"... That momentum has now been reversed.In recent weeks, rebel groups have been killing one another with increasing ferocity, losing ground on the battlefield and alienating the very citizens they say they want to liberate. At the same time, the United States and other Western powers that have called for Mr. Assad to step down have shown new reluctance to provide the rebels with badly needed weapons...
“If the revolution continues like this, the people will revolt against us,” said a rebel commander from the central city of Homs, where Mr. Assad’s forces have made gains in recent days....“If a regular Syrian comes and asks me what we have given him, I don’t know what to say,” Ahmed said.
Throughout the more than two years of fighting, the military prowess on both sides has been heavily linked to the reliability of their international backers. Mr. Assad has received continuous military and financial support from Russia and Iran as well as added muscle on the battlefield from Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group and political party. While he has come to rely more heavily on local militias, the clear command structure of the army and Mr. Assad’s status as a unifying figurehead have kept his forces together.
Meanwhile, the many rebel groups have had to compete for irregular bursts of support from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and a range of private funders, each with its own ideological interests. This has exacerbated tensions among the rebel groups, as a win for one is seen as a loss for others. .."