Even though small governing bodies have been set up in rebel-held areas, the Syrian opposition on the ground is trying to put into place a province-wide authority controlled by civilian, and not military, authorities, and has announced the creation of a 29-elected members provincial council in the battered city of Aleppo. This move has been hailed as an optimistic first step towards the laying of the foundations for a future Syrian state that will rise to power once Assad is overthrown. It is however unclear how these representative bodies will interact with the Syrian opposition in exile, which has been already recognised as a "government-in-waiting".
Tracking the events in Iraq - in the whole region, actually - might be a colossal task. Particularly so during the Summer, when it is sometimes even difficult to grasp a single headline. We all are aware about something called ISIS - or IS, as of lately - that seems to be messing around from Lebanon to Iran. A group of bearded man that scares everybody, the only ones able to force Obama to reconsider his mantra of non-intervention and to make Assad look like a harmless puppy. We've read about them, we've seen tons of maps showing their advance, we've heard rumours and conjectures. In case you've missed half of it, there go a few basic things you need to know about them. And yes, they are creepy!