War turning 'fast' against Assad regime as Syrian rebels make 'significant' advances: Editorial
Syrian rebels are making significant advances in their battle against government forces, and the war is turning fast against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, an expert has said.
According to an editorial in the Washington Post, significant advances by the Syrian rebels is raising new questions about Assad's ability to hold on to power and adding urgency to the quest by the international community for a unified and effective political opposition that could take control should his regime collapse.
The fighting is piecemeal, intense and likely to persist for many more months as regime troops and rebel fighters battle it out town by town and base by base across the vast swaths of the country that are being contested, the Post said.
But no longer is it possible to describe the war in Syria as a stalemate, said Jeffrey White, a defense fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
According to the paper, White said that the pace of rebel gains in recent weeks raises the prospect that a collapse of government forces could come sooner than has been expected.
"The war is turning against the regime, and it's turning at a faster rate than we had seen before," the paper quoted him, as saying.
"There's a reasonable chance there will be some kind of breaking point, and the regime will collapse in a hurry. It's not probable, but it's possible, and then the guys with the guns will be in charge," he added.
According to the Post, in the past week, the rebels have seized five important military facilities in the north, the east and near the capital, Damascus, capturing sizable quantities of weaponry, further isolating remaining government positions and freeing opposition fighters to focus on attacking Assad's forces.
The paper pointed out that the gains underscore the steadily growing effectiveness of the rebel force and the accelerating erosion of what had once been one of the region's most powerful armies.