June 20, 2013 | 12:44 AM (BD Time)
20 June, 2013 Thursday
Afghan President Karzai to boycott talks with Taliban ; ACC a toothless tiger : Chairman ; Obama to call for nuclear cuts in Berlin speech ; NSA director says plot against Wall Street foiled ; Israeli premier: pressure on Iran must continue ; DCC elections after Eid-ul-Fitr : EC ; 18-party to stage demo countrywide on June 22 ; ;
Assad has many generals to fight Syrian rebels
. AP, Beirut
The Syrian regime appears to have absorbed the shock it suffered in the heaviest blow against it yet in Syria's 17-month-old upheaval - a bombing that killed four top aides.
The blast raised opponents' hopes President Bashar Assad could fall soon. Instead he is back on the offensive and has reshuffled his inner circle of loyalists to brace for a long battle in what has become an outright civil war.
Although the president is embattled, he remains surrounded by loyal generals, many who are inextricably tied to the regime and have played a key role in the brutal crackdown against the opposition.
He has already made some progress on the ground. A counter-offensive by the government is gaining momentum and troops have so far been able to recapture neighborhoods in the capital Damascus that rebels overran earlier this month. The government also launched an offensive in the northern city of Aleppo, Syria's largest, where rebels have taken over several areas.
Regime forces have stepped up the use of force. Helicopter gunships have been used more than ever before in the battles with rebels in Damascus and Aleppo. Also this week, warplanes flew over Aleppo, although it was not possible to confirm claims by activists that the fighter jets actually fired on rebels - which would be a first since the uprising against Assad began in March 2011.
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