Residents react after what activists claim were five air strikes by forces loyal to Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad in Douma, eastern al-Ghouta, near Damascus. US secretary of state John Kerry announced today nearly $500 million in humanitarian aid for people and countries hit by Syria’s civil war. Photograph: Bassam Khabieh /Reuters

US secretary of state John Kerry announced today nearly $500 million (€380m) in humanitarian aid for people and countries hit by Syria’s civil war.The(...)

US secretary of state John Kerry looks over papers while flying from Jordan to Iraq today. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/Reuters

US secretary of state John Kerry today endorsed Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi’s plans to mend Baghdad’s relations with Sunnis and Kurds, and s(...)

Syrian refugees enjoy a sunny day in Istanbul. More than 40 per cent of Syria’s pre-war population has been displaced by the conflict, with 2.8 million taking refuge in other countries in the region. PHOTOGRAPH: EPA/ERDEM SAHIN

Despite the war, upheaval and economic collapse at home, Syrian business interests now top the list of international investors in Turkey, even as tens(...)

Rally: a Palestinian Hamas supporter in the West Bank. Photograph: Alaa Badarneh/EPA
What next for Hamas?

Ten days after the ceasefire Raji Sourani’s rage still boils. He brushes aside my questions about Hamas rule, the execution of collaborators, and Pale(...)

Israeli soldiers watch the Syrian side of the border near the Quneitra crossing point between Syria and Israel yesterday. Photograph: EPA/Atef Safadi

The UN Security Council has demanded the immediate and unconditional release of abducted peacekeepers and the withdrawal of insurgents from UN observ(...)

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters advance during clashes with the Islamic State on the front line at Buyuk Yeniga village yesterday. Photograph: Reuters/Ahmed Jadallah

The United Kingdom will ramp up support for Kurdish forces fighting Islamic extremists in Iraq, increasing the prospects of air strikes by the Royal (...)

British prime minister David Cameron and US president Barack Obama at the Nato Summit at Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.

The United Kingdom will supply ammunition to Kurds fighting Islamic terrorists in Iraq, British prime minister David Cameron has declared, while a top(...)

A Syrian refugee woman carries her son as she walks at Azraq refugee camp near Al Azraq area, east of Amman this month. Photograph: Muhammad Hamed/Reuters

The first of several hundred Syrian refugees that the State has agreed to take have arrived in Ireland. The 17 refugees include a number of seriously (...)

Syrian refugee children stand in front of their family residence at Azraq refugee camp near Al Azraq, east of Amman. Photograph: Muhammad Hamed/Reuters

Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighbouring countries as of Friday, an exodus that began in March 2011 and shows no sign of aba(...)

A Palestinian boy flashes a V-sign as he joins celebrations following a ceasefire in Gaza City today. Earlier, an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire proposal to end seven weeks of fighting between Israel and militant groups in the Gaza Strip was announced. Photograph: EPA

A ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Palestinians aimed at ending their seven-week conflict in Gaza went into effect today and joyous Palestin(...)