It was not too long ago the Western media was predicting imminent collapse for the Assad regime. However, over the last little while however small the victories have been they have begun adding up for the Syrian president. It now appears according to a report from the German secret intelligence that Assad will regain the entirety of the south of the country this year. I wouldn't be surprised if they collapse even faster than that as morale is apparently collapsing there.
I made this prediction as part of my predictions for 2013, that the rebels will be crushed. I have never understood how anyone thought that without intervention the rebels would crush this regime. Syria never has been, or ever was comparable to Egypt or Libya, the former had a dictatorship that could not take overwhelmingly strong steps against opponents or risk alienating the U.S., and in the latter Gaddaffi had spent a good part of the last two decades in power dismantling his own military. Syria not only has a major military, but it is propped up by other foreign powers. Assad has apparently also studied his history and foreign politics well, he knows that if a regime comes out swinging, and with organization the chance for successful revolution becomes very slim, I am also convinced he understands that after Iraq there is very little appetite in the Western public for intervention in another Middle Eastern country, especially one that threatens to degenerate into another Iraq. I am sure much of Obama's bluster is simply to try to quell the war hawks in Washington, although he has absolutely no intention to do anything about Syria (or Iran for that matter). Unfortunately for our war-loving Republicans, they have little to no support in the American public to go through with this intervention they so want, and I think their continued calls for intervention in other countries is part of the reason their support is so low - the American public is not stupid, they know how much this will cost and they are unwilling to do a war with such a bad economy.
The rebels have absolutely failed to win world-wide sympathy, unlike in Libya where there was a relatively centralized resistance, with heads that could be considered moderate and even pro-Western. Syria has no organization, and there are factions being accused of atrocities or associated with al-Qaeda. This does nothing but make the Western public even less willing to go into this country. I believe now that the damage is done any no new public relations campaign by the rebels will help them, the Western public already sees these guys as no friend of theirs and will not allow their government to do anything more than covert assistance.
Frankly, I think this war has gotten to the point where Assad could gas the rebels out of existence with a major chemical weapons blitz and end the war without much fear or repercussion. The politics simply do not favor the rebels. Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey who have been feeding weapons and funds to the rebels have done nothing by damage their own legitimacy with the Muslim mainstream and have in fact probably destabilized their own regimes. I could see Iran taking advantage of this to try and restart uprising in Bahrain, as I think Iran is beginning to think that Assad will outright win the war, and it can begin getting back to it's pre-Arab Spring agenda of expanding it's influence. With which ousting the Bahraini monarchy, and the American fleet stationed there as it's top priority, and increasing it's influence over Iraq and it's oil fields.
Think I'm on target with my prediction, or totally off?