What we aren’t hearing about Syria (apart from goodies vs baddies)

Nir Rosen, one of the finest independent journalists around, sends the following message to the essential Angry Arab:

so media accounts of yesterday’s fighting in Homs are not exactly accurate. they make it seem as if this is Hama in 1982 all over again and Homs has fallen. In fact the armed opposition controls more territory in Homs than ever before and yesterday’s attack did not result in any loss of territory. Yesterday opposition fighters defeated the regime checkpoint at the Qahira roundabout and they seized a tank or armored personnel carrier. This followed similar successes against the Bab Dreib checkpoint and the Bustan al Diwan checkpoint. In response to this last provocation yesterday the regime started shelling with mortars from the Qalaa on the high ground and the State Security headquarters in Ghota. a couple of stray mortars also fell in the Qusur neighborhood. shelling started at 8:30 PM and lasted until 4 AM. There was no fighting in Homs, just shelling from these safe locations (from the point of view of the regime), suggesting they are unable to actually attack Khaldiyeh with regime fighters. its an interesting new phase. also, no opposition fighters were killed in the attack. and up to 130 people in Khaldiyeh were killed and 800 wounded (like i said not fighters). now thats a lot of people but if you were watching the news yesterday you would think that Homs was destroyed while in fact this attack can also be seen as a sign of the regime’s weakness in the city. i have never seen a conflict covered as poorly as this one, with less interest in empirically collected data and more reliance on hysteria and manipulation and rumor.

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