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Martin Chulov, The Guardian: Amid the ruins of Syria, is Bashar al-Assad now finally facing the end?

As Isis surges ahead and the Syrian regime teeters on the brink of collapse, our Middle East correspondent, winner of the 2015 Orwell prize for journalism, reports on the deadly struggle for dominance in the region

One evening at the end of March, a Syrian rebel leader returned from a meeting across the border in Turkey and called an urgent gathering of his commanders. The five men turned up at their boss’s house in Idlib province expecting to receive the same pleas for patience that they had always heard and more grim news about cash and weapons being hard to find. This time, though, they were in for a shock.

“He arrived looking eager,” said one of the commanders. “That caught our attention straight away. But when he started to speak, we were all stunned.”

The leader, who asked that his unit not be identified, said he told his men that the grinding war of attrition they had fought against the Syrian government since early 2012 was about to turn in their favour.

WNU Editor: The momentum has definitely shifted in the past few months. With the entire collapse of the country and millions of refugees .... my guess is that the neighboring states (Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc.) have made the decision to arm the rebel groups (with the exception of the Islamic State) and to end this once and for all. The only question that needs to be answered is what will Hezbollah/Iran do. For the moment Hezbollah's support is there .... With Syria's Army Losing Ground, A Boost From Hezbollah (NPR) .... and so is Iran's .... Iran is giving Syria more credit to keep Assad's war machine running (AP). But are they there for the long term .... I am now starting to have doubts.

More News On The Growing Military Pressures On The Assad Regime in Syria

ISIS and the New ‘Army of Conquest’ in Syria Are Headed for a Showdown -- Jamie Dettmer, Daily Beast
Analysis: ISIS Gains Momentum With Palmyra, Assad Squeezed on Multiple Fronts -- NBC
Syrian government ‘loses ground’ to Nusra Front and ISIL -- Euronews
Assad regime losses in Syria -- Middle East Online

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