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The significance of a left -- -- it really it's not overstating it to say that this could well be.
A defining moment in the battle to Syria whichever way goes.
Absolutely it's -- -- say Dominique mentioned is here very very large city its largest city in Syria.
And when it comes down to it from a strategic standpoint it is at the crossroads not only of Syria.
But it's a crossroads of the Middle East that's in question here.
If the rebels are able to capture a -- -- They will control the -- it to Turkey they will control all of the northern Syrian frontier area.
And -- they will also control areas that lead into Kurdistan both the Kurdish portions of Syria and the Kurdish portions of Turkey.
Vitally important for them.
If they lose it it is not the death they'll love the -- of the rebels.
But it is vitally important for them and it would be in their interest to way to capture the city to hang on.
And to take it a little bit further to capture more military hardware that's Dominique mentioned.
Now while one imagines scuttled that US officials totally.
Absorbed sort of giving up on the United Nations here.
And the diplomatic top.
All doing everything they can to make sure those rebels are as strong as they can.
Short of actually physically giving them weapons this is important for the US to try to -- I guess create an electoral -- Iraq -- in that region.
The so the so called safe haven that -- say Clinton talked about.
Well that would be one possible outcome and you know with communications -- with logistical support.
And quite frankly with black market arms transfers.
I it would be possible for the -- to hold onto that area that could then become the conclave.
That Secretary Clinton has been talking about and it could be the on -- that -- rebels then use.
Is the basis for asking for a no fly zone for example.
And the basis for were really establishing their own governmental structure they've already started a shadow government and it's become much more.
Public -- -- the that it was in the in the past few months so that's been indicates that they are certainly prepared to take territory.
The question is can they hold that territory.
Yeah and I guess that that's the major point here -- -- it's all very well to say the rebels are holding the rebels are holding that.
But they are under intense fire and there's not any real sign.
The president -- is about to take his foot off their throat in a left -- or anywhere else and he still is.
By father strong -- in terms of the actual weapons again as it is disposal of course.
That is true and you know what was interesting about the developments in the last week or so is the use of fixed wing aircraft against the rebels.
Up to that point you really hadn't seen that too much you had seen one or two instances of it.
But now you see far more instances of using.
Fixed wing aircraft says some of aircraft some of them trainers some of them.
Actual mig fighter jets and of course a helicopter gunships for -- crowded situation like urban combat is.
The helicopter gunships are probably.
More effective in a tactical sense but the it depends in how the targeting works and I think the targeting is really not as accurate.
As it would need to be for those weapons to be that effective on on behalf of president Assad.
So it did really shows that there's a war of attrition going on.
It's also -- hearts and minds because this this is one of those situations Jonathan where you could go into -- -- territory.
That you can occupy even with supporters so -- I'd like a level has and you could occupied for a longer term if -- convince the people.
That -- you're way will be the better way -- what will be the one that that will lead to peace will lead to more economic stability and tell you it will lead to the -- of the refugee crisis that is going on right now and if that happens of the rebels will gain an -- psychological and and that would be key.
Element in their ability to move forward.
Anything do you think that the US should can be doing currently kernel that it is not doing.
Well I think we should certainly ramp up all our support in the -- in the sense of providing communications gear we just -- -- -- and even food supplies to the rebels.
I would definitely go that far as far as other word overt military.
The support to the rubble caused the Free Syrian Army.
I would say that you that we should do let them handle that fight at the present time because that seems to be you're working best for them and and for us.
And of course by the same token we have to be very careful who the Free Syrian Army actually is elements of them.
I would be more favorably disposed to us -- other elements and of course you have the ever present.
Threat of all Qaeda infiltrating the ranks of the Free Syrian Army and you want to avoid -- them.
All right tell Cedric -- US air force retired president of Cedric Leighton associates always great to get your -- colonel thanks very much for being here.
Thank you so --
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