(CNN) -

Each day, they live in fear.

Sometimes it's the fear of rockets dropping from the sky. Sometimes it's violent fundamentalists taking over their cities. Sometimes it's the barrel bombs stuffed with TNT and nails.

Exactly what horror they face depends on which border they live within.

Syria, Iraq, Gaza, Israel and Libya.

Each with its unique crisis, but all now unified in a heightened sense of anxiety as years of conflict come to a head.

"I would argue," U.S. Sen. John McCain said this week, "that given conditions in the Middle East, this might be more dangerous than any time in the past."

Here's where the crises stand:

SYRIA

Al-Assad wins ... again

With carnage mounting every day across the country, it's hard to find reason to celebrate in Syria.

And yet President Bashar al-Assad and his supporters find a way. On Wednesday, al-Assad was sworn in for his third term.

It's an outcome pretty much everyone expected -- not because he is popularly adored, but because his family has ruled Syria since 1971. And no real contender ran against him.

Three years of civil war have left much of the country in shambles. While regime helicopters drop barrel bombs on opposition neighborhoods, dissidents say, the government maintains its stance that it's only fighting terrorists.

As if the civil war wasn't enough, the radical Sunni group Islamic State in Iraq in Syria is using this opportunity to carve its own swath of territory from the Iraq border to deep inside Syria.

The United Nations says more than 150,000 people have been killed in the past three years. But at this point, many have stopped counting.

"No one is winning; no one can win," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. "Even if one side were to prevail in the short term, the devastating toll will have sown the seeds of future conflict."

Why we should care:

For Americans thinking the Syrian crisis doesn't hit home, think again.

U.S. intelligence and law enforcement have dozens of investigations under way, tracking Americans who traveled to Syria to join the fight.

"The FBI and other members of the intelligence community have made this a top priority and are taking whatever steps they can under the law to monitor and prevent those coming back from doing us harm," Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said.