This March will mark two years since the Syrian uprising began. While the revolt was born out of peaceful demonstrations, in recent months it has slipped into a state of ongoing and escalating violence.
To date, more than 40,000 people have been killed. The violence has also grown increasingly barbaric and public, with execution videos circulating the web and pro-government TV.
Ultimately, the situation in Syria is looking more and more like what occurred in Iraq nine years ago.
Patrick Cockburn is a veteran war correspondent currently reporting for The Independent.