War monitoring groups say more than 700 government troops have been killed since late April. Syria’s government is understood to have lost hundreds of troops in a three-month battle in the northwest.
The rebels are putting up a fight, but the absence of Iranian-backed troops and challenges faced on other fronts have played a role in drawing out the conflict.
Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr reports from Beirut.
Syrian government forces backed by Russian military have not been able to break the opposition’s defensive positions after weeks of fighting.