Syria has been facing disaster - humanitarian and military - for three blood-soaked years. A recent event has rocked this already volatile region, and deepened the divisions within all sections of society, increasing the chance that this war will be even longer and bloodier than first thought. The Islamists are coming, and this represents an even stronger reason for the West to intervene.
Feeling quite nostalgic? Feel like we have been here before? You should. In the past few days, a divided US Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved an authorization of a military intervention against the Syrian government, creating a mixture of showdowns as exciting as the new series of the X Factor.
The military cooperation agreements announced last month with Algeria and Libya are part of UK 'energy diplomacy' aimed at securing access to strategic resources in North Africa. Both countries are identified in the UK Energy Security Strategy as producers of gas and oil which are important trading partners and hence countries which are important to the UK's energy security.