One major significance of the battle for Maarat Al Numan is that in such a major battle the most heavily armed force, and the one with air power should win overwhelmingly.
Instead the FSA gained the victory.
It is also worth noting that the regime was unable to offer any effective tactical air support to its ground forces. While its air force is evidently effective at killing and terrorizing large numbers of civilians and creating widespread destruction, it is also clear that it is incapable of substantially affecting the course of combat on the ground. Whether this is due to a lack of aircraft or suitable weapons, poor training or inadequate coordination with ground forces is unclear to this author.
It is worth noting that this battle took place in a location that should have been advantageous for the regime, not in mountains, or wooded country, or in a large city, but along the main national highway linking Syria’s two largest cities.
This is a location in which the regime should have been able to bring massive and decisive force to bear on the rebels. Instead the regime was unable to concentrate its forces in any effective manner, and the FSA picked off and destroyed one regime element after another.
This portends catastrophe for the regime. If it cannot win battles which it should win it cannot survive.