Children living in the Syrian city of Aleppo watch the sky. Not for signs of winter's approach, although the cold winds are already blowing, but for the barrel bombs, mortars and shellfire they know will not distinguish between military targets and their families' homes.
Last week, the news broke that Russian aircraft will commence patrolling the skies over the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. Washington reacted mildly to Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu's announcement. The U.S. State Department questioned Moscow's rationale for operating off North American coastlines while insisting that such flights "must be consistent with international law and conducted with due regard for the rights of other nations and the safety of other aircraft and of vessels."
The black flag of ISIS flies over government buildings. Police cars carry the group's insignia. The local football stadium is used for public executions. A town in Syria or Iraq? No. A city on the coast of the Mediterranean, in Libya.
Like a wounded animal lashing out in fury, ISIS is betraying hints of desperation in its latest video, which purportedly shows the aftermath of the beheading of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig, analysts say.