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There were contradictory statements this week as to whether Hezbollah would proceed with an offensive in Qalamoun.The reversals completely altered the stakes for Hezbollah, and for the Syrian army whose role would be essential in a battle for Qalamoun.Corruption is rampant in the Syrian ranks and as the tide turns in Syria this is bound to increase as units begin preparing for a future without Bashar Assad. Such hopelessness could facilitate rebel efforts to buy their way through Syrian lines to Qalamoun, possibly creating a situation where Hezbollah will send its men into a meat grinder.That is why if an offensive doesn't take place in the coming weeks, it is not because justification for it is lacking; it will be because Hezbollah and Syria's army are unable to triumph decisively.And if that's the case then the limits of Iran and Hezbollah's effectiveness in Syria will be visible, and therefore their ability to keep Assad in place will be reduced. But to admit this will be difficult for some in Iran, which is why Hezbollah will have a role in determining what decision Iran ultimately takes with regard to the Syrian conflict. A nuclear deal might loosen up funds to bolster Assad in Syria, but all that would do is delay his end, so decayed are the Syrian regime and army.
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