Another outstanding report from the ISW:
This report examines the increasing effectiveness of Syria’s armed opposition, explains how responsible provincial-level military structures have emerged, and considers how uncoordinated external support could compound existing fractures within the opposition. Syria’s maturing insurgency has begun to carve out its own de facto safe zones around Homs city, in northern Hama, and in the Idlib countryside. The Assad regime seized key urban centers in Damascus, Homs, and Idlib during offensives in February and March 2012. However, the rebels successfully withdrew into the countryside, where they operate with impunity. As of June 2012, the opposition controls large swaths of Syria’s northern and central countryside.