"Battlefield realities rather than great power politics will determine the ultimate terms of a settlement to end the Syrian Civil War. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies in Russia and Iran have internalized this basic principle even as Washington and other Western capitals pinned their hopes upon UN-sponsored Geneva Talks, which faltered only two days after they began on February 1, 2016. Russian airpower and Iranian manpower have brought President Assad within five miles of completing the encirclement of Aleppo City, the largest urban center in Syria and an opposition stronghold since 2012. The current campaign has already surpassed the high-water mark set by the regime’s previous failed attempt to besiege Aleppo City in early 2015. The full encirclement of Aleppo City would fuel a humanitarian catastrophe, shatter opposition morale, fundamentally challenge Turkish strategic ambitions, and deny the opposition its most valuable bargaining chip before the international community." Institute for the Study of War (ISW)
The mark of good military intelligence analysis is that it is ALWAYS reality based, and not ideologically based. I must say that I do not think there will be a "settlement to end the Syrian Civil War," if by that is meant a negotiated diplomatic settlement among the warring parties. IMO there will be a clear victory for R+6. After that there will be an internal political settlement to sort out various issues among Syria's governmental factions.
The most important thing that we should all learn from the Syrian "classroom" is that war is not generational. Its various forms exist and have always existed simultaneously. The R+6 campaign in western Syria is essentially what is "shorthanded" as conventional war.
The hard learned Principles of War still apply and will still apply when humans are fighting off planet some day. pl