“When Assad says he will take back every inch of Syrian soil, we should believe he means it,” one Syria expert said.
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President Bashar Assad's path to a final victory in the war in Syria is strewn with diplomatic land mines that will complicate his attempt to recover "every inch" of the country and may leave big areas out of his grasp indefinitely. Assad's advances have accelerated this year in the conflict that began in 2011 . Rebels who once reduced Assad's control to a small fraction of Syria now pose no military threat to his rule. Assad has flagged his next target: the rebel-held Idlib province.President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been pressing Russian President Vladimir Putin to make sure that does not happen.Such proposals – including that rebels be reorganized into a "national army" – are likely to be anathema to Assad.Despite this, a source in the regional alliance that fights in support of Assad thought an imminent Idlib assault unlikely.
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