The burned control tower at the Syrian government forces’ Tadmur airbase captured by ISIS in Homs province.
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Steady advances by insurgents on key fronts in Syria mean President Bashar Assad is under more military pressure than at any point in the 4-year-old war.Losses in the north, east and south to groups including Al-Qaeda's Syrian arm and ISIS may test Assad's hold over western parts of the country that are the most crucial to his survival.Assad still controls areas in more far-flung parts of Syria, but these are dwindling in number.Sources familiar with the government's thinking say Assad is confident about standing his ground: Extra support is expected from Iran, his strongest ally, which said Tuesday it would continue to stand by Syria. Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran, is more widely deployed in Syria than ever.Assad has also lost Iraqi Shiite militiamen who had been fighting alongside Syrian forces.ISIS' capture of the city and its UNESCO World Heritage site should encourage Washington to review its Syria policy, would make U.S.-allied Jordan take greater notice of the ISIS threat, and force Iraq to cooperate more with Syria, he said, reflecting the view in Damascus.
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