Overall I think it does a good job of explaining regime moves that would otherwise make no sense and describing the regime's probable assumptions. Obviously Russian and Iran played a role in devising the strategy based. The deliberate targeting of civilians borrows directly from Putin's Chechnya Strategy. That makes Assad's allies are legitimate targets for Sunni revenge.
Here's a link to the article describing the regime's strategic assumptions, followed by my own questions regarding those assumptons:
#1. Assad Putin and Khamenei are no doubt right to assume te hat Obama will allow them to kill as many Sunni civilivans "as it takes." But Sunni neighbors won't. They can create serious problems in Syria and elsewhere—including neighboring states especially if they supply manpads.
#2: No attention is paid to economic factors. I doubt the The ultimate goal (“reducing resistence to a managable level) is possible. And so long as mass violence continues a near banenkrupt Syrian state will remain under sanctions, isolated from the world economy, derived of toursim, suffering from mass unemployment an incapable of affording reconstruction. How long can the regime survive such conditions?
#3: One assumption is not covered by the study: that the regime would continue to benefit from its covert alliance with ISIS/Al Queda and thereby disrupt and discredit the rebels. If rebels can crush ISIS quickly (which is why the regime is now openly fighting on Al Queda's side) the rebels will reap huge benefits.
#4: No allowance is made for the unreliability of a substantial portion of troops and growing morale problems among all troops, including imoported thugs. Troops are starting to balk at being sent to “hot” fronts. Alawites make up only 11 percent of Syrian’s population and in the military age group it is far smaller and they compose most reliable troops.
#5: The assumption that the regime can maintain, supply and protect inceasingly “islandized” holdouts and isolated airbases with so little reliable manpower seems especially overoptimistic. Fragmentation will continue and smaller fragments will become more vulnerable.
#6. The assumption that the rebels won’t unify has alraedy suffered a blow as they gang up on ISIS. See the next item which also undermines that assumption.
Report: REBELS MOVE TOWARD CREATING A NEW NATIONAL ARMY
A NEW ISIS POSTER SHOWS FLAGS OF ITS FIVE ENEMIES. THE ASSAD REGIME IS NOT ON THAT LIST
The enemy flags include the USA, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Ahrar Al Sham and the Islamic Front.