Whenever I'm looking for something about the Assad regime in Syria I go Joshua Landis's blog, Syria Comment. He's got a new post up now, basically saying that as long as President Assad can keep the military united, his oppression divided, and not provoke foreign military intervention, the regime is likely to survive.
In his post, Joshua Landis makes a few notes about the "heavy weapons" in Syria, and how the Free Syrian Army, or other armed groups, don't have them. My question is: what are these heavy weapons? Like warships, tanks, or simply anything punchyer than a machine gun? Because I would think that using something like a warship, for example, would take a level of organization that I'm not sure the opposition currently has. I mean, a lot of this heavy weapons equipment takes a full apparatus of people supporting the main units.
Regardless, I can't imagine the Assad regime falling by fully conventional means, unless it's from the outside. They're just too far ahead in organization of any other internal contender for power, and as Landis points out, the Assad's have spent the past 40 years practicing putting down Sunni dissidents.
I'd think the lousy economy and the fact that that Syria has the last "minoritarian regime" in the Levant would be the triggers to a popular revolt and Assad's ousting. That seems to be the call here.
Anyway . . . it's a great piece and I recommend reading it.
UPDATE: NYT has yet another piece on "Israel attacking Iran," and yet another checklist of "red lines" that the Iranian regime may cross. Check it out.