February 8, 2013

Rebels Prepare to Take a Province from Assad

Rania Abouzeid, Time

AP Photo

It was pomegranate season when the battle for Wadi Deif began in mid-October. Like so many rebel offensives, the fight for the Syrian military base, just east of the devastated city of Maaret Numan and one of the last major loyalist outposts in the vast northern province of Idlib, soon sputtered for the usual reasons — the rebels’ lack of coordination, lack of ammunition and heavy weapons and the strength of regime reinforcements backed by airpower and artillery.

The pomegranate trees in many of the abandoned, rubble-strewn, hollowed-out homes in the adjacent frontline village of Marshamsheh are now denuded, their branches bare, but the rebels hope that before the first buds of new foliage sprout, the base will be theirs.

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TAGGED: Syria, Bashar al-Assad

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