Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Rebel fighters in Aleppo outmanned and outgunned by Syrian army

People carry a body of a person killed in clashes in Aleppo, Syria, Friday, July 27, 2012.

Alberto Prieto/Associated Press

Despite the enormous disparity in the size and equipment going up against the Syrian military, opposition fighters reportedly continue to assemble in Aleppo. There now are at least 4,000, observers say. It would appear to be a strategic mistake.

Lightly armed fighters are no match for the heavily-armed well-disciplined Syrian forces, even with the use of explosive devices and the deployment of snipers. The rebel forces are better suited for a hit-and-run style insurgency.

The likely demise of so many opposition members in this "mother of all battles" may generate sympathy and international outrage, but such momentary public relations advantages will come at the cost of losing large numbers of fighters that will take a long time to replace.

Story continues below advertisement

More than that, the almost suicidal tactic in Aleppo, hard on the heels of the opposition defeat in Damascus, will make many potential fighters question the quality of decision-making at the helm of the opposition.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Global Affairs reporter

As Global Affairs Writer, Patrick Martin’s primary focus is on the turbulent Middle East, to which he travels regularly. He has twice been posted to the region – from 1991-95 and from 2008-12. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at