A picture of Syrian President Bashar Assad is seen near a Syrian opposition flag in Aleppo's Bustan al-Basha district, in Syria December 3, 2013. REUTERS/Molhem Barakat
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Syria's war is reaching a point where President Bashar Assad will not be able to win back much more territory without risking conflicts with foreign powers that have sent military forces to the country.It has used force to defend the territory from pro-Assad forces.In the southwest, where rebels hold territory at the Israeli and Jordanian border, Assad faces the risk of conflict with Israel, which wants his Iranian-backed allies kept well away from the frontier and has mounted airstrikes in Syria.Reflecting confidence in Damascus, first lady Asma Assad, has stepped back into public life. She has visited special needs children and accompanied Assad to meet the wounded. Many Syria analysts say that for Russia there is no dependable alternative to Assad.At its weakest point in 2015, the Syrian state held less than a fifth of Syria. A commander in the military alliance fighting in support of Assad said Israeli demands for a "buffer zone" stretching from the Golan frontier into Syria were unacceptable.
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