What is the status of the situation in Syria?
Syria's civil war continues unabated in early 2013 amid an enduring international deadlock over how to mediate the two-year-old conflict that has killed more than sixty thousand people and displaced some seven hundred thousand more, according to the United Nations. In recent weeks, the United States and its allies have expressed heightened concern over allegations of chemical weapons being used in clashes near Aleppo. If such use is confirmed, President Obama has said it would represent a "game-changer" in U.S. involvement in the civil war. The unrest has also proved a magnet for global jihadists, including al-Qaeda-linked groups like Jabhat al-Nusra, fighting for the establishment of an Islamist state.