[Al Akhbar] “… Turkey, is lost between proceeding in its attempt to overthrow the Assad regime without direct involvement, and between a reversal dictated by Iranian-Russian contacts to ease its tempering. Ankara is no longer sure of Assad’s ‘departure’, nor is it convinced of inevitable overthrow by force, and seemingly is resigned that extracting Aleppo from government control to make a buffer zone, is not possible. Part of that has prompted Turkish intelligence to inform a Lebanese official involved in the negotiations to release the Lebanese kidnapped in Syria: ‘Act on the basis that Aleppo in the hands of Assad!’ …..
After Assad realized that the option of Western military intervention is unlikely, as well as removing him by force, he became an actual partner on the negotiating table. The Geneva agreement of last made this a reality, and Assad’s performance in the battle field, especially in Aleppo, will provide the incentives.
Certainly, Assad, can no longer impose what he wants, but he is still strong enough to reject what others may want to impose on him…”