Syria on the Brink: Attrition Gives Way to Total War
The situation in Syria is constantly in flux and now, it looks like a powder-keg set to explode.
When fighting began, Russia and China aligned with Bashar al-Assad. Consequently, Russia sent weaponry to Syria and now they are sending ships. In the meantime, the Syrian opposition has been fighting a war of attrition in hopes of forcing Assad's troops to relinquish their positions. The U.N.'s Kofi Annan pushed both sides for a ceasefire, which gave Assad more time to re-arm while his affiliates ascertained the real strength of the Syrian opposition.
According to the Syrian opposition, the U.N. brokered ceasefire was designed to benefit Assad.
The Free Syrian Army, which is the "umbrella body of the Rebel forces," has changed tactics altogether: they are no longer fighting for attrition but for victory. Striking at Assad's forces in Damascus and Aleppo, the Free Syrian Army has been ordered to fight to win. Reports indicate this shift is meant to send a signal to the U.N. that the Syrian opposition no longer has faith in the U.N.'s measures or in Kofi Annan in particular.