The outlook in Syria has changed dramatically reports The Guardian:
The encirclement of Aleppo is a significant moment in a war that has led to more unrestrained savagery, international repercussions and unlikely alliances than most others in modern times. Another emerged last week, as Hezbollah and Syrian troops were beating back the al-Qaida-aligned Jabhat al-Nusra from farmlands to the north of the city. As that battle raged, the US was drafting a deal with Russia that would create a joint operations centre to coordinate attacks on al-Nusra and Islamic State.
In the eyes of the exiled political opposition and rebel fighting groups still in Syria, the political realignments mark a decisive phase in a war that they believe they can no longer win. In recent years, as Bashar al-Assad’s allies have weakened the rebels’ position, a belief endured among opposition military leaders that if they could not win the war, Assad could not either. That view has changed.