Assad's forces fracturing as revolt enters seventh month

Running gun battles between military defectors and President's Assad's forces are becoming more and more commonplace as the Syrian revolt enters its seventh month with no signs that the population is wearying of protesting. Meanwhile, in an indication of how far the opposition has to go before Assad quits, a massive pro-Assad rally was held in Latakia with tens of thousands of government supporters chanting their loyalty to Syrian president. Reuters: Diplomats and military experts say army cohesiveness is fraying and defections increasing as the leadership, largely from the minority Alawite sect, sends troops out to crush unrest across the mainly Sunni Muslim country of 20 million. "The crackdown is looking increasingly unsustainable. Assad is more unable to rely on the majority Sunni rank and file. It is costing lots of money to move already exhausted core troops and his capability of launching simultaneous strikes on protest centres is diminishing," a European diplomat said. "The...(Read Full Post)