Syria signals counteroffensive against ISIL
The Syrian army has a shrinking power base and has had several "setbacks" as the White House refers to losses to ISIL. Whether it still has the capacity to drive out ISIL is in doubt. It did not even bother to contest ISIL in Kobani where the Kurds did the heavy lifting in defeating them.
Reports say Islamic State fighters have massacred hundreds in town, whose ancient site is in jeopardy.