Assad's fragmenting military in Syria
Dec.13, Aleppo: The pendulum swing of military advantage in Syria is well-illustrated by the contrasting fortunes of the Syrian government forces in Aleppo and Palmyra.
In Aleppo the pro-regime offensive is continuing to squeeze rebel fighters into a smaller and smaller sector of the eastern part of the city.
Most commentators believe it is only a matter of time before the rebels lose their foot-hold entirely; either due to a final government offensive or through some kind of negotiated withdrawal to try to bring a respite to the remaining civilians there.
But in Palmyra, far to the south-east of Aleppo, it is so-called Islamic State that is on the offensive.
Over the weekend a force of some 4,000 fighters retook the city centre despite significant efforts by Russian air power to forestall their advance.
The Oslo Times International News Network