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The tempo of the violence in Syria continues to quicken as increasing amounts of weaponry are entering the country.

Sunni fundamentalist groups such as Jabhat al-Nusrah are increasingly important, boosted by support, much of it from the Gulf. Some analysts think that jihadi groups such as this are now more significant than the mainstream Free Syrian Army.

The Syrian government is receiving substantial support from Iran, often in collaboration with the Lebanese Hizballah militia, and continues to take delivery of weapons from Russia. As the rebellion becomes stronger and better-armed, the government is likely to make even more use of its air power and stock of missiles.

It is not clear yet to what extent, if any, chemical weapons have been used, despite competing claims from both sides. However, there is growing concern in Western capitals that they may have already been used.

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