Analysis: Syrian rebels gaining ground

As the UN Supervision Mission in Syria ceases its activities, there are indications that the Syrian rebels are beginning to gain the upper hand against President Bashar Assad’s regime. The rebels have scored notable achievements against government forces in recent days. There are corresponding signs of growing demoralization among regime troops, and among those sections of the population still supporting Assad.

The advantage in the civil war in Syria has ebbed and flowed. The rebels began to establish “liberated zones” in parts of the country around last October. In late February, the regime launched a determined, bloody counterattack to reconquer these areas, and largely achieved this in time for the “cease-fire” of April 10. With the cease-fire now in tatters, the indications are that the momentum of the insurgency has picked up again, and is now driving forward against the regime’s forces…

It noted a conviction spreading among many of Assad’s officers that the rebels must prevail in the end, through sheer force of numbers. Officers quoted similarly acknowledged that the rebel forces were larger and more organized than they had expected. They dismissed the notion that the insurgents consisted merely of “gangs,” as regime propaganda maintains.