CNN, David Aaron Miller:

(CNN)The Syrian civil war is by no means over, but this year will bring a decisive turn in the conflict that may reduce the overall level of violence and fundamentally -- and perhaps for some time to come -- change the balance of power on the ground. 

Indeed, the Assad regime may not be able to reunite the country nor regain international legitimacy. But more than likely what was once unimaginable: Assad's outlasting of his domestic -- and international adversaries -- has now come to pass. 
And in one of the cruelest ironies of all, 2017 will also demonstrate the overturning of all the Obama administration's assumptions about Syria and perhaps open the door for the Trump administration to take advantage of the new realities.
Indeed, in the cruel and unforgiving world of political transitions, one President's misfortune may well turn out to be another's opportunity.

Go to link