As [Landis] notes, increased violence will inevitably lead to more defections from the Syrian army, yet it is highly unlikely that the Syrian military will experience a vast loss of manpower, equipment and knowledge as happened in Libya. The cohesiveness of the Syrian army will force any armed insurrection in Syria to rely on the amateur fighting knowledge of civilians as well as basic weaponry that can be smuggled into the country.
Moreover, the Libyan rebels quickly were able to establish Benghazi as a rebel base and temporary center of leadership in the country. Control of [Libya’s second-largest city] provided the opposition with a logistical center and safe area, but also demonstrated the demographic unity of the opposition. … The opposition in Syria, on the other hand, does not have control of any cities or areas of the country and remain in a state of general geographic disunity. The two largest cities in Syria, Aleppo and Damascus, have experienced nearly no unrest, demonstrating the disconnect from the predominantly rural and poor protesters and the content urban upper class that has benefitted from the Assad rule.