President Bashar Al-Assad of Syria called an emergency meeting of military leaders, Thursday, to discuss raising the armed forces' alert level to it highest from the current second highest. Informed sources say Assad set a schedule for ending the revolt of opposition forces, starting with a reconquest of the capital, Damascus, and the population center of Aleppo by the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on August 18th. Under the schedule, the city of Homs would be cleansed of rebels by the 10th of September and the suppression of the opposition would be finished by the end of October.
News of the meeting came as Russian intelligence claimed a United States commando unit was working on the Turkish side of the Turkish-Syrian border as Turkey prepared creation of a buffer zone and a no-fly zone around Aleppo. It was intended that the American forces be in place should President Barack Obama declae an American-led international effort against Assad. An international force headed by the U.S. is also working near Jordan's border with Syrian and Americans are training Syrian rebels in Jordan.