By Akhtar Malik 30 Aug 2013
Syria has been heavily militarized over the past few decades so there will be plenty of targets available for strike by American and allied missiles and bombers. Americans will not hesitate to hit the gorgeous palace of Assad located on Mount Mazzeh in southern Damascus.
Regime command and control centers in the capital city along with Defense Ministry, intelligence setup in Umayyad Square and Interior Ministry offices near Merjeh Square will be priority targets. These will engulf the civilian population in the area as well. Troops loyal to Assad may also get the priority. In northern Damascus, area of Mount Qasioun houses lot of military buildings and sites including Republican Guards and elite 4th Armored Division, along with shopping plazas and hotels, thus may invite the first volley of missiles.
Iranian-backed Hezbollah fighters are already in Syria and aiding Assad to fight the rebels. Their site was bombed by Israeli air force in Qasioun in May this year. Reportedly Assad has kept over 0.2 million army along with Hezbollah fighters for the defense of Damascus only. Next to Damascus in importance is the city of Homs, about 150 Km north, that has large concentration of military force.
It is expected that areas Qasioun and Mezzeh will get maximum bombardment both from air and sea. This is going to decimate Assad’s fighting and resistance ability very seriously. Though Assad has deployed the most trusted and loyal forces on the protection of Damascus and Presidential Palace, including the Alawite divisions, but it is not likely that they will be able to put a formidable resistance against the attacking forces. This war is not likely to see any meaningful air and naval action from Syrian side, as was the case in Iraq war. The odds are heavily poised against Syria.
Bashar Al Assad is a follower of the Alawite faith, a branch of Shiite Islam, which is fully supported by Iran and Hezbollah.