Analysts say at least 10 countries other than Syria are under threat of being turned into bloodbaths in 2013. This list of actual or potential hotspots includes five countries in Africa - Sudan, Mali, Nigeria, Congo and Kenya - and several countries in the Greater Middle East.

The worst case is of course Syria.

Professor Pavel Zolotarev is Deputy Director of the United States and Canada Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences:
"The plans by Western powers and their Arab allies to have the Assad regime quickly toppled have suffered complete frustration. This, together with a situation in which crisis developments in Europe and the US limit possibilities for direct outside intervention, makes the Syrian conflict an open-ended nightmare. Among other things, no one knows how the Syrian conflict is going to play out in the aspect of the West's ongoing nuclear dispute with Iran."
In Lebanon, it is already playing out. According to the Foreign Policy magazine, the Sunni-Shia conflict in Syria is drawing the Shias and Sunnis of Lebanon into its orbit.

The Sunni-Shia confrontation is also worsening in Iraq, where the Shia-dominated government of Nouri Al-Maliki tends to side with Iran in that country's stand-off with the Sunni-dominated Arab monarchies, the US and Turkey.

We also have an opinion from Russian military analyst Dr Alexander Goltz:
"Syria, Israel, Palestine and Iran are far from all areas that are likely to see conflict in 2013. As NATO's pullback from Afghanistan gathers pace, the increasingly assertive Afghan Taliban will certainly try to take its campaign to former Soviet Central Asia."
Already, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are at odds over their allegiances, transport corridors, trade and water resources. Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are being racked by ethnic strife.

Back in November, head of the post-Soviet Collective Treaty Organization Nikolai Bordiuzha spoke about joint action plans to stem the spread of instability from Afghanistan.