With all its difficulties, the opposition has apparently regained its footing after the shock of the massive Hezbullah invasion. Qusayr, close to the Lebanese border, was relatively easy pickings for them. Still it took much longer than expected. Now their supply lines are getting extended and they are starting to get hit in their rear. Meanwhile, the main body of Assad's force is still trying to put down the opposition in Damascus and wipe Homs off the map. While he has continued ability to rain down great death and destruction from above, overall, he has been losing ground since Qusayr.
So in spite of the hype, Assad knows what the score is. Northern Syria is all but lost to him and he probably can't get it back. So now he is preparing the ground for his "worst case scenario" which would be to carve a rump state in western Syria around Damascus, Homs and heavily Alawite areas like Latakia. It has been reported that he has already asked Israel to accept this. He is trying to create an exclusively Alawite-Shia area in which his power can best be conserved and to do this he has to kick all the Sunnis out. So in these areas he has been engaged in a very brutal campaign of 'ethnic cleansing'. The Guardian reported 22 July 2013:
In Homs city, Sunni districts of Ashere, al-Khoder, Karm al-Zaitoun and Bab al-Sebaa have largely been emptied and replaced by Alawite families, numerous local leaders claim.The UN recently reported that the number of Syrian refugees has topped 1.8 million in what they are calling the worst humanitarian crisis since Rwanda, the worst refugee crisis in 20 years. What has gotten a lot less coverage are the brutal methods Assad is using to force so many people from their homes and their country.
He is using artillery, missiles and aircraft to make certain areas of the country unlivable and he is wantonly slaughtering civilians. He is specifically targeting children, even attacking play grounds, because he knows nothing makes the people give up the fight and flee like killing their children. Assad might say he gets more "buck for the bang" by targeting children.
The Syrian conflict is also unique in all of history in that the worst torture techniques are regularly used even on pre-teen children. In many ways, Assad's strategy directly involves attacking children by the government. In his war, they aren't collateral damage; they are targets.
Of course, when a government rains down this level of destruction on its own cities, they have to know they will be killing a lot of children:
According to a UN report released on 23 July 2013:
About 7,000 children under the age of 15 have been killed since the conflict began in March 2011. Half of the refugees are children, and within the country more than three million children need aid.
And from the beginning of the uprising, the Assad regime has specifically targeted children.
head and neck by Assad’s forces in Homs in Oct 2011.
Recently, with Assad's new ethnic cleansing campaign, it has gotten even worst and it looks like Assad is specifically targeting children to terrorize whole communities into uprooting and moving.
The question we all have to answer is why do we give him the freedom to implement this child-killing strategy?
Photo taken by Syrian Arab Red Crescent
Syrian Arab Red Crescent photo
Assad's bombs in Tabaqa, al Raqqa | 24 July 2013
They don't understand our silence | 25 July 2013
Here is the link to six more videos of decapitated little girls in Syria.
Here are 7 other videos of mother’s being killed with their fetus’s