By Peter Clifford © (http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news-2)
Although some clashes continue on both the northern and southern edges of the Khalidiyeh district of Homs, at least 90% of it is in the hands of the Assad regime following the use of massively destructive artillery and air power.
Faced with an overwhelming barrage of firepower, Opposition fighters withdrew Sunday and Monday to the 7 remaining districts around the Old City which they still control.
Frankly there is nothing left to “control” in Khalidiyeh and activists said there was barely a building left in the district that was still habitable.
This video, posted yesterday, gives an idea of the destruction rained down on Khalidiyeh in its dying days (EDITOR: When this war finally does end, I just wonder where are the Sunni population of the cities going to live? It is hardly likely the Alawites will welcome them back with “open arms”), HERE:
The Assad regime also captured the important Khalid Bin Walid Mosque, but not before heavily damaging it, HERE:
Despite this setback for the Opposition, the battle to defend other districts in Homs, though not easy and with stretched supply lines, continues, HERE:
Russian built Yak-130 warplanes are now reported to be shelling the Opposition held Bab Hood district with its roofed market and the Jouret Shiah neighborhood.
Latest reports also say that 3 mortar rounds hit the district of Dablan late on Monday night, killing as many as 11, including a child.
A report from near Rastan says that an Assad regime MIG managed to bomb its own troops from the Engineering Battalion.
While the international media keeps saying “Assad is making gains”, please bear in mind the following, courtesy of @Markito0171 – the losses to the Assad Government since the start of Ramadan on July 10th, less than 3 weeks ago:
- 90+ tanks & armoured personnel carriers
- 3 MIG aircraft
- 5 helicopters
- – 1000 killed regime-forces & mercenaries (Unconfirmed)
- – 300 captured regime-forces & mercenaries (Unconfirmed)
- 15 high rank officers killed
- The freeing of more than 7 towns and villages by Opposition fighters
- The destruction of more than 18 barriers and checkpoints
- The first bombing of the barrier at the People’s Palace in Damascus
- The cutting off of supply lines to the Syrian Army in Idlib, Homs and Aleppo
- And weapons and ammunition have been seized by the Opposition in very large quantities
Such is the nature of war. Sometimes you win battles, sometimes you lose them. But nothing is irreversible, and as they discovered in Libya when you support with your heart, mind and soul an idea whose time has come, then you will prevail against the odds.
Dictators ultimately cannot compete with that, as history shows, because their whole raison d’etre is based on cruelty, domination, power and corruption – and doomed to failure in the long run.
OPPOSITION FIGHTERS PUSH ON TO GAIN NEW STRATEGIC GROUND IN WESTERN ALEPPO:
In contrast to Homs, the Opposition continue to make gains in Aleppo, yesterday making inroads into the strategically important western neighbourhood of Dhahret Abd Rabbo in the Al-Lrmon district, the first pictures, HERE:
14 Syrian soldiers were reported killed in the battles and a Government tank was destroyed with a missile.
Video has emerged of Assad troops surrendering, probably at Khan Assal, where there were reports of Jihadists executing 50 men and officers.
The Opposition Syrian National Council has condemned such extra-judicial killings and ordered a commission of inquiry, saying that if proven they would “take action against the perpetrators”.
Opposition fighters also blew up a Government fuel truck in Aleppo province on the road to Safira, HERE:
FOR THE FIRST TIME FSA BRINGS DOWN AN ASSAD AIRCRAFT USING SOPHISTICATED RADAR TECHNOLOGY:
In Eastern Ghouta near Damascus, the Opposition, for the first time using sophisticated technology, yesterday brought down an Assad helicopter, with a Cobra type radar guided missile.
The equipment used is believed to be a Russian built OSA 9K33 (Osa meaning Wasp in Russian), a highly mobile, low-altitude, short-range tactical surface-to-air missile system which the Opposition captured 2 months ago, HERE:
Impressive video footage of the actual “radar kill” has been released this morning, HERE:
The helicopter, all of who’s crew were killed in the strike, was on its way to attack Opposition fighters who were emptying a flour mill of its contents after a 2 day battle with regime forces, HERE:
The Opposition fighters themselves attacked the troops stationed at the mill, which is not far from Damascus International Airport, with a multiple rocket launcher, HERE:
However, in the event, 12 Opposition fighters were reported killed in a subsequent regime aircraft strike on the mill as they were still in the process of removing bags of flour.
Elsewhere in the Damascus area, heavy fighting and air strikes are reported in the Sunni suburbs of Qaboun and Barzeh and this morning, Tuesday, fierce clashes are said to be taking place in the very heart of Damascus around Abbasid Square.
In Raqqah province, the extreme Islamist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS), is still causing problems, detaining a Jesuit priest, Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, who as expelled from Syria last year by the Assad Government for aiding Opposition supporters.
Opposition fighters also captured a number of Syrian Army soldiers who were attempting to escape from the Opposition besieged Base 17 to the north of Raqqah city.
In Deraa province, Opposition fighters managed to capture and get inside the weapons store of the regime’s Transport Battalion in the city of Busser Al Harir, HERE:
But in Quneitra province, the Syrian Army is reported to have stormed the Opposition held village of Masharah, looting and burning houses after the attack.
In Hassakah province in the Kurdish north-east, sporadic clashes are still being reported between the Jihadist group ISIS and the Kurds who effectively drove most of them out of the province.
A mortar attack by ISIS on a house just south of Ras Al-Ain near the Turkish border, killed a 11 year old girl yesterday and either killed or severely injured her 10 year old sister.
A bomb placed in the training room of a Kurdish community centre in Hasakah city also exploded, though no casualties were reported.
In Idlib province, Opposition fighters are reported to have bombed Syrian Army positions at the School of Agriculture near Jisr al Shoughour, HERE: and to have attacked a Government convoy on the main highway near Ariha, HERE:
Ongoing clashes are also said to continuing around the northern checkpoints of Idlib city, with the Assad side being forced to withdraw from a position at UrumAl-Joz.
Finally, one activist has put up a video of Opposition fighters using the latest “advanced weapons” delivered from the West against regime forces in the Damascus district of Babbila.