In this 2010 file photo, Syria president Bashar al-Assad addresses reporters following his meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France. Photograph: AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere

Over the past two years, Bashar al-Assad has lost control of two-thirds of Syria. Last spring, Islamists took over most of the northwestern province o(...)

Residents inspect a site damaged by what activists said was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad. Photograph: Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Syrian government forces used newly delivered Russian warplanes to bombard Islamic State insurgents in Aleppo province in northern Syria, a group moni(...)

Woman and child on a platform in Berlin’s Schoenefeld station after emerging from a special train coming from Munich. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Jamil and his family arrived in Munich at night, jaded in body and confused in spirit. “We had mixed feelings,” he says. “We could not believe we rea(...)

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron  meets Syrian refugee families at a tented settlement camp in the Bekaa Valley on the Lebanese-Syrian border on September 14th. Photograph: STEFAN ROUSSEAU/AFP/Getty Images

The sandstorm that hit Lebanon recently smothered Beirut in swathes of choking red dust. Scarves covered people’s noses and mouths. With the air hazy (...)

A general view shows the Temple of Bel in the historical city of Palmyra, Syria in October, 2010. Photograph: Omar Sanadiki/Reuters

While residents in the historic city of Palmyra reported a massive explosion in its ancient ruins, the temple of Bel – one of Syria’s most prized trea(...)

Residents cover their noses as they walk past garbage piled up along a street in Beirut, Lebanon, on Wednesday. Photograph:  Mohamed Azakir/Reuters

Six ministers representing the Shia Hizbullah party and three Christian allies on Thursday boycotted an urgent session of the Lebanese government, (...)

Beirut has started to reek as uncollected trash piles up in the streets after protesters shut down Lebanon’s largest landfill at a time of political paralysis. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Protests sparked by a rubbish collection crisis in Lebanon have been postponed after demonstrators and police officers were injured in clashes. Organi(...)

Islamic State militants bulldozing the St Eliane Monastery near the town of Qaryatain. Photograph: Islamic State militant website via AP

Islamic State militants have demolished a monastery in the central Syrian province of Homs, a monitor said on Thursday, in a strategically located tow(...)

 Lebanese Salafist leader Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir: radical cleric tried to flee Beirut in disguise. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Gone was the long, scraggly beard of the fugitive sheikh’s heyday, replaced with the bushy moustache, thick glasses and combover of a 70s actor. Ahmad(...)

The wreckage of  Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. Photograph: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Australia, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Belgium and Ukraine have pledged to seek an alternative means of bringing to justice those who shot down Malaysi(...)