The Syrian government says it has come through worse phases in the four-year-old conflict than the latest advances by insurgents across the country and is confident its army can hit back with the help of its allies.

Western officials believe losses in recent months by President Bashar al-Assad’s government could signal a shift in momentum after a long period of stalemate in the four-year-old conflict.

Assad’s government has lost ground in recent months both to Islamic State fighters that are being targeted by U.S.-led air strikes and to other insurgents, some of which are supported by Arab allies of the West. […]