Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's warnings that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad risks losing his country because of his brutal tactics appear to be panning out.
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Reports out of Aleppo indicate that Syrian government troops launching an assault on the city have so far been unable to retake rebel-held neighborhoods there, despite the use of heavy weapons such as tanks and helicopter gunships.
Yesterday Syrian state media reported government victories in two Aleppo neighborhoods, but activists denied the reports, telling The Associated Press that there has been only "fierce shelling" and some fighting on the ground.
But the regime remains much better armed than the rebels. The leader of the Syrian National Council (SNC), the main opposition group, requested countries ignore United Nations Security Council opposition and provide heavy weapons that would allow the rebels to actually fight back against the regime's superior weaponry, Reuters reports.
"The rebels are fighting with primitive weapons... We want weapons that we can stop tanks and planes with," SNC chief Abdelbasset Seida said in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates. "Our friends and allies will bear responsibility for what is happening in Aleppo if they do not move soon."