The Syrian Regime's Willing Executioners

(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) Jeffrey White - While the Syrian government has destroyed the equipment it used to produce its chemical arsenal, the regime still has the means and will to continue killing on a grand scale. A dominant feature of the war has been the steady escalation of regime firepower. From beatings, mass arrests, and small arms, Assad's forces quickly progressed to using tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, antiaircraft guns, heavy mortars, field artillery, artillery rockets, combat helicopters with barrel bombs, fixed-wing combat aircraft with incendiary and fragmentation weapons, and surface-to-surface missiles. Much of Syria has effectively become a free-fire zone for regime forces. A broad range of organizations and forces are heavily involved in killing civilians on a routine basis - not just a few key units close to the regime's core, but numerous regular units of the army, air force, and air defense forces, a broad range of irregular forces, the intelligence and police apparatus, and allied foreign forces such as Hizbullah and Iraqi Shiite militants. The writer is a former senior defense intelligence officer.

2013-11-05 00:00:00

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