It's not the Al Qaeda resurgence, Sunni-Shiite fault line narrative you've been hearing.
The coming peace talks in Geneva provide hope for setting lines for a cease-fire in Syria. To draw those lines, three separate homelands must be created, with input by outside powers. Some will say this is impossible. Not so.
A multilateral effort to destroy the Syrian government's chemical arsenal cleared its first hurdle after missing year-end deadline.
Iran turned down a limited US invitation to the Syria peace conference, but the two have an increasingly common interest in stemming the rise of Sunni militancy in places like Iraq.
The US promised to support Iraq's fight to oust Al Qaeda fighters from occupied cities in Anbar Province – but no boots on the ground. Iran has also offered support.