s artillery, but they are as indiscriminate in their choice of victims.
In the last two weeks of August 123 mortars landed in the Christian quarter of the Old City, an area with no military targets“
“Eleven Islamist rebel groups in Syria have announced they do not recognise the authority of the main opposition alliance, the National Coalition.”
“The signatories include members of the Free Syrian Army as well as more radical Islamists – among them the powerful al-Nusra Front…”
“The Istanbul-based Western-backed National Coalition was formed in November 2012 and is recognised by more than 100 countries as a legitimate representative of the Syrian opposition.”
“The statement also called on “all military and civilian forces to unite under a clear Islamic framework based on Sharia [Islamic law], which should be the sole source of legislation”.”
“A…statement disavowing the…Syrian National Coalition (SNC) as…an umbrella group and calling for a new organization of rebels seems to be taking hold, with more than 30 rebel factions now officially on board in disavowing the faction.”