Syria is at the nexus of some of the Middle East's most central problems, meaning that fallout from its uprising is likely to ripple, in unpredictable ways, through the region. Here's a brief guide to the actors in the conflict.
In the twisted calculus of today's presidential election, President Bashar al-Assad will claim legitimacy by getting a smaller percentage of the vote than in years past.
Peace talks to end Syria's civil war promise to be at least as irrelevant as previous editions.
The US has promised to do a lot more to help Syria's rebellion against the government of Bashar al-Assad, but is stopping well short of the kind of aid that might prove decisive.