Divisions in rebel ranks and more committed loyalist fighters are helping the Syrian regime notch up military victories that would give it the upper hand at peace talks, analysts and rebels say.

The army’s capture this week of the strategic town of Qara, north of Damascus, followed three days of fighting against Al-Nusra Front jihadists.

It comes after a series of government advances in Damascus province and southwest of Aleppo, in northern Syria.  […]