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At one point, Syria’s regime change appeared to be a foregone conclusion, but not so fast. Disjointed rebel factions coupled by international waffling has led to a dramatic reversal.

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.

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At one point, Syria's regime change appeared to be a foregone conclusion, but not so…