Robert S. Ford, US Ambassador to Syria from 2010 to 2014, at the Middle East Institute:
Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria did not have a good winter. His forces lost a provincial capital, Idlib, and despite repeated efforts could not even seize northern and eastern suburbs adjoining Damascus. There were also failures in Aleppo and Dara‘a. He had to relieve heads of two of the regime's four secret police services. The economic situation worsened.
These events are not surprising. Despite constant Western media assessments that Assad’s situation is secure, the reality is that the Syrian war is one of attrition, and minority regimes usually do not fare well in prolonged wars of attrition.
The Assad regime still enjoys some military advantages and support from Iran and Russia, which helps to prolong the conflict. Yet some recent developments may in fact be indicators of the beginning of the end.