Since I will probably have more to say on the subject this is report zero (0).

I don’t necessarily agree with all the facts let alone the interpretations expressed in this video. But I think it gives a good general sense of the situation. You can’t tell the players even with a scorecard. Video source site.

To get a taste of the American “side” there is VOA.

From October 8th.


Rebels with the Free Syrian Army repelled an offensive mounted Wednesday by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in central Syria, destroying 10 government tanks — despite coming under repeated Russian air assault, their leaders claim.

And this:

Now, with the Russian intervention, Tu’mah acknowledges the issue of a no-fly zone has gotten even more complicated. Of the fighting flaring in central Syria, he told VOA Syrian government soldiers form the bulk of the forces launching the ground offensive — and despite media reports to the contrary, Russian soldiers are present but only in small numbers. He added there are large numbers of Iranian and foreign Shia Muslim fighters from Iraq and Lebanon, but they are concentrated in western Syria near the border with Lebanon.

That probably means the Shia are protecting Damascus from attacks from the North or South. Lebanon is the home of Hezbollah which is allied with Iran – so that makes logistic sense.