Children queue for water in the northwestern Syrian city of Ariha, in Idlib province, on Tuesday, after a coalition of insurgent groups seized the area. Syria has seen an increased flow of weapons and funds and an influx of fighters to insurgent and jihadi groups. Photogaph:  Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

In early March, the Syrian regime was on the offensive and had retaken territory lost to insurgents. Reasonable prospects existed for dialogue between(...)

Iraqi families, who fled the city of Ramadi after it was seized by Islamic State , gather during a sand storm at a camp. Photograph: Getty Images

A convoy of Shia Muslim militia and Iraqi army forces set out from a base near Ramadi on Saturday to advance on areas held by Islamic State, a Shia sp(...)

A  gathering in solidarity with the Palestinians living in Syria’s Yarmouk camp outside Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) headquarters  in the West Bank.  Some civilians have been evacuated from the camp following Islamic State gains in Yarmouk. Photograph: Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images

Some civilians were evacuated from a Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus, the United Nations said, fleeing an advance by Islamic S(...)

File photograph showing the Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk in the Syrian capital Damascus. Witnesses say Islamic State militants have taken control of large parts of the camp. File photograph:  Carole Al-Farah/AFP/Getty Images

Fighters proclaiming allegiance to Islamic State seized most of a vast camp for Palestinian refugees on the outskirts of Damascus yesterday, a bid to (...)

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(...)

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 (...)

Syrian authorities have flattened seven residential districts to punish civilians living in areas that had previously housed rebel fighters, says Human Rights Watch. Photograph: Saad AboBrahim/Reuters

Syrian authorities have flattened seven residential districts to punish civilians living among rebels who had already fled, Human Rights Watch (HRW) s(...)

A man carries bread as he walks past damaged buildings in Aleppo’s al-Ansari al-Sharqi neighborhood December on Monday. Photograph: Mahmoud Hebbo

A suicide bomber killed four people and wounded 17 yesterday in central Damascus as radical fundamentalists tightened their grip on the ancient Christ(...)

Syria’s deputy Syrian foreign minister Faisal Mekdad said yesterday the government would attend the US-Russian-sponsored peace conference set to conve(...)