Friday, 4 December 2015
Syrian Rebels Change Tactics to Outsmart Putin’s Air Onslaught
'From the very first day of fighting in these areas, pro-regime forces have used a rolling barrage of strikes, along with weapons that are prohibited internationally. In parts of Khan Tuman, pro-Assad forces waged rocket and missile attacks every twenty seconds. We have not seen this intensity previously.
Additionally, these attacks have high precision, which we have not experienced from the regime and Iranian forces before the Russian intervention.
Thank God, FSA forces, amongst them Fastaqim Kama Umirt, which is a key group in the area of weapons stores in Khan Tuman and in the area of Jabal al-Ais, along with other rebel groups, has been able to adapt to the regime’s new tactics.
Accordingly, we have transformed the conflict from one of direct confrontation into a series of smaller attack and retreat skirmishes that have weighed down advancing forces and taken away the advantages provided by air-cover and heavy weaponry.
The firepower density is awesome and has high precision because of the reconnaissance planes that broadcast directly to Russia’s control room. The true miracle is that Assad’s forces, with the support of more than 20 Iraqi, Lebanese and Iranian sectarian militias, Iranian field commanders and Russian air coverage, have failed to do more than take al-Ais.
In the meantime, it has failed to take control of Tel Khilsa and to advance even an inch at Khan Tuman, praise be to God. Now, the rebels are working on recovering al-Ais. It’s our turn now, since the enemy forces have gone from the offensive to the defensive.
Adding credence to Saqar’s assertions, a local opposition television channel confirmed the death of Iranian General Masoud Akbari, commander of Assad’s military operations in the southern Aleppo countryside, in a rebel attack on his personal vehicle using an American-made TOW missile.
Abu Rahal, another opposition commander operating in the area, diminished the importance of the regime’s recent progress in and around Aleppo, pointing to the dozens of pro-Assad forces—most of whom, he alleges, hail from Shia militias in Lebanon and Iraq—that rebel groups have killed.
Abu Rahal added that “we must acknowledge that we’re fighting Russia, Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah while entirely dependent upon friendly entities for support, who mainly just give us some basic arms. [Our] current means, in comparison to the enemy, is nearly non-existent. In other words, we should not compare us as Syrian revolutionaries to our enemies in Assad’s camp.” '