Russian president Vladimir Putin and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad entering a hall during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow. Photograph: Alexey Druzhinyn/Ria Novosti/Pool

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s priority is to defeat “terrorists” before holding elections, but he is ready to call parliamentary and presidential(...)

 Palestinians wait for food supplies in the  Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, Syria. Islamic State has taken control of 90 per cent of the camp, according to monitoring groups. File photograph: Sana/EPA.

Islamic State has taken control of 90 per cent of a Palestinian refugee camp on the Damascus outskirts where 18,000 civilians have suffered years of b(...)

Syria’s deputy foreign minister Faisal al-Miqdad (C) speaks to the media in Damascus today. Photograph: SANA/Handout via Reuters.

Syria has missed a deadline to hand over all the toxic materials it declared to the world’s chemical weapons watchdog. The delay puts the programme se(...)

Tribal fighters gesture after deploying themselves on the streets of Ramadi yesterday. In a statement on state television, Iraq’s prime minister Nuri al-Maliki called on tribal leaders to drive out militants who last week seized key towns in the desert leading to the Syrian border. Photograph: Ali al-Mashhadani/Reuters

Iraq’s prime minister has appealed to the residents of the besieged city of Falluja to expel al-Qaeda-linked insurgents, who have seized control of(...)

A UN chemical weapons expert, wearing a gas mask, holds a plastic bag yesterday containing samples from one of the sites of an alleged chemical weapons attack in the Ain Tarma neighbourhood of Damascus. Photograph: Mohamed Abdullah/Reuters

UN experts completed a third day of inspections in the eastern Ghouta region near Damascus yesterday, seeking evidence of chemical weapons attacks, as(...)

A UN chemical weapons expert (right) gathers evidence at one of the sites of an alleged poison gas attack in the southwestern Damascus suburb of Mouadamiya yesterday.  Photograph: Ahmad Alshami/Reuters

UN experts yesterday visited the besieged western Damascus suburb of Mouadamiya, allegedly targeted with chemical weapons last week, and began taking (...)

A man stands in a damaged street filled with rubble in Deir al-Zor. Photograph: Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

About 30 fighters from the Lebanese militant group Hizbullah and 20 Syrian soldiers and militiamen loyal to president Bashar al-Assad have been(...)

Forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad engage in an operation to push rebels from the road between the al-Safira area and  Aleppo International Airport yesterday. Photograph: George Ourfalian

Concern mounted yesterday over two kidnapped bishops from Aleppo after reports of their release were contradicted. Bishop Boulos Yazgi o(...)

Syrian army soldiers  prepare for an offensive in Aleppo’s Liramoun area yesterday. Photograph: George Ourfalian/Reuters

The Group of Eight foreign ministers meeting in London yesterday continued to disagree over Syria, calling for greater humanitarian aid for the(...)