Rafik Hariri Center Senior Fellow Frederic Hof is quoted by Christian Science Monitor on the Assad regime’s recent battlefield successes:
“I think the war that matters for him [Assad] is the war for western Syria, and with Iranian and Russian help he’s doing quite well. For Iran, the key is to maintain and improve a logistical bridge to Hezbollah in Lebanon,” says Frederic Hof, resident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and former State Department special adviser for transition in Syria.
“It may well be that the war Iran is interested in pursuing – the one that secures for itself and its Syrian vassal that part of Syria important to Iran – is the war Assad thinks may be over by the year’s end,” says Mr. Hof. “I’m not sure that Assad would want to expend the time or effort to reconquer those parts of Syria whose inhabitants he largely holds in contempt.”