Syria’s civil war passed another dismal milestone on 6 March when a Syrian mother of two registered in Tripoli in Lebanon as the millionth refugee from Syria. The UN High Commissioner for refugees, Antonio Guterres, marked the occasion by saying that “with a million people in flight, millions more displaced internally, and thousands of people continuing to cross the border every day, Syria is spiraling towards full scale disaster.”

And, of course, the problem is not just that the flood of refugees represents a huge economic challenge to Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq – there is the ever present danger that the hostilities in Syria will exacerbate internal political fault lines in its neighbors and spill over the frontiers. This week Security Council President Vitaly Churkin noted the “very new and dangerous phenomenon” of armed groups operating in the occupied Golan Heights, and the Israelis - who on the whole have been uncharacteristically silent on the subject of Syria – warned the Council that “Israel cannot be expected to stand idle as the lives of its citizens are being put at risk by the Syrian government’s reckless actions.” (CONTINUED - 264 WORDS)