On Friday, Russia's MiG aircraft maker announced plans to sign a new agreement to ship at least 10 fighter jets to Syria, a move that comes amid international criticism of earlier Russian weapons deals with Assad's regime.
An air defence system could also make it harder for the international community to enforce a possible no fly zone to assist the Syrian rebels fighting Assad something it did in the 2011 civil war in Libya.
around the country to join them. Activists said that organized groups of rebels from the northern province of Aleppo managed on Friday to enter areas of the town still in opposition hands to help defend it.
State run Syrian TV said troops on Friday captured the village of Jawadiyeh outside Qusair, closing all entrances leading to the town and tightening the government's siege.
After meeting Kerry, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Russia must not "endanger" the peace talks, describing weapon deliveries to Assad as "totally wrong."
Meanwhile, Syria's main political opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition faced stiff criticism from Syrian activists for spending weeklong meetings in Turkey bogged down in personal issues and quarrels about expanding its membership.
Military analysts and activists on the ground in Syria say that Assad's forces have shown renewed determination since roughly the beginning of April, moving to recapture areas that had Nike Air Max Tavas Black long fallen to rebels.
The commander of the main Western backed umbrella group of Syrian rebel brigades, Gen. Salim Idris, told The Associated Press in an interview this week that unless rebels receive weapons quickly, they might not be able to hold Qusair.
BEIRUT As hopes for a Syrian peace conference fade and the opposition falls into growing disarray, President Bashar Assad has every reason to project confidence.
"The army has broken the atmosphere of fear and terror inside Damascus that the rebels created by firing mortars," said Hisham Jaber, a retired Lebanese army general who heads the Middle East Center for Studies and Political Research in Beirut.
In an interview with Al Mayadeen TV Wednesday, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al Moallem said he expected the fall of Qusair to the regime "within days."
Rebels have fought back against the government push into Qusair, and days ago called on opposition forces Nike Air Max 2015 Yellow
Equally important, he said, is the successful offensive the army is conducting in the area south of Damascus that links the capital with the Jordanian border.
In back to back interviews with Lebanese TV stations this week, Assad and his foreign minister both projected an image of self assuredness, boasting of achievements and suggesting that the military's offensive would continue regardless of whether a peace track is in place.
Balance of power in Syria shifting in Assad's favour
The army has also successfully pushed back rebels in some areas around the capital. According to residents, that's led to a decline in mortar shells on the city centre that only few weeks ago were a daily occurrence.
The regime considers Homs strategically important partly because it links Damascus with the coastal heartland of Assad's minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. The rebels are mostly from the country's Sunni Muslim majority. The coast also is home to the country's two main seaports, Latakia and Tartus.
is no doubt that as events have unfolded, Syrians have been able to better understand the situation and what is really at stake," he told Al Manar TV, owned by the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group. "This has helped the Air Max Thea Ultra
Government forces have moved steadily against rebels in key areas of the country over the past two months, making strategic advances and considerably lowering the threat to the capital, Damascus.
MiG's director general, Sergei Korotkov, said a Syrian delegation was in Moscow to discuss a new contract for MiG 29 M/M2 fighters. Russian news agencies cited him as saying Syria wants to buy "more than 10" such fighters, but wouldn't give the exact number. and Germany lashed out at Moscow's intentions to provide the Assad regime with an advanced air defence system, which they believe could prolong Syria's civil war.
Politically, Assad can still count on the support of his Russian and Iranian allies and the growing disarray of the Western backed Syrian opposition.
Experts say the defection rate from Assad's military has sharply dwindled by now, and he has more than made up for it with the help of paramilitary forces and Shiite fighters from Iraq and Lebanon's Hezbollah.
For the rebels, holding the town means protecting their supply line to Lebanon, just 10 kilometres (six miles) away.
Jaber said troops have cleared up to 80 per cent of the areas around Damascus in the past two months.
armed forces to better carry out their duties and achieve results."
With army soldiers no longer defecting and elite Hezbollah fighters actively helping, the regime now clearly has the upper hand in a two year civil war that has killed more than 70,000 people.
"What is happening now is not a shift in tactic from defence to attack, but rather a shift in the balance of power in favour of the armed forces," Assad said of his troops' recent battleground successes.
Significantly, Syrian troops appear to have gained the edge in the country's central Homs region.
Syrian troops and Hezbollah forces have successfully been clearing the town of Qusair in Homs province, where rebels have been entrenched for a year.
Despite a surge in rebel advances near Jordan earlier this year, the government now appears to control much of Daraa province, an opposition stronghold south of Damascus and the birthplace of the uprising.
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