Washington Post: “Neighborhoods across Damascus were rocked Monday with the most intense fighting the capital has seen in the 16-month-old Syrian uprising…”The Economist notes that Damascus residents are getting nervous. Some are blatantly, some nervously, some halfheartedly showing their support for Butcher Assad, afraid of what might come next. Others are working behind the scenes for the rebels. Refugees are flowing in from surrounding cities where there is more fighting. Suspicion is swirling that the end is near:
Army checkpoints have brought militarisation into the heart of the city. Crime is increasing. In the souq, reports of kidnappings circulate from shop to shop as vendors who have traded side by side for generations compare notes, avoiding those thought to be reporting for the government.
Tick-tock, Assad.The sooner the fighting ends, the less chance there is that the country slides into sectarian brutality. The longer the fighting continues, the more radical the rebels become, as dark and dangerous fighters win more influence and urge revenge against Alawites, Christians, and supporters of the regime.