The Fortress of Saladin

Time has a series of photos from famous castles located in Syria, near where the fighting is ongoing, including one belonging to Saladin and visited by T. E. Lawrence.

Earlier this spring, rebels based in Krak des Chevaliers descended to destroy a loyalist fortification. The kind of building where the loyalists were holed up will be familiar to any of you who went to Iraq.


Eric Blair said...

If that's the caliber of guys beating the Syrian army, then the Syrian army is really bad.

Grim said...

The Syrian government is structurally and functionally much like Saddam's Iraq: they are/were both Ba'athist states (i.e. Pan Arabist but organized on essentially fascist lines), only Syria is not so well-off from oil revenue. As a result, the quality of Syrian military forces is below the standard of the old Iraqi Army.

That is to say, there are some reliable units granted special privilege; and there are some units that are essentially state-sponsored terrorists who police their own people through murder; but for the most part, they're unreliable conscripts with ossified command and control.