Free Syrian Army turns to urban guerilla tactics

Protesters showed off the opposition's flag after the Free Syrian Army reportedly won a battle against the regular army.
 
As the UN Security Council weighs possible action against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the situation on the ground is becoming increasingly violent. The Syrian Free Army, an armed group comprised mostly of military deserters, has stepped up its campaign against Assad’s forces, engaging in urban guerrilla warfare.
 
After more than ten months of a deadly crackdown on anti-government protests in Syria, members of the Free Syrian Army – out-armed and out-numbered by Syrian military forces - are now engaging in a classic military manoeuvre by drawing their enemy into urban areas they know well. In neighbourhoods where the population is on their side, fighting in the streets works to their advantage, as they can easily hide inside homes.
 
FRANCE 24 has tried to reach the Syrian embassy in Paris for comment, but did not receive a response by the time of going to press.
 
This video shows a shootout between fighter from the Free Syrian Army and soldiers from the regular army.
Contributors

“The Free Syrian Army lured the soldiers into neighbourhoods they were more familiar with”

Abou Said is a spokesperson for the revolutionary council in Erbin, just seven kilometres outside of Damascus.
 
Sounds of fighting could be heard throughout Sunday night. At six in the morning, we could hear gunshots ringing out in the streets as surveillance planes crisscrossed the sky.
 
That day, the Syrian army attempted to enter the town from two separate positions in the east, forcing the people who lived nearby to flee. As they attacked, the Free Syrian Army tried to lure the soldiers into neighbourhoods they were more familiar with, where they had studied the landscape. They had picked out areas such as the Afran district, where the streets are very narrow and twisty.
 
A number of soldiers from Ebrin’s Free Army are originally from this neighbourhood. They left the military because they refused to turn their weapons against their own people. The clashes ended with the regular army in retreat, although they continue to bombard us.”

“The Free Army has the advantage in street battles because they have the support of the local population”

Rami H. is an activist for the Syrian Revolution General Commission in the flashpoint city of Homs.
 
The Free Syrian Army carried out an operation yesterday in the neighbourhood of Bab Drib in Homs to retake a dispensary being used by the regular army as a military barrack. Assad’s forces had set up a checkpoint there in June. Shells would be fired from there regularly into the nearby Karm Al Zeitoun neighbourhood, where there have been several victims over the last few days. The Bab Drib dispensary attack was an act of retaliation against the regular army.
 
“The reason the regular army has been able to hold out against the Free Syrian Army is they use snipers”
 
I saw four Free Army vehicles, carrying about four or five soldiers each, driving in the direction of the dispensary. They were armed with rocket propelled grenades, machine guns and Russian rifles. They had been planning the attack for the past two days. Some soldiers patrolled the checkpoint while others who support our cause from within the regular army also helped out.
 
The Free Army has the advantage in street battles because they have the support of the local population. They can dash in and out of streets, and easily hide. In contrast, soldiers from the regular army move around in tanks and armoured vehicles. The reason they’ve been able to hold out against the Free Army is they use snipers.”
 

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