Strange news coming out of, and regarding Syria this last 48 hours. Lets start with reports by Reuters that Bashar al Assad visited Aleppo, the scene of intense fighting the last few months. Assad supposedly visited the city departing from Damascus by helicopter early one morning. The article stated that Assad would send 30,000 more troops and 2,000 armored personnel carriers to the besieged and embattled city. He called for sending in the "5th and 6th units" into the battle. A battle, that by the regime's own words was to last only a few days. The battle is well past its second month. These fresh units are supposed to "liberate and cleanse" the Aleppo Governorate or province taking back territory up to the Turkish border.
This report is very strange in the sense it is highly unlikely Assad has 30,000 "fresh troops" available to him, regular troops anyway. One of the main reasons he turned to attacking Aleppo with fixed wing aircraft was because his ground forces are showing extreme wear and tear after 18 months of fighting. His most loyal forces, the 4th Armored and the Republican Guard are stretched extremely thin. Both are headed by his brother Maher.
Another reason this plan seems unlikely is that Turkey has repeatedly warned Assad not to wage any offensive within eyesight ofthe Syrian/Turkish border. Turkey houses over 100,000 displaced Syrians. In addition to this, Turkey has lost an aircraft to hostile Syrian anti-aircraft fire, there has also been numerous cross border fire violations by Syria.
The final reason I discount this report is Assad has not shown any backbone when it comes to leaving the safety of the capital, Damascus. Only once has he ventured close to any battle by visiting the destroyed neighborhood of Baba Amr, Homs. He visited only after the neighborhood had been laid to waste by the months of artillery fire, the population had either fled or was dead. After a high profile assassination of four of his cabinet members in Damascus, Assad was not seen for a month. Last but not least, I have never heard of the "5th and 6th" units.
Yesterday, the Daily Telegraph reported that it was Assad who had betrayed former dictator Muammar Gadhafi by giving his satellite phone number tho French intelligence. Gadhafi had been in constant contact with Syrian officials and the state news agency SANA while he was on the run following the fall of Tripoli. The day his convoy was hit by French fighter bombers, it was his satellite phone use that had permitted the French to hone onto his locale in Sirte, Libya. His convoy was decimated, Gadhafi had survived it, escaped and was quickly apprehended by rebel forces. He was beat and then shot to death within minutes of being captured. One of the items found in his possesion was a satellite phone. The rest is history.
I wouldn't doubt he threw his fellow devil "under the bus" to save his own coward ass. Neither this report or his "visit" to Aleppo has been corroborated.