A man believed to be the hijacker of the EgyptAir Airbus 320 leaves the plane  before surrendering to security forces after a seven-hour standoff at Larnaca airport, Cyprus. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

A hijacker claiming he was wearing a suicide belt on Tuesday diverted an EgyptAir passenger jet to Larnaca International Airport in Cyprus where, aft(...)

Part of Palmyra city yesterday, after government troops recaptured the world heritage site. Photograph: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

The recapture of Palmyra by the Syrian army, bolstered by Russian air power and Hizbullah ground forces, is a significant strategic, moral, psychologi(...)

An Islamic State fighter fires a weapon in this still image taken from a video said to be taken on the outskirts of Palmyra. Photograph: Reuters

By bombing Brussels this week and Paris last November, while suffering strategic setbacks in Syria and Iraq, Islamic State is both lashing out against(...)

Supporters of the Syrian opposition protest during a rally in Geneva on March 19th to commemorate the fifth year of the Syrian war. Photograph: Salvartore Di Nolfi/EPA

The Syrian National Coalition (SNC), founded in mid-2011, has the backing of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the US and Europe. All fund its largely successful (...)

UN mediator Staffan de Mistura: tasked with finding a formula both sides can accept. Photograph: Philippe Desmazes/Getty Images

At the end of the first week of Syrian talks, Damascus and the main Syrian opposition coalition remain trapped in positions which will have to be aba(...)

UN mediator Staffan de Mistura (centre) heads to a meeting with the High Negotiations Committee  during Syria peace talks at the United Nations in Geneva. Photograph: Denis Balibouse/AFP/Getty Images

The Syrian government and opposition, on Thursday, rejected the declaration by the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union party of a federal region in Kurdis(...)

The Syrian government’s head of delegation, Bashar al-Jaafari, arriving for a meeting with UN mediator for Syria Staffan de Mistura at the UN’s European headquarters in Geneva on Wednesday. Photograph:  Denis Balibouse/Reuters

UN mediator Staffan de Mistura has held his second meeting with the government delegation to the Syrian peace talks and begun discussions with represe(...)

United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon:  he marked the fifth anniversary of the Syrian conflict by calling for its end. Photograph: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon marked the fifth anniversary of the Syrian conflict, which has left 250,000 dead and displaced half the country’s 23(...)

 Russian president Vladimir Putin : Moscow has been the main political and military power broker on the Syrian scene based on the 9,000 sorties its war planes have flown against anti-government insurgents. Photograph: Maxim Shipenkov/EPA

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s announcement that he plans to pull his military aircraft and troops out of Syria has had an instant impact on both(...)

Russian president  Putin  with his  minister of foreign affairs Sergey Lavrov  in the Kremlin, Moscow. Photograph: Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool/EPA

Russian president Vladimir Putin yesterday shocked unsuspecting UN diplomats and teams of negotiators launching the Syrian peace talks in Geneva by an(...)