Towards Syrian safe havens? "The regime has gone on besieging villages and towns, firing powerful but imprecise rockets at residential areas and using artillery to pulverise any area suspected of sympathising with the revolution. Hospitals and marketplaces have not been spared, and in some cases have been bombed during the medical evacuation of the victims of earlier raids. Before the conflict in Syria started, the Syrian army was one of the strongest in the region, with over 320,000 men under arms and an air force of 450 planes. Now it is down to perhaps one fourth of its personnel and one fifth of its planes. The Syrian regime is now left only with the crude power of missiles and barrel bombs, which it is using to kill innocent people in an attempt to hold on to power. Without safe havens to tip the balance in favour of the opposition, it is unlikely that the regime will be forced out of power, that the revolutionary combatants will win, or that an interim government will be able to put the country back together."