Crac des Chevaliers, an 11th century crusader castle in Syria which has been reclaimed by the country’s department of antiquities, having been seized by insurgents in 2012. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Syria’s department of antiquities has reclaimed the vast 11th- century crusader castle Crac des Chevaliers from the army and taken charge of the si(...)

Children playing at a makeshift settlement for Syrian refugees in Bar Elias, in the Bekaa valley. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 215,000 people have been killed since the start of the crisis in 2011, about  half of them civilians. Photograph: Jamal Saidi/Reuters

The four-year-old Syrian conflict has precipitated the world’s largest humanitarian crisis since the second World War. An estimated 200,000-220,000 ha(...)

Bakdash, a modest shop planted in the centre of 18th-century Souq al-Hamidiya in Damascus, is mobbed from morning to night

Four years of warfare, destruction, displacement and sanctions have shattered the Syrian economy. Its currency value has fallen dramatically from 55-6(...)

Syrian opposition leader Khaled Khoja speaks after a meeting in Paris earlier this month. Photograph: Guillaume Horcajuelo/EPA

Since unrest erupted in Syria in mid-March 2011, opposition figures and factions have multiplied and mutated on the political level, making common act(...)

An Islamic State loyalist in Raqqa, Syria, on June 29th, 2014. Men who live in the IS-controlled city told The Irish Times the city has “no government”. Photograph: Reuters

Passengers exhausted by their long journey sit on the kerb or lounge against the buses that have brought them to Damascus from Raqqa in north central (...)

Syrians enjoy a snack in a park in the city of Damascus. The war in Syria is entering its fifth year. Photograph: Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images

The avenues and streets of Damascus are alive with the thrum of traffic, the pavements with the tramp of feet of hundreds of thousands of Syrians who (...)

A 2001 file picture taken shows Iraqi workers cleaning a statue of winged bull at an archeological site in Nimrud, which has been levelled by Islamic State. Photograph: Karim Sahib/AFP

Archaeologists and historians the world over have expressed outrage over the levelling by Islamic State (IS) of the ancient city of Nimrud near Mosul(...)

Members of the Iraqi security forces and Shia fighters celebrate after taking control of the town of Hamrin from Islamic State militants, on Tuesday. Two of the Shia militias most feared by Sunnis are taking part in the ongoing offensive to take Tikrit. Photograph:Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters 1:15

Iraq’s offensive against Islamic State fighters holding the strategic city of Tikrit is a test for the Iraqi army, allied Shia militias, the Shia fund(...)

A Palestinian girl  carries her sister during a protest in the southern Gaza Strip calling for reconstruction of houses. Some 150,000 Gazans remain homeless. Photograph: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

The Palestine Liberation Organisation has called a meeting for early next month to discuss the future of the cash-strapped Palestinian government and(...)

At least 70 Syrian army soldiers and 86 insurgents have reportedly died in clashes during an offensive to cut off insurgent supply lines in Aleppo. Photograph: Hosam Katan/Reuters

As fighting surged north of Aleppo yesterday, United Nations envoy Staffan de Mistura said the Syrian government was prepared to suspend aerial bomba(...)