The US is already deeply worried about extremists from the Sunni branch of Islam fighting on the Syrian rebel side and the prospect that, if Assad is ousted, Syria might disintegrate into separate and warring mini-states.
This in turn could lead to the Sunnis in neighbouring Iraq deciding on an armed breakaway too for, having ruled Iraq under Saddam, they are now treated like second class citizens by their historic rivals, the Shia branch which dominates the government.
The Sunni Kurds, who effectively have their own quasi-independent state in northern Iraq, would be likely to follow…
Whatever the case, Cameron’s government is once again full of moralising outrage, raising fears that it might soon be willing to send our war-weary forces into yet another hopeless conflict in the Middle East.
Why this sectarian civil war concerns us, rather than Arab armies we regularly equip with billions of pounds worth of high-tech weaponry, remains a mystery to many British people.