John Esquire says he could not pull up the video on our female fighters.  I’m so sorry.  I have to check that and will repost:

I thought so, but when I went to that link it came up as a long article printed in Arabic.  No matter.  SAA needs to (1) consolidate gains in Damascus, Allepo, Homs and Hama, (2) insure Jordanian cooperation in sealing the southern border, (3) continue with training and deployment of militia to hold secured metro areas, (4) mount campaign to retake areas on the north, including Taftanaz and secure northern border, then (5) mount campaign to retake areas in the east.

Welcome to Thomas, our reader in India.  Great to have you along and look forward to commentary from you. 

Hello Ziad,

I read your blog everyday and updates on Syria’s war on terrorism. I am from India and our community is known as “Syrian Christians of Kerala”. Missionaries from Syria introduced Christianity in Kerala in A.D.56. Our churches still use Syriac language for prayers. Our church leaders frequently visit Syria and Iraq.

Our community is fully aware of the difficult time Syria is going through. I just want to assure you that we, as Indians, strongly support Syria’s war on terrorism. India also are suffering Pakistani backed terrorism for a long time now. We are constantly pressuring our Government to support Syrian government militarily. We are fully aware that Syrian armed forces are capable to defeat the terrorists. But I want to assure you that there are thousands of my community members are ready to fight for Syrian government.

Take care,


ANSWER:  I am aware of the struggles of minorities against radical non-Islamic Muslims.  We will defeat the Wahhabist terrorists.  Keep up the good work.  Your friend, Namasteh, Ziad

Anonymous sends this jeremiad which we support:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post “FIRST POST – FEBRUARY 15, 2013 – NEWS FROM ALEPPO …“:

Forget about NATO. Those cowards and their kriegsfuherer Anders Foggy Ratmussen know very well that Syria has superb air defences and even iskanders, S-300´s and Pantsyr. Any of those will be a hell for any stupid attempt from the western fascist forces, together they make it impossible.

There are also an impressive amount of fire power gathered by the Russian armada patrolling the seas.

ANSWER: My friend, we must never forget Iran, also.  The extent of its commitment is not yet fully appreciated.  Russia, Syria, Iran and Hizbollah make a formidable partnership. ZAF

Another Anonymous sends this interesting note:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post “FIRST POST – FEBRUARY 15, 2013 – NEWS FROM ALEPPO …“:

Article looks at intelligence gathered from captured FSA commander Riad al-Ahmad. Highly interesting read.

Regarding Al-Safira:

“In one of the videos published by the militants on the YouTube, a person who is filming the dead bodies of the militants killed in al-Safira admits that “the number of the martyrs amounts to hundreds.” He emphasizes that the Syrian army has attacked al-Safira with full force, including tens of tanks, armored personnel carriers and other military vehicles.”

Ziad’s numbers with combined operations could well be on target.

ANSWER:  I think the number is in the thousands as I reported.  It was a catastrophe for the rats.  However, there are so many of them.  

Anonymous again sends this:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post “FIRST POST – FEBRUARY 15, 2013 – NEWS FROM ALEPPO …“:

To Nima’s post above, I believe the use of armor within urban areas is to protect infantry from snipers as they move the battle lines forward. This tactic shows that armor is a moveable wall that can deflect volleys of small arms fire and of course the barrage of explosive shells armor can inflict on enemy forces. It is a very aggressive tactic to eject combatants from neighborhoods. It’s a shovel pushing shit out of the city.

Answer:  I agree.  I already covered this some months ago in a post.  ZAF.

Another Anonymous makes this comment:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post “FIRST POST – FEBRUARY 15, 2013 – NEWS FROM ALEPPO …“:

Agreed, SAA lacks of Infantry and still relies too much on mechanized units. I have seen a lot of videos, in which tanks were used as defensive weapons (f.e. Taftanaz). They stood there in line and the lightly armed rebels knocked one after another out with RPGs.

Ziad: I am sure SAA high command is aware of this fact, but do you know if there are plans to reorganize the army to fix the problem and focus more on Infantry?

ANSWER:  I am not aware of any such developments, although, common sense would dictate a reevaluation.  ZAF

Oh No You Dint sends this long comment:

Friday, February 15, 2013 9:50 PM
“Oh No You Di’nt”

Add sender to Contacts


Oh No You Di’nt has left a new comment on your post “FIRST POST – FEBRUARY 15, 2013 – NEWS FROM ALEPPO …“:

Many of the videos posted by the armed militant opposition groups are highly suspect, for several reasons:

1. Civilian casualties INCLUDE opposition militants, but not government soldiers, so the bigger the number, the bigger the international sympathy. Because of this methodology of including militants, in fact, the larger this number the better! However, this is a major ploy to get international sympathy even while foreign fighters are added to the death toll as civilians. It is a strategy of trying to win either way: either they win on the battlefield, or they find a way to drag in NATO through mass civilian casualties which has been their major game plan from the beginning which never materialized and which they bet everything on.

2. They kill soldiers and civilians and post the videos as crimes the regime supposedly committed, even when the facts are not even close to matching up. For example, claiming sectarian slaughter of civilians when it turns out all of the civilians are shia or another sect people forget about, secural Baathists of all religions! Again, they are trying to compete for public opinion and international intervention and the media has been cooperative while sympathizers believe what they want to believe. They are murderers so they launder their crimes by blaming the government.

3. Videos and photos are being recycled from other conflicts, including Iraq and Libya, and are being faked 100%! They have been caught so many times, but this is all part of the same media war trying to reach a level where NATO will justify intervention on humanitarian grounds when it is more lies. Other videos show jets with their afterburners on claiming they are on fire or burning up, and never show the planes go down. At least half are faked, and the really ones are a lot more obvious to confirm. The point is, they need morale boosters to keep up their charade otherwise everyone will give up on them, including themselves.

4. They will do anything to get international intervention, including false flags, siding with Israel and Turkey against Syria, get funding from Saudi and Qatar, and weapons, intelligence and equipment from the US and others. So, don’t be surprised when they try to claim again that chemical weapons are being used when they have never been. In fact, when they poisoned the top brass of the security, the militants were the first to introduce chemical weapons, albeit highly targeted ones. They are also claiming to prepare them on the internet and even seize them in fighting. If they get their hands on them, they don’t have to use them, just scare NATO to intervene and force their hand. So, the Syrian army is making sure that cannot happen.

5. The people hate them. In the North where they have taken over places, the people reject them, not for sectarian reasons but because of the way they behave. Most are criminals and islamists who want the spoils of war and to dictate how others should live. This was never what the legitimate opposition was about, or else they were never a legitimate opposition to begin with. They merely want to replace a secular system with a discriminatory and oppressive religious dictatorship. So, even opposition activists are rejecting these people and the foreign fighters, and these islamic militants are killing secular opposition. They don’t show these videos, but they exist and the islamists don’t care who they kill!

So, expect more sensationalized news from the mass media until they get their incident in place that will succeed in dragging in NATO. But, it could be a regional and then a world war that they spark where the Western alliance wants to use islamic fundamentalism against the region, Russia and China as it has for the past 30-40 years. So, if you are against this type of terrorism and imperialism, you should be against those who sponsor it and the ideology of it itself.
ANSWER:  The recycled videos are especially indidious.  I tell all readers to be very watchful lest you fall for the traps set by the rodent media.  ZAF

Another Anonymous sends this with which we positively agree:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post “FIRST POST – FEBRUARY 15, 2013 – NEWS FROM ALEPPO …“:

There is no way a lightly armed militia can beat a professional army. No way on Earth. Any hints of a rebel victory are pure fantasy. They may have a never ending supply of fighters, but a good professional army has a never ending supply of bullets. The Syrian people will never support such fanatics. The rebel held towns were turned into chaotic non functioning areas, just like in Libya. No one with any intelligence would want that for themselves, even rebel supporters. They will side with the government who can maintain order and stability. The fighting may not end for a long time but the end result is not in question.

Nima sends this:

Nima has left a new comment on your post “FIRST POST – FEBRUARY 15, 2013 – NEWS FROM ALEPPO …“:

thanks for your detailed and encouraging reports.
Still, mentioning the SAAs losses as well, would make you even more credible.
For instance it seems the rebels shot down three planes on one day, which they prove with videos.

I have seen videos on where you see many army tanks, APCs or other troop and material transporters ambushed and destroyed with IEDs, RPGs etc. It is not clear from when and where they are, although the notorious “Allahu Akbar” shouter usually names the place. Even if half of these videos are authentic – which I think they are unfortunately – I am both shocked and horrified about the manner the army fights this war.
Tanks driving slowly through narrow streets are soup for RPG shooters while the tank gunner is by far slower in reaction than hidden single rebels firing from multiple directions. The SAA needs mobile lightly armed units to swarm in areas, hold rooftops and make sure tanks and APCs do not run into prepared traps.
Sure this kind of street fighting means high casualties but this is better than losing an average 2-3 tanks and APCs every day while check point guards are either sniped from neighboring buildings or killed by suicide bombers.
The SAA will have no chance defending fixed installations and facilities unless they have extensive access to drones and quickly moving in helicopter gunships. Rebels will keep their flatbed jeeps with mounted artillery guns in move, come around a corner, fire at the facility (e.g. a base) and then escape. Not to mention that they can fire mortars at an unmovable target until at some point they manage to hit soldiers or relevant


Dear Nima, The Allahu Akbar stuff can easily be dubbed in.  The opposition has been caught lying so many times that I would sincerely doubt whether anyone should take their hooey seriously.  We haven’t lost that many tanks despite the plethora of videos. In any case, Syria has an arsenal of over 5,000 tanks.  I have seen them at Qatana with my own eyes.  We have a lot.  Don’t worry. ZAF

Anonymous sends this to which I will reply:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post “FIRST POST – FEBRUARY 15, 2013 – NEWS FROM ALEPPO …“:

He gets his information from people in the syrian army I believe, but not necessarelly a top general. And even a top general could lie. On the other hand he documented something like 250 killed/captured in Safira a few days ago.The 2,3000 appears to be related to Anasartha and Safira together, and I don’t know if it refers to civilians as well. Anyway those are good news, but the bad ones are that foreign fighters are still pouring into Syria and Turkey has hardened its stance and even shelled Syria a few hours ago, no doubt that they did so with US approbation. I expect WWIII from this, nothing less.
You can’t defeat those people if they can tap on an ulimited reservoir of foreign fighters, without drones with firing missile capacity to fly near the turkish border, there is no end in sight.

ANSWER:  I have no top generals feeding me information.  I can only rely on people with a proven record and access to Intel that has proven reliable.  It is true that foreign fighters “pour” into Syria. But the numbers are not necessarily growing as more and more Jihadists realize this is no cake walk. And when the money dries up, the only ones left will be the suicide freaks.  They’re easy to take out. Ziad 

Anonymous discusses the numbers of rodents in Syria:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post “FIRST POST – FEBRUARY 15, 2013 – NEWS FROM ALEPPO …“:

Just for reference to my post above, there aren’t 1.3 million opposition combatants in Syria, it’s just an example of the population levels or specifically my math is incredibly off. There are publicly documented 100,000 active opposition fighters in Syria presently based on Wikipedia which could be or is most likely skewed. Still, at that number, 2300 is a minor note in this conflict.

ANSWER:  Estimates from Syrian officers of the number of rodents is more like 50,000-75,000.  But remember, not all are in combat roles.  When they lose 2,300 in one battle, it takes time to replace this kind of garbage.  ZAF

More from the same Anonymous about numbers:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post “FIRST POST – FEBRUARY 15, 2013 – NEWS FROM ALEPPO …“:

You’re right about the Western media not reporting these deaths; they will just coalesce these dead soldiers with the aggregate dead in Syria. They will base this information on some arbitrary predilection they’re given by some Qatari-funded buffoon.

2,300 would only be considered ‘high’ if there was a small insurgency of rebels. According to media outlets: Al Safira was supposed to be their attempt to thwart the government with overwhelming numbers and strategy. Remember round numbers like 2,300 are estimations; it does not necessarily mean exactly 2,300 have been killed. This isn’t my attempt to challenge your comment, but rather, to offer my opinion as to why the numbers you see may not be inflated.
ANSWERS:  I agree.

Once again, we agree with Anonymous:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post “FIRST POST – FEBRUARY 15, 2013 – NEWS FROM ALEPPO …“:

Remember, this is a national level conflict. Syria’s population is roughly 26 million people and the battles being waged involve substantial gains and losses which can only be driven by swarms of combatants. Of course you get the check point aggressors which are small platoon like units, but in dealing with major urban objectives, you need a large fighter base to fan out in positions to contain or obtain city blocks, intersections… This conflict is much larger than it appears in the media. If five percent of the Syrian population takes up arms against the government(for example, highly brainwashed Sunni extremists-aka Muslim Brotherhood), you then have a force comprising of 1.3 million combatants and supporters. With this perspective, not even including the tens of thousands of foreign fighters in Syria specifically to wage aggressive war, 2300 suddenly takes on a more realistic stance considering the high level of combat operating within Syria’s borders.

Another with a thing for political correctness:  Whew!

Zultra has left a new comment on your post “FIRST POST – FEBRUARY 15, 2013 – NEWS FROM ALEPPO …“:

2300 dead on one place isn’t that extreme, just shows the Terrorists lack any kind of tactical ability.

BTW Ziad can you not refer to them as trolls?

That’s offensive to trolls, call them ‘Wannabe Microbes’ instead.


Another Anonymous weighs in:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post “FIRST POST – FEBRUARY 15, 2013 – NEWS FROM ALEPPO …“:


Your news is encouraging. However, I hope you check your facts very carefully so as not to hinder your overall credibility. 2300 dead in one place seems somewhat extreme, as no other media outlet is mentioning this.

I do think your reports are in general in line with the trends of the conflict. Clearly, some of the western press has thrown in the towel. For example, CNN hasn’t run a story on Syria in a week except for the post on Faisal al-Maqdad’s statement that the Syrian government has essentially won the conflict. This is very strange, since for awhile CNN was publishing pro-rebel pieces every day or two.

ANSWER:  I have no way of checking since I’m not over there in the Ministry of Defense.  I have to rely on individuals who have gained my trust.  I agree with you that CNN seems to have drifted away.  Maybe it’s shades of Danny the Syrian.  Interesting that you point that out. Your friend, Ziad.


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It would help to step back and look at the bigger strategy that the Syrian government is using. Killing dozens or even hundreds of invaders is important, but what are the important strategical goals going forward? Are those goals being achieved?