More From Alder's Ledge

November 10, 2012

The Tenth Circle of Hell

Improvised Warfare
(Part of The Darkness Visible series)

As car bomb continue to blast their way into the Syrian Army's ranks it is obvious that Assad has no defense against the creative attacks the Free Syrian Army has to offer. On the battlefield Assad's forces can claim victory after victory even as they incur massive casualties. But now, as they try to consolidate their gains by massing in reclaimed areas, the resistance sparks... and the flames of Hell itself come up to lap the blood of Assad's men.

State controlled media in Syria claims that the attacks are futile and barbaric. The rest of the world can see that Assad's forces are unable to gain control even when their forces are present in an area. The rebels are able to penetrate Assad's ranks while setting up their attacks and are able to target commanders and vital equipment Assad's army needs to operate. While the main goal of car bombs is to inflict tremendous amounts of casualties and impart terror, the rebels have begun using them as weapons of assassination.

What few outsiders are aware of however is that these very same weapons of resistance are the same weapons that claim innocent lives without discrimination. Today when simultaneous car bombs erupted and managed to kill dozens of Assad's soldiers with each blast they also killed many civilians. Women and children remain trapped in areas where these tools of improvised weapons of war are in use.

The miserable reality of living under constant siege has forced hundreds of thousands of Syrians to flee their homes. In one day 11,000 Syrians fled the country. Of those 11,000 and estimated 9,000 of them braved ongoing battles, Assad's helicopters, and cold rain and Turkish border guards as they cut their way through the barbed wire and crossed into Turkey. This mass exodus has led to renewed calls in the Turkish government for action to help end the crisis after 20 long months of hellish fighting.

(Syrians Illegally Crossing Into Turkey)

Meanwhile the newly elected leader of Syria's largest opposition group (Syrian National Council) claims that the crisis is still ongoing due to lack of concern by the world community. George Sabra, a Christian who was repeatedly imprisoned by Assad's regime, the new SNC leader blames countries like America for offering nothing but "statements and encouragement". He notes that good intentions and polite words can not win a war for freedom. While the West offers a pat on the back Russia, China, and Iran offer Assad helicopters, snipers, naval support, ammunition, armor, money, and at times mercenary soldiers and military training. 

This lack of will to offer aid, without demands, has led the Syrian Free Army to utilize every sort of guerrilla warfare imaginable. The rebels use mortars, improvised rockets, roadside bombs, child soldiers, car bombs, and blitz style attacks. Unfortunately all these weapons of war have the side affect of causing civilian casualties just as often as they kill their intended targets. 

On the flip side the innocent people trapped in the crossfire have Assad's heavy artillery, jets, helicopters, and Shabiha to deal with. 

This constant threat has led to shortages of food, lack of electricity, and undrinkable water. Children who had been in school 20 months ago have not been back in almost two years. Jobs that existed prior to the war are gone and thus most of the country are unemployed. The only way to earn money now is fight for it or barter for it. Not that Syrian cash has any value outside of Syria... and what value it holds in Syria is minimal. 

All of this builds to the new reality most Syrians live with. This is the new Syria that the upcoming generation will remember for all their lives. This is the tenth circle of Hell.

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