ASSESSMENTS

Retaking Ramadi Is Only a Small Victory

MIN READDec 28, 2015 | 21:34 GMT

(Stratfor)

Pieces are moving on the Syrian chessboard, but the game is far from decided -- on any front. In southern Aleppo province, loyalist forces are amassed in preparation for President Bashar al Assad's primary offensive. Syria's Fourth Armored Division, equipped with brand new tanks, is poised to support the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hezbollah, and foreign Shiite militias as they continue to press westward, toward rebel-held Idlib. At the same time, loyalist troops in the region are pushing eastward toward several Islamic State positions along the Euphrates River. Given their concentrated effort, the loyalist troops will likely make territorial gains throughout the region in the coming weeks, further stressing rebel forces and potentially shifting the provincial balance of power, albeit incrementally....

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