According to a Syrian rebel chief, it is only a matter of time until Assad and his regime buckle under the pressure of the Free Syrian Army as more and more territory inside the country is falling into the hands of the rebel army, with the regime's aerial superiority seen as the last strength keeping the Damascus regime afloat.
"With or without outside help, the fall of the regime is a question of months, not years," said Colonel Ahmed Abdel Wahab, who claims that he commands a brigade of 850 men in the Free Syrian Army (FSA), according to AFP.
"If we had anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles, we could quickly gain the advantage," he said, speaking in the village of Atma near the Syrian border with Turkey."We control most of the country. In most regions, the soldiers are prisoners of their barracks. They go out very little and we can move freely everywhere, except Damascus."
Wahab, a colonel in the regular army as recently as nine months ago, said his defection was driven by "the magnitude of the crimes of the regime, which is killing its own people." He added that he has remained in contact with officers who are still in the regular army, saying, "Their morale is very bad."
"If the Sunni soldiers don't desert, it's only because they fear for their families, who are being held hostage. I was able to find a safe place for mine before leaving the army."
Nearly 80 percent of towns and villages along the Turkish border are outside the control of Damascus, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.