We can expect all sorts of breathless reports on how the Assad regime is about to fall (as per Hillary Clinton’s officially announced plan). We will be told that the Free Syria Army (NATO & the Saudis) is in Damascus battling the government in its stronghold.
It may be worth skipping this mini cycle altogether. Here’s a Reuters story from the Egypt Independent. Here’s the time saving news:
Syrian government forces encircled rebel fighters in Damascus on Monday, waging a second day of fighting that residents described as the worst to hit the capital since the 17-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad began.
A fighter told Reuters rebels could not retreat after a few hours of fighting, as they had in previous incursions into the capital, because they were surrounded by security forces and checkpoints.
“They want to leave. If they were able to leave they would have left,” he said. “The whole area is surrounded.” Syrian forces surround rebels fighting in capital, Egypt Independent (Reuters), July 16, 2012
Perhaps, the rebels made a big push to influence Russia and China into giving up on Assad. The big push lacked a tactical plan for retreat. What’s the likelihood that the actual Syrian Army will let them leave to fight another day?