June 13th, 2012
10:55 AM ET

After 8 days of bombardment, rebels retreat from Syrian town

After eight days of bombardment, Syrian government forces reclaimed the northwestern town of al Haffa on Wednesday, forcing rebels to stage a dawn retreat.

President Bashar al-Assad's government said through the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency that its forces had "restored security and calm after clearing it from the armed terrorist groups."

It said it had seized a cache of armaments, including sniper rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and explosive devices.

An opposition group said rebel forces withdrew from Haffa and surrounding villages "in order to preserve the lives of civilians." The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Haffa had been under heavy shelling for eight straight days.

Fighting raged elsewhere as well, as the Syrian military pummeled cities from both the ground and sky, opposition activists said.

The Homs province city of Rastan came under fresh attack from planes and rocket-propelled grenades, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said.

At least 49 people were killed Wednesday, including 16 in Homs, the group said.

The escalating violence prompted the United Nations peacekeeping chief to become the first official from the global body to declare the Syrian crisis a civil war.

"Yes, I think we can say that," Herve Ladsous said Tuesday. "Clearly what is happening is that the government of Syria lost some large chunks of territory, several cities to the opposition, and wants to retake control."

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Filed under: Syria • World
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. saywhat

    The groups that form the 'rebels' are certainly far from the likes of those who form a popular ground swell of a revolution like in Tunisia or Egypt.

    Removing Bashar for us would be harder than removing Ghaddafi. And a post Bashar Syria is sure to be a far worse scenario being in the neighborhood of where we are meddling the most.

    June 13, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  2. bobcat (in a hat)©,

    Good Morning saywhat,

    Your assessment of the Ghadaffi vs. Bashar scenario is spot on. The difference lies in the fact that in Libya the rebels had a center control structure, where as in Syria, the rebels consist of a hodgepodge of wannabe leaders of the country.
    They are all essentially fighting for the same means, but overall I believe they are on different pages when it comes to the end product.

    June 13, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. Philip

    I hear you @saywhat. Still, I womder if it's like the driver who flashes his lights to warn oncoming traffic of the "speed trap" (set-up by our own government) up ahead. Only the plain white van carrying another truckload of kidnappped children thanks you kindly.

    June 13, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  4. Philip

    ...and you may have missed my plethora of comments relating of Israel arming Gadhaffi the same as they armed Saddam.

    June 13, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. Philip

    Please delve into my anology @saywhat. Thank you. And I would really like to discuss these things with you at length. It's hard to do here. fB? (i built some fB pages, but all I seemed to be able to attract were old HS gee effs. So I shuet 'er down. But I would crank my fB up again to discuss these things.

    June 13, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  6. saywhat

    Thanks @ bobcat
    And sure @Philips
    Your handle on things which appear to be what they are not is as usual firm. The insidious, crafty and undoubtedly rogue actions of Israeli regime fall under that category. America has suffered as a consequence, those actions have been at the root of our troubles and against our geo-political and strategic interests. Majority of Israelis too have voicing their concerns.
    I admit I missed your comments on Ghaddafi and Saddam being armed by them.

    June 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    Well, simply read 'The Teicher Affidavit" for proof of Israel arming the madman. And you can Youtube 'Israeli MOSSAD arm 50,000' as to Israel arming gadhaffi with trained and armed militia to slaughter faithful Muslims returning to their NATO bombed communities labled as 'rebels'.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. saywhat

    You honor me @Philip. But I'm just an ordinary American frustrated to see what this great country is doing to itself and voicing my sentiments.
    Let me just learn on this blog from more knowledgeable bloggers like yourself, fellow bloggers who inspire me @ banasy @chrissy@ dazzle@ Mary@ bobcat@ Portland tony@JI-F@kellyintulsa and others.
    Have a good one.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    I hesitate to seriously take any news that comes from a "state run network", as it cannot be independently confirmed by other foreign journalists.
    In any case, I reinerate my stance on this: I am vehemently opposed to any US boots touching Syrian soil.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bobcat (in a hat)©,

    @ banasy©

    And I second that emotion. It appears this situation has gone way beyond the point of no return. There are many things going on there that just don't add up. The onus has been placed on the Syrian govt. to stop thebloodshed, yet the so called rebel forces seem to be fomenting just as much of the unrest. The news reports coming out of there are from the viewpoint of the rebels and nothing more. Plus the reports are not being able to be verified. Too many different factions involved with the rebellion and no central control. Who are you supposed to believe ?

    June 13, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bobcat (in a hat)©,

    @ banasy©

    And I second that emotion. It appears this situation has gone way beyond the point of no return. There are many things going on there that just don't add up. The main pressure has been placed on the Syrian govt. to stop the bloodshed, yet the so called rebel forces seem to be fomenting just as much of the unrest. The news reports coming out of there are from the viewpoint of the rebels and nothing more. Plus the reports are not being able to be verified. Too many different factions involved with the rebellion and no central control. Who are you supposed to believe ?

    June 13, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Philip

    Ok@saywhat...yet it is YOU with knowledge of the Noam Chomsky variety. Knowledge that you yourself have converted into wisdom. None on this blog could I say this concerning 'cept YOU.
    Once I et off this roachcoach in San Antone. By the time I got to Wichita Falls, all of a sudden my gordita/taco hot wanted out. I pulled over and took a dump. Returning from Colorado to San Antone about a week later, I noticed some coyotes still warming their paws over where I took a dump. Or left a dump, depending on how you view Katrina or Iraq.

    June 13, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy©

    @bobcat:
    Have you ever read Chomsky!
    He is one of the greatest men living today.
    I know I can talk to YOU about anything without haveing my opinion deccimated.
    Do YOU know why I don't talk about about who I have read?
    Because I DON'T need to try and show off my IQ.
    Simple, huh?

    June 13, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bobcat (in a hat)©

    @ banasy©

    No, Chommsky is someone I have never read, but I will now just to see what I have missed. Everyone has an opinion. Wether it is right or if it is wrong is of no consequence. One has the right to adhere to whatever beliefs they have, if someone else disagrees with said opinion, then that's, well, their opinion. Can you imagine how boring this life would be if everyone was of the same mindset ? There would be no room for discussion on any topic because everyone would always be in agreement. And if one should not think on a subject the same way, it goes down to we agree to disagree and the subject is closed.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)©

      BTW
      How did that joke go over at work ?

      June 13, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Rawr:
      As I work with women, you can imagine!
      One half started bock bocking, the other half called themselves eggheads, and all of them ltao!
      Then they got their phones out and started texting....

      I agree with your post, too.
      How dull this world would be if we were all bots.
      I just think there are other ways to get a point across rather than mean-spirited innuendos, because that tactic is not likely to change my opinion, only paint that person as a psuedo know-it-all bully.
      But that's just an opinion.
      End of story.... 😉

      June 13, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)©

      @ banasy©

      I agree, when one feels they must regress to the point of name calling and belittlement just because someone disagrees with a view, it just shows that person to be totally self centered and believing that their view is the only way and it does no good to argue your point, because it is all for naught.

      June 13, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)©

      But again, that's just one man's opinion.

      June 13, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Philip

    Huh? I heard it at work. Donnie Smith of Air Drilling Associates. He also got the free 72 oz steak with all the trimmings at Wichita Falls diner for eating it all. Big man. Smart too. He once made 50K selling women jars of drilling gel for facial treatments till he got busted.

    June 13, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
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