"Their threat to bomb Assad out of Damascus was hollow – and Assad’s self-confidence blossomed. Those who hero-worshipped the original Syrian opponents of Assad (brave men indeed) are now creating a new and dark scenario for us, in which Assad has all along encouraged the Islamists – indeed allied himself to Isis – via a series of secret but mythical negotiators, and in which Assad’s army fights only its internal opponents and lets Nato bomb Isis to its heart’s content. But Assad’s army is fighting Isis – south of Qamishleh, for example, and north-east of Latakia – and its soldiers have been shot into mass graves by the black-hooded men of the “Islamic Caliphate”.
So who will win? At first, we supported the opposition and hated Assad. But now that Isis is ruling much of Syria (though few of its cities) and killing Christians and Westerners, we hate Isis even more than we hate Assad. That’s why we bomb Isis but didn’t bomb Assad. And as long as both “sides” think they can still win, the war will go on for another year or two. Or three. Which means that Assad survives. But after perhaps 300,000 dead, would that be a victory?"
***"The Islamist Ahrar al-Sham claimed rocket strikes on Slanfeh and Aramo, regime positions south of Dorin, while the FSA’s First Coastal Division said it had struck government posts in Dorin as well as Nabi Younes, the highest point in the region. A commander from the First Coastal Division—the largest FSA formation in Latakia Governorate—said in an interview that the regime had attacked the rebels’ mountain position to raise the morale of Assad supporters."