Optimism springs eternal for Secretary of State John Kerry, who sees an inevitable Syrian rebel victory as the only conclusion of any news, even when it’s news of the Syrian military’s counter-offensive retaking significant territory.
Kerry is dismissing the counter-offensive as “temporary,” insisting that it was misleadingly large because of Hezbollah’s increase in troops on the ground, and predicting that the rebels would quickly regain the advantage.
Of course both government and rebels have been predicting a breakthrough moment in the civil war for over a year now, and apart from the occasional shift in territory neither side seems on the brink of defeat.
Kerry went on to allege that “several thousand” Hezbollah fighters are on the ground in Syria, dramatically more than has ever been reported. Hezbollah has confirmed having sent additional fighters to bolster the Assad government after Israel’s latest attacks, but since Hezbollah is only estimated to have about 1,000 full-time fighters overall, it is hard to imagine that they managed to muster such an overwhelming force for their involvement in a proxy war in a neighboring country.