No End In Sight As Syria Enters A Fourth Year Of War

The outlook for a drastic change as Syria enters a fourth year of civil war appears minimal: the flames of war, which have claimed as many as 146,000 lives, will continue to burn freely.

While the victory achieved by the Syrian army and Lebanon’s Hizbollah last week at Yabroud – in Syria’s Qalamoun region in the mountainous area near the Syrian-Lebanese border – has been hailed as a major breakthrough, it is in reality but another testament to the conflict’s intractability. Yes, the regime has racked up a string of limited military successes over the past year; however, the Yabroud campaign required a month of intense fighting in order to secure a relatively minor town.

GOVERNMENT ADVANCE

Like Qusair in the first half of 2013, Yabroud is of strategic importance, as its capture helps the regime secure the porous Lebanese-Syrian border – a transit point for rebel weaponry and fighters. But Yabroud is not an oil-producing region or a major population center – the type of “victory” that could indeed alter the course of the war. (CONTINUED - 661 WORDS)