I’ve divided Damascus into five areas below. In each case I ask the reader to ponder one question: “Within the given area which side or sides appears capable of taking an opponent’s territory and keeping it for good?” I’m not going to answer the question myself because I think my views are well known.
When you finish looking at things from that angle, do your conclusions tend to support or contradict either of the following claims commonly seen in the media: “the war is a stalemate” and “Assad has been winning since May?”
THE NORTH AND EAST (The semi-circle running composed of Idlib to Dier Ezzor).
CENTRAL SYRIA (the Homs/Hama area).
THE DAMASCUS AND SUBURBS
THE PALMYRA AREA
Now I'd like to ask a second question: "If the rebels in Qalamoun attempt to cut Damascus off from Homs and the coast by severing the Damascus/Homs road, do you think the regime can reopen the road and keep in open for long afterwards?"
In the second half of that question, keep in mind the long-term consequences of any attrition losses during any such offensive and the relative ability of each side to replace such losses..