The recent explosions that apparently destroyed a 2,000-year-old temple in the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria were yet another grim example of how the armed group calling itself the Islamic State (IS) uses conventional weapons to further its agenda.
Her lips are quavering her hands trembling. Susan (not her real name) struggles to suppress stubborn tears, but the outburst comes, spontaneously, and the tears stream down her cheeks as she sobs profusely.
As the world's spreading humanitarian crisis threatens to spill beyond the borders of Syria and Iraq into Libya and Yemen, the United Nations is already setting its sights on the first World Humanitarian Summit scheduled to take place in Istanbul next year.
When United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stood before 78 potential donors at the Bayan Palace in Kuwait Tuesday, his appeal for funds had an ominous ring to it: the Syrian people, he remarked, "are victims of the worst humanitarian crisis of our time."
A cash-strapped United Nations, which is struggling to reach out to millions of Syrian refugees with food, medicine and shelter, is desperately in need of funds.
Russia, which is at loggerheads with Washington over the spreading political crisis in Ukraine, is threatening to undermine a longstanding military relationship between the United States and one of its traditional allies in the Middle East: Egypt.
As the concept of South-South cooperation (SSC) continues to strengthen worldwide, some of the richest countries in the Arab world have been reaching out to the poor and the needy in the developing world.
As Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon grimly predicted a worsening of the monumental humanitarian disaster in war-torn Syria, the international community Wednesday pledged over 2.4 billion dollars in new funds to help the displaced and devastated in the politically-troubled Arab nation.
When Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon chairs a U.N. pledging conference next week for urgently needed aid to Syria, he is expected to warn the donor community that the humanitarian crisis in the politically-troubled Arab nation is threatening to reach biblical proportions.