One report said Syrian forces confronted insurgents in Aleppo, Daraa, Deir Ezzor, al-Qseir, and Homs. They inflicted heavy losses, dismantled explosive devices, and destroyed vehicles used to transport fighters and weapons.
On July 27, Ria Novosti headlined "Syrian Army Launches Anti-Opposition Operation in Aleppo," saying:
Army forces are "push(ing) to regain control of key territories across the country." Syrian television claims most Aleppo areas are "returned to government control." Fighting, however, persists.
Qatar-controlled Al Jazeera earlier misreported that Assad fled Syria. On July 27, it said UNSMIS head General Robert Mood claims:
"Sooner or later, the regime will fall. The spiral of violence, the lack of proportion in the regime's reactions, its incapacity to protect the civilian population, mean that the regime's days are numbered...."
In June, an unnamed UNSMIS monitor accused him of spying. He "gather(ed) critical coordinates and visit(ed) military bases for his own purposes."
They were unrelated to violence-affected areas. Syrians believe he's spying. His comment was inappropriate. His mandate calls for observing and reporting impartially. Instead, he's a partisan. He supports Western interests. Doing so spurns millions of Syrians.
He's leaving. Senegalese Lt. General Babacar Gaye replaces him. His mandate runs 30 days. What follows isn't known. Half the original observer force left. Perhaps evacuating them all is planned.
On the eve of war with Iraq, UN weapons inspectors were removed. They had enough time to discover no WMDs. It didn't matter. On March 19, 2003 (March 20 Baghdad time), shock and-awe bombing began.