From The Telegraph:
Assad Unleashes Elite Troops On Insurgents
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has launched a bloody offensive to crush the rebels who are threatening his hold on Damascus, most recently through assassinations of high profile members of his national security council. Syria’s Fourth Armored Division, commanded by Assad’s feared brother Maher and bristling with modern weaponry, is claiming success after attacking rebel strongholds in key Sunni areas.
The apparent success of the action is likely to prolong the civil war gripping Syria, which opposition forces claim has cost 19,000 lives. The conflict may well widen, as Turkey is supporting the rebels and Israel has expressed its determination that Assad’s rumored chemical weapons stockpile will not fall into Islamist hands.