Bashar al-Assad once envisioned Syria as a future hub of oil transport in the region – a 'four seas strategy' to connect the region's major oil players to European markets. After two and a half years of civil war, that plan appears all but lost.
Meanwhile, the Gulf states have pledged billions to the country's new government in a bid to bring back 'trusted friends' in the region.
Muslim Brotherhood ally Turkey has condemned the attacks, while Gulf monarchies, which have pledged $12 billion in support, voiced support for the military.
As talks between Israelis and Palestinians get underway, the international community has a window of opportunity to pressure an increasingly isolated Hamas to reconcile with the Palestinian Authority – a move that would help Gazans, support a peace deal, and stabilize the region.
Qatari stand-up comic Hamad al-Ameri borrows heavily from his upbringing – he grew up in Ireland – for his comedy routine.