DEBKAfile’s sources disclose that the US President decided on this step after hearing Russian officials stating repeatedly that “Moscow would support the departure of President Bashar al-Assad if Syrians agreed to it.” This position was interpreted as opening up two paths of action:
1. To go for Assad’s removal by stepping up arms supplies to the rebels and organizing their forces as a professional force able to take on the military units loyal to Assad. This process was already in evidence Friday, June 8, when for the first time a Syrian Free Army (which numbers some 600 men under arms) attacked a Syrian army battalion in Damascus. One of its targets was a bus carrying Russian specialists.
2. To select a group of high army officers who, under the pressure of the limited air offensive, would be ready to ease Assad out of power or stage a military coup to force him and his family to accept exile.
The US operation would be modulated according to the way political and military events unfolded.
Washington is not sure how Moscow would react aside from sharp condemnations or whether Russia would accept a process of regime change in Damascus and its replacement by military rule.
Russia’s climbdown sets stage for regime change
Paul Joseph Watson
Monday, June 11, 2012
President Barack Obama has told the US Navy and Air Force to prepare air strikes on Syria as part of a “no fly zone” that will be enforced with the aid of British and French military power, according to a report.
“Their mission will be to knock out Assad’s central regime and military command centers so as to shake regime stability and restrict Syrian army and air force activity for subduing rebel action and wreaking violence on civilian populations,” reports Israeli intelligence outfit DebkaFile.
Having threatened military action for months, the United States was apparently encouraged by the fact that Russia is once again backing down from its harsh rhetoric and indicating that it will not oppose the toppling of President Bashar Al-Assad.
After having intimated that Russia would support Syria via indirect military means if NATO powers launched an attack, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday that Russia “will be only glad to support such an outcome” (the ousting of Assad), suggesting Moscow has softened on the idea of regime change in Syria.
The likelihood of military intervention has been brought forward by reports that opposition rebels are planning to use chemical weapons and then blame the atrocity on Assad’s regime.
Rebels attempted to stage a similar ‘false flag’ recently when British Channel 4 reporter Alex Thomson was purposefully led by rebels into a trap whereby it was hoped he would be killed by government troops and his death used as a propaganda stunt.
Hostility towards Syria from the international community has intensified in recent weeks, particularly after the recent massacre in Houla which was blamed on Assad’s forces despite the fact that eyewitnesses in Houla said opposition rebels were responsible for the slaughter, which killed 108 people – mostly women and children.
As Daniel McAdams highlights, the Houla massacre has been exalted as the primary justification for military intervention and yet the media-generated narrative behind the atrocity has completely collapsed.
“A respected mainstream publication, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), has reported that the infamous Houla massacre in Syria, which the US and NATO hoped would be the casus belli for their planned invasion, was in fact carried out by rebel forces,” writes McAdams.
‘Hezbollah will hit Israel if Syria attacked’ Hezbollah is prepared to attack Israel if Western powers interfere in Syria against the regime in Damascus, a Lebanese Hezbollah official said Sunday according to the Palestinian News Network.
The unnamed official said Hezbollah was prepared if Western powers intervened in Syria in order to stop Syrian President Bashar Assad’s crackdown on anti-government protesters, even if the “price for it” is to engage the IDF in battle in order to divert attention away from the Syrian arena.
According to the report, Hezbollah – which is believed to have a stockpile of over 30,000 missiles – believes that a war in the Middle East may prevent the fall of Assad.
There’s been a number of reports of what could turn out to be a very significant defection.
Around 2pm Syrian time, yesterday, a video started being posted claiming that air defence Battalion 743 near Talbiseh had defected.
Entire battalion defects in Talbiseh. 743 Air Defence battalion, contains 10 officers including a colonel.
Homs Aghannto :: Details :: Defection of air defense missile battalion – By the dawn of Sunday 10/06/02 the battalion 743 of brigade 72 of division 26 defected.
According to Captain Abdallah: “After secret communications between the FSA in Homs and the chief of the battalion it has been decided that the dawn of Sunday 10/06/12 would be the day of defection. Multiple FSA units from different village surrounding battalion 743 provided secure defection. Meanwhile the chief officer of the 743 battalion assembled the battalion members and spoke to them about the situation in Syria, and gave them the freedom to choose to eitehr join the FSA of go back home.
The battalion consists of 130 soliders and 10 officers. On the day of defection there were only 35 soldiers and 5 officers. 22 soliders and 3 officers chose to go home, while 8 soldiers and 2 officers agreed to join the FSA.
The battalion’s importance came from its role in defending the oil refinery in the city of Homs. It holds SAM-6, SAM-7 and cobra missiles, as well as anti-aircraft armoured vechicles and other ammunition. This battalion is also the supply centre to the Assad army in the city of Talbisa and Rastan, and other surrounding villages.
The FSA captured much ammunition and equipment, but the Assad regime sent their helicopters to bomb the battalion site and destroyed the defence system. The battalion site was destroyed completely.
Syrian opposition chief Abdelbaset Sayda urges defections
The newly appointed head of the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) has called on government officials in Damascus to defect.
SYRIA’s Scud missile teams were placed on high alert…north of Aleppo.
Satellite images show Scud missiles ‘at Hezbollah base’