Washington and/or NATO countries designated Syria's capital fighting " Operation Damascus Volcano." They call it a full-scale offensive. Insurgent commander Qassem Saadeddine said "(t)here is no going back. The Damascus battle has priority for us. We have started the operation to liberate Damascus."
Without elaborating, he said "expect surprises."
Washington's longstanding plans involve destroying, not liberating, Syria. Claimed end game operations in Damascus is propaganda. Media scoundrels repeat it. At issue is winning the information war, intensifying death squad attacks, and sustaining conflict on the ground.
After defecting, Syria's former Iraq ambassador, Nawaf Fares, made spurious accusations. He's in the tank for Washington.
He claimed Syrian officials told him to enlist "Jihadi units" to fight US forces in Iraq. Most recently he suggests Assad used chemical weapons in Homs.
He admits he can't confirm it, but believes Assad will use them if threatened.
Security Council Showdown
On July 19, Britain, America, France, Germany, Portugal, and Ireland tabled a resolution for consideration. Eleven nations voted aye. Others besides sponsoring countries included Azerbaijan, Colombia, Guatemala, India, Morocco, and Togo. South Africa and Pakistan abstained.
Russia and China vetoed it. Invoking UN Chapter VII, it effectively declared war.
Moscow and Beijing acted responsibly. They did so for the third time. They want conflict resolution not bombs away. They need to go further. Hopefully they'll get more assertive.
At issue is forthrightly denouncing Washington's war on Syria. Drawing a line in the sand is crucial. Raging conflict can't be tolerated. Arming and otherwise supporting their Syrian ally is vital.
The entire region's up for grabs. Both countries have vital interests at stake. Only they can protect them. Months of diplomacy failed. Realpolitik dictates assertive action. Washington understands it. It won't risk war at this time with either country.
The resolution's text in part said "the situation constitutes a threat to international peace and security."
UN Charter Chapter VII was invoked. It authorizes measures ranging from economic sanctions to blockades or direct military intervention if other measures fail.
It endorsed the June 30 Geneva agreement text. It called for ending armed conflict, implementing Annan's peace plan, adhering to provisions of Security Council Resolutions 2042 and 2043, releasing detainees, permitting humanitarian access to areas needing help, and other steps to be taken.