The strides made by the armies of Bashar Assad, Hizballah and Iran in the Aleppo arena and on the Damascus periphery have dropped the Syrian insurgency on a downward slope for some time to come. DEBKAfile’s military sources point to five contributing factors:
1) Russian intervention and military operations are fully weighing in after eleven months.
2) Assad is vindicated in his strategy of focusing his military efforts on the four towns, Damascus, Aleppo, Homs and Hama, where half the population is concentrated (even after mass flight).
3) After more than five years, the rebels have given up on hopes of substantial US military assistance and accept that the Obama administration’s eye has switched to defeating ISIS rather than Assad.
4) Post-coup Turkey is preoccupied with its own internal affairs; its purged military, especially the air force, are in no state to render aid to the fight against the Assad regime.
5) The insurgency’s Arab patrons, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE, have tired of propping it up with aid.