“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."
The Syrian Army confirmed fighting in the area, but claimed only to have killed 25 rebels, not specifying who they were or admitting to any territorial losses in the incident. Jazal had already been shut down because of the proximity of ISIS forces.
For a once massive oil-exporter, this is just the latest in a string of major losses, which has left them with only a fraction of the country’s territory, and with very limited energy resources, a problem which makes their ongoing civil war look all the worse.
Making matters even more grim for Syrian forces, the loss of Jazal puts ISIS even closer to the nation’s major natural gas field, and adds to concerns that ISIS could be putting the military on the brink of collapse with their recent territory losses.