Map showing proximity of a Baath Party headquarters, seized by insurgents on Thursday, and a regime base suspected of holding chemical weapons
With the insurgents on the advance, and the international community ratcheting up pressure on the Assad regime, time is running out to find ways to end the crisis quickly and with as little bloodshed and instability as possible.
What are the options? A partial no-fly zone, a larger no-fly zone, or a military bluff are among them. But this is the overriding point: if the US does decide to act, it best do so soon.