For the time being, like the NYT’s, I am going to take the claims of gains and advancement with a grain of salt.
Rebels claimed they have seized airbases and a hydro-electric dam
Notice that the NYT’s did not say “Rebels have seized” ? Rather the headline states the rebels are claiming they have seized airbases and a hydro electric dam.Whenever one comes across this language, one must realize these are unverified claims and despite all the spinning the corporate media engages in for the cause, the media always leaves itself some room to deny if necessary. All information for this story comes from the ‘activists’. Quoting from the article.....
The capture of the air base near Damascus, Marj al-Sultan, could be significant ...
Still, despite videos of rebels seizing weapons caches, analysts said the recent successes appeared unlikely to produce a sudden shift in the balance of power, since the government seems to be consolidating its forces to defend core areas.
Striking at government air power is militarily and psychologically important for the rebels, for whom aircraft pose a significant threat because of their firepower and unlimited reach. Yet the rebels have so far been unable, because of international reluctance and opposition disunity.
In a video said to have been shot there, the voice of a man off camera trembled with excitement as he showed a row of armored vehicles, which he said were Russian-made “Shilka” antiaircraft weapons. In the dark it was unclear if the weapons were what the rebels claimed or whether they could use them.
The rebel claims were impossible to verify because of the Syrian government’s restrictions on journalists.The corporate media has repeatedly said they cannot verify claims yet they have reported on and promoted claims that have turned out to be untrue, repeatedly.
While the rebels are making claims of gain it looks as if Syria is hitting or attempting to hit merc bases, near Turkey, in Syria.
The attack on the Free Syrian Army base in Atima, 2 km (1 mile) from the border, came a day before Turkish and NATO officials were due to start assessing where to station surface-to-air missiles close to the 900 km (560 mile) border.
Turkey, a major supporter of insurgents fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad, has repeatedly scrambled jets along the joint border and responded in kind when Syrian shells have landed inside Turkey.
But Ankara, rejecting Syrian complaints that the Patriots were "provocative", stressed they would be used only to defend Turkish territory, not to create a no-fly zone inside Syria that rebels want to neutralise Assad's massive air power.
Turkey’s leadership in Ankara is lying. The positioning of the Patriots is provocative and is intended to enforce a no fly zone.
"I think the reason for the raid may have something to do with increased weapons movements (from Turkey)," Ahmed said.Turkey, what a good neighbour. -zero problems (facetious)
Yesterday the Christian Science Monitor reported an entirely different perspective on the Syrian destabilization
Stalemate in Syria? Army short on loyalists, rebels short on guns
How does the reporting in one day go from stalemate to big gains?
After months of brutal fighting, the conflict appears stalemated in many areas, without any side making significant progress.
While daily clashes continue, much of the violence now taking place in Aleppo is the result of long-range weapons, such as artillery, airplanes, tanks, and snipers that inflict damage while minimizing the risk of contact and defection.
The contact and defection angle fits the spin tone of the entire article despite this sentence near to the end of the article, which makes clear the many are loyal to their homes and families
“For the most part, however, those still fighting on the front lines of Aleppo for the Syrian government tend to be hardened loyalists more likely to trade insults than talk of defection”
I wanted to address the possible reasoning behind the use of long range weapons that have nothing to do with defection. A narrative that is very emotional and is useful to draw a reader in, but as the above quoted sentence makes clear -For the most part, Syrian troops are loyal and are more likely to trade insults with the mercs.
The more likely reason for long range weapons usage are
-most civilian Syrians have left the target areas, fleeing before the mercs lay siege or once the mercs force them out of their homes
- to keep soldiers alive, to minimize casualites
Update and a curious one- Why is the mainstream media spinning about Russia printing Syria's currency? Why now?
It is old news. Reported on SANA August 3/2012
Is this just a standard propaganda move? Seems to be.
Internal Trade Minister: The U.S. and EU Sanctions on Syria Target the Livelihood of the Syrian People
Regarding the printing of Syrian currency in Russia, said that this is a triumph since there were those who through that if they ceased printing money for Syria, it would cause it an economic and financial crisis, adding that Syria's isn't alone in this battle.
In turn, Finance Minister Mohammad al-Jleilati pointed out that Syria had contracts with a European country to print currency, and due to the sanctions this country refrained from delivering this currency which is why Syria turned to Russia and printed currency and stored in to replace damaged notes, in addition to introducing extra currency according to changes in the GDP, affirming that the printing of currency has no effect on inflation.
Syria can have it's currency printed by whomever it so chooses.