Mainstream rebels in southern Syria say foreign states have stepped up weapons supplies to them since Damascus launched an offensive early last month to regain the frontier zone near Jordan and Israel.

This suggests President Bashar al-Assad’s Arab and Western enemies want to help preserve the last major foothold of what they call the moderate opposition, although the rebels say the equipment still falls short of their needs.

The Syrian army backed by allied militia including the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah are trying to regain territory which is vitally important to Assad and his allies in Iran; both attach great importance to the struggle with Israel, which borders Syria to the southwest. […]