"For more than a year, much of the belt of neighborhoods and towns just south of Damascus has been a rebel bastion and a key arms conduit for the opposition. But government forces — bolstered by fighters from Lebanon's Shiite militant Hezbollah group and Shiite militants from Iraq — have made significant headway in recent weeks in the area as President Bashar Assad pushes to shore up his hold on the capital and its doorstep. The recent government advances also could give Assad's government a stronger position in proposed peace talks that the United States and Russia have been trying to convene since May. The town of Hejeira on Wednesday became the latest rebel-held suburb to fall into government hands. The SANA state news agency said the army seized control of the town, but was still battling rebels on the outskirts." abcnews
"... government forces — bolstered by fighters from Lebanon's Shiite militant Hezbollah group and Shiite militants from Iraq..."
Clausewitz thought that no peacetime regime of training and military education could ever be as effective in creating a skilful, hard fighting army as sustained and ultimately successful war.That is certainly true if the army in question survives the process.
The Syrian Army and Air Force have passed that test and are in the process of becoming something like their Hizbullah allies. They are more heavily armed but similarly adapted to the peculiar circumstances of their task and the topography of Syria.
The presence on the battlefields of Lebanese Hizbullah allies and lately of Shia militia from Iraq increases the effect when combined with the efforts of the maturing Syrian Army.
The Saudis' decades long political and now paramilitary project intended to assert Wahhabi Sunni control of the Levant appears headed for defeat. That is why Saudi Arabia is so upset with what it sees as insufficient American effort on behalf of the Syrian jihadi rebels.
The US should read the writing on the wall, and begin to back away from a policy of regime change. Why? Simple - it ain't gonna happen. pl