Syria is in the dark today as all communication service in the country has been cut by the teetering Assad regime. Activist in the capital are warning that Assad may be about to launch an even more sinister assault on the people than he is known for. There is major concern that "he[Assad] may be readying to commit massacres on a massive scale." Months ago, President Obama said it would "be a red line" if Assad used his chemical weapons, a line that if crossed would all but guarantee a US military response. Assad's forces are on their heels as they try to maintain control over only 35% of the country. There is a very real fear he may resort to using his chemical weapons against the people.
As of the writing of this article, a major battle is underway around the Damascus International Airport. The Syrian military has closed down the main road to the airport. All flights into and out have been cancelled. This is a developing situation and events are very fluid. All signs point to the fact that we are beginning to see the endgame of Bashar Assad, one that has been 21 months in coming. In that time his regime is responsible for the more than 40, 000 deaths minimum, mostly civilians. Over the same period of time, the UN and human rights organizations have been gathering evidence of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by Assad and his forces. There is no doubt many will face prosecution either in Syria itself or the ICC. Assad has promised he would "live and die in Syria" as recent as last month in an interview with Russian Television.
Yesterday, Muhammed Farris, known as "Syria's first man in space", who defected to Turkey last year, explained the faltering condition of Assad's air force. He stated that the most of the pilots involved in bombing civilians actually have no choice, that their families are often held on the base while the pilot carries out his mission. They are captive and if the pilot defects, fails to carry out his mission, or attacks government forces, his family will pay the price. Farris also said that most pilots are sidelined because the regime can't trust them. He also mentioned the wear and tear on the aircraft involved. "These aircraft can only have so many hours, flights in their lifetime before they are useless." Added to this is the fact that the FSA has captured hundreds of shoulder launched anti aircraft missiles in recent weeks and have brought down several aircraft with them.