In this article by Michael Dempsey, via War on the Rocks, he provides an update of current operations within the southwest of Syria, including an overview of the success of President Assad’s forces against the rebels and an assessment of his further intentions.
The author firstly discusses Assad’s offensive, notably the cost on civilians: there has been a high cost of lives lost coupled with displacements numbering 320,000. He then assesses that the war will next focus on the northwestern province of Idlib, an area where the most extreme al-Qaeda and Islamic State fighters are located.
Michael highlights that the war will continue in Syria and that a combination of several factors are required to resolve it, including a final agreement by the USA and its allies on Assad’s fate. The USA will also need to maintain influence in eastern Syria to combat jihadists and protect their Kurdish allies, and finally, humanitarian aid will be required to build communities. He raises several considerations for the west to ponder to prevent setting preconditions for future conflict.