Today In Syria: Fighting Below The State

With the Free Syrian Army ramps up [NYT] retaliatory attacks against Assad soldiers, Daniel Serwer examines – and dismisses – the West taking their side:

The military options published by the Washington Institute range from the silly to the unpromising.  Humanitarian corridors into Syria’s cities?  Apart from the fact that they don’t appear to be needed, they would impossible to sustain if the regime decided it did not want them. Buffer zones or enclaves along the Turkish border?  That requires suppression of a substantial Syrian air defense system and constant vigilance thereafter, in the air and [on] the ground.  Without it, the buffer zones just become unprotected targets, like the Safe Areas during the Bosnian war.  That’s where you are sure to find your enemies, so that is where you aim.  No-fly zone?  It’s [a] bad joke, since the regime is not using aircraft to repress demonstrations. It would just be the top of the slippery slope to broader intervention.

Robert Farley worries that the FSA might give the Syrian regular army strong incentives to stick with Assad. Issandr El-Amrani and Larbi Sadiki [NYT] look at how two other sub-state armies (Hamas and Hezbollah, respectively) are losing out as a consequence of Assad's violence. The Revolting Syrian flags a chart detailing how the non-violent resistance plans to undercut Assad's rule with strikes and protests. This map shows the distribution of murders in November by province. Here's a funeral protest in Idlib:

In Homs today, these people stage a "wedding ceremony for a gas canister & diesel jerrycan:"

Finally, this little boy's eye won't stop bleeding: