ISIS continues to push its offensive in both Iraq and Syria, and having taken materially all of the territory held by other rebel factions, are finding themselves increasingly challenging the Syrian military for control over theirs.
ISIS has successfully taken several military bases in the east, and is pushing to take more, though they have been stalled in some cases. The losses are mounting, and people in Damascus are increasingly pushing the military to do more to reverse the momentum.
The push now is for Assad to launch even more airstrikes against ISIS-held territory in the east, even though by and large those airstrikes have not been particularly effective, and have been causing a lot of civilian deaths.
Anger seems particularly directed at the defense minister, who is accused of keeping his family safe in Damascus while leaving soldiers in the eastern bases to their own devices in trying to resist the growing ISIS push.
For a long time, ISIS’ tendency to attack other rebels was seen as useful for the Syrian military, as it kept the rebellion divided. With ISIS having shaken out most of its other rivals, however, they are now starting down a major ISIS army, loaded for bear with American weapons, and looking to take more and more of Syria.