Free Syrian Army improving their combat skills
According to the usually reliable Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in London, rebels told the group that more than 100 Syrian soldiers were killed over the weekend. The human rights group was able to confirm the death of 80 Syrian soldiers, including 57 on Saturday.
That is at least 4 times the number killed in any comparable period and may indicate that the FSA is improving as a viable military threat to the Assad regime.
At least 19 soldiers, eight rebels and 19 civilians were killed in violence on Sunday, the UK-based group added.
Another 89 were killed on Saturday, including 57 soldiers, which the SOHR said was the largest number of fatalities the military had suffered in a single day since the start of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011.
SOHR head Sami Abdul Rahman told AFP news agency that there had been a sharp increase in the number of clashes between the army and rebels over the weekend.
"Troops are vulnerable to heavy losses because they are not trained for street battles and are therefore exposed to attacks," he said.
"What exacerbates those losses is that the army is fighting locals of those towns and villages... who know the area inside and out and enjoy public support," he added.
Mr Abdul Rahman said rebels had targeted military vehicles advancing on towns and villages, firing automatic weapons and throwing grenades.
Overnight, there were clashes in the Idlib province, as security forces used tanks, rocket launchers and artillery to bombard the towns of Kafr Nabal, Maarat al-Numan, Ariha and Rama, according to the main.
The FSA is still a disorganized mob for the most part and we are unable to determine just who many of them are. It seems a sure bet there are Islamic extremists within the FSA and giving them arms and heavy weapons would be suicide.
But many of the smaller, local units appear to be making progress as far as being a threat to Assad's military. At the very least, this could cause changes in the deployment of Syrian troops in occupied towns. And it will almost certainly hasten the day when Syria will find itself in a full blown civil war.