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Syria army can conduct successful operations at will: Germany’s BND

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Germany’s foreign intelligence agency says the Syrian army is capable of conducting successful operations against the foreign-backed militants ‘at will,’ a report says.

Gerhard Schindler, the head of Germany’s Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), told security officials that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is now more stable than it has been in a long time, German news website Spiegel Online reported on Wednesday.

The new assessment is a fundamental reversal from last summer, when the BND predicted that the Syrian government would collapse by early 2013.

According to the report, the German agency currently believes that the foreign-sponsored militant groups in Syria, which include several al-Qaeda-affiliated groups, are facing extreme difficulties in the battle.

Over the past few days, Syrian security forces have inflicted major losses on the militants in the strategic western city of Qusayr, which has been the scene of fierce clashes between the two sides.

On May 21, the senior commander of the terrorist group al-Nusra Front, Abu Omar, along with scores of other militants were killed in clashes with Syrian soldiers.

Schindler also told German security officials that different armed groups in Syria were fighting with each other to gain supremacy in certain regions.

There is no functional chain of command between the leaders of the foreign-backed Syrian opposition and its armed elements inside the country, the BND head stated, adding that each new battle weakens the militants further.

Schindler said the Syrian army could regain control of the entire south of the country by the end of 2013 if the conflict continues as it has over the past weeks.

According to the BND chief, the Syrian army has managed to cut supply lines for weapons and evacuation routes for wounded militants to neighboring countries.

Unrest has gripped Syria for over two years and many people, including large numbers of Syrian security personnel, have been killed in the turmoil.

President Assad said on Thursday, “Syria is determined to tackle terrorism and those who support it regionally and globally, and to find a political solution to the crisis.”

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