A Demand For Action's Christmas campaign has finally taken off, and it warms my heart. We're handing out Christmas presents in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. We want children to smile; children who've been forced to flee with their parents because of their religion and ethnicity. Children who have witnessed the most evil of acts.
The logic of this is clear; refugees are fleeing Bashar al-Assad, the Islamic State or both. Having experienced the extreme disruption of Syria's brutal civil war caused by the Assad regime's brutal crackdown on domestic uprisings and the subsequent exploitation of this disruption by ISIS, they are unlikely to entertain illusions about the merits of violence.
At a news conference at the United Nations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov may have been on thin ice when he defended Russian intervention on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. He pointed to the chaos that followed US targeting of other Arab autocrats like Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.
The Turkish Football Federation (TFF), in a demonstration of the inseparable ties between sports and politics, has effectively declared its support for renewed Turkish-Kurdish hostilities designed to enhance the prospects of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling party in forthcoming snap elections.
As rebel forces advance towards the mountainous Druze stronghold in Idlib province, Israel has to decide whether it should intervene in the Syrian civil war by arming the Druze while Saudi Arabia is faced with the choice between realpolitik and its religious doctrine which views the Druze as heretics.