Syriske instrukturer har tidligere lært terrorister av ulike typer å lage bomber. Nå brukes den samme kunnskapen mot dem selv, og de stammer fra de samme menneskene som Syria har lært opp.
Historien er full av paradokser.
De syriske opprørerne mestrer nå å lage improviserte bomber, såkalte IEDs.
Det våpenet som har vært benyttet mot fremmede okkupanter på muslimsk jord, fra Tsjetsjenia til Afghanistan, det benyttes nå til å velte en arabisk leder. Det ligger mye tung symbolikk i den utviklingen.
The weapon that has long been championed in the popular imagination and public discourse of underground fighters as a means to kill or drive off foreign occupiers — whether Russians in Chechnya or Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan — has been turned against a standing Arab army by its own people.
The shift happened subtly. Joseph Holliday, a former American Army intelligence officer who is now an analyst covering Syria for the Institute of the Study of War, in Washington, said the changes were not in the rate of attacks, but in a rapidly evolving prowess.
Mr. Holliday said the capability “comes in part from the expertise of Syrian insurgents who learned bomb-making while fighting U.S. troops in eastern Iraq.”
An American official who follows the fighting in Syria and spoke on the condition of anonymity noted another example of turnabout. Some of the expertise, the official said, appeared to have been derived from the very trainers in explosives, who were formerly in Syrian intelligence or under its tutelage, with which Syria for decades exported bomb-making and other lethal skills to groups it sponsored in neighboring states.
Hvor effektive er bombene? Regjeringssoldater tør ikke lenger kjøre lastebiler. De må bevege seg i pansrede vogner. De er blitt redde. Det er en viktig psykologisk vending for opprørerne, og tilsvarende svekkelse for regjeringshæren.
Although precise casualty estimates are impossible to obtain, one senior Obama administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity under administration practice said that by June the Syrian military was suffering an average of 20 dead soldiers a day in various types of attacks, and several times that number of wounded. This would be a significant drain on a force already suffering from defections and now trying to suppress an escalating guerrilla conflict by conventional means.