Whichever group thought it a good idea to grab some toeholds in Damascus over the weekend played a smart move. Rather than try to hold out against Assad's regular troops, forcing him to pin down loyal troops in parts of the capital as well as Aleppo means that he has less to deploy in problem areas throughout the country. A few more attempts like this every so often will give other groups operating in the country a bit more breathing space and could start shrinking the regime's options.
The parallels between Saddam's Iraq and Syria are very strong, and I think both the regimes share the same weaknesses. Namely that there are only so many divisions in the army whose loyalty is unquestionable, and they can only be in some parts of the country. The more the regular army is depended upon, the more likely defections and desertions will take place, so if Assad's loyal divisions can be tied down protecting key areas, then that means there are less of his fighters killing protesters or bombing towns and villages in the rest of the country. The Guardian reports:
Opposition groups, spearheaded by the irregular forces of the Free Syrian Army claim to have made a tactical withdrawal from the areas, mainly on Damascus's northen outskirts, and have vowed to mount more guerrilla-style operations as their campaign against President Bashar al-Assad's regime enters a new phase.So any expectations by some people that this was the start of a liberation for the Syrian capital were premature. Apart from the Zabadani there just aren't any areas where the Free Syrian Army can hold its ground against Assad. I use the term "army" loosely, because I share the view of many people that this isn't really a unified and disciplined fighting force, but just a band of deserters and enthusiastic volunteers who are operating independently of each other in most cases.