EGYPT. The Egyptian government is facing an increasingly difficult set of economic circumstances that could raise inflationary pressures and lead to further social unrest, says a report by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services
iNTERNATIONAL. Control over Homs will enable al Assad to rapidly move forces from the north to the south to meet emerging rebel threats. It will also provide a key avenue of retreat to the Alawite coast in the event that he needs to flee Damascus.