Max Weber distinguished between power and authority. Power derives from force or the threat of force. Authority is the likelihood that a command, once given, will be obeyed. Bashar al-Assad still has plenty of force. What seems apparent is that his authority throughout the country is declining daily.
Syria: The Battle for Aleppo Begins as Rebels Retreat (Juan Cole, Aug 8, 2012; accessed on Aug 9, 2012)
It appears that far too many accept the idea that power and authority are synonymous…Most simply, authority is a gift of trust and power is (a gift of) ability. How the two are obtained makes all the difference.
Power Vs. Authority (Matthew R. Lee, April 14, 2008; accessed on Aug 9, 2012)
Interesting to think about the difference between power and authority, especially as it pertains to leadership and what type of leader one wants to become.