Syrians fleeing the battle for control of Aleppo walk towards the Turkish border at the Bab al-Salam border gate, on February 5th. The districts held by anti-governmetn forces  in Aleppo are a prize they dare not lose. Photograph: Depo Photos via AP

When the battle for Syria’s largest city and commercial hub, Aleppo, began in July 2012, the provincial governor appealed for troops to counter rebel (...)

Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad was told to ‘step aside’ by US president Barack Obama in 2011. Photograph: EPA

The Syrian crisis might have been resolved in 2011 if US president Barack Obama had not declared on August 18th that year that his Syrian counterpart (...)

A Syrian protester waves a national flag at a rally  in June 2011.  Five years of this conflict have been too much, says UN envoy Staffan de Mistura. Photograph: AP Photo

The Saudi-backed Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee yesterday decided to boycott today’s long-awaited opening of talks in Geneva to end the(...)

Players from both sides react to Everton’s Irish defender Seamus Coleman’s late miss against Swansea at Goodison Park.  Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP /Getty

From the moment his alarm first pinged at 5.50am on Monday, Vinny Fitzpatrick was in a mood most foul. Was is it the cold shower (he had forgotten to(...)

Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir  and US Secretary of State John Kerry: there has been a decades-long relationship between the spy services of Saudi Arabia and the United States. Photograph: Jacquelyn Martin/AFP/Getty Images

When President Barack Obama secretly authorised the Central Intelligence Agency to begin arming Syria’s embattled rebels in 2013, the spy agency knew (...)

IAAF president Sebastian Coe said he was determined to learn from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada) independent commission report. Photograph: Kerstin Joensson/AP Photo

A method of drug testing that was clearly beginning to work; a series of initial tests they were right not to act on; and a softly ringing endorsement(...)

Channel says decision to close was  driven by “the fact that our business model is simply not sustainable in light of the economic challenges in the US media marketplace”. Photograph: REUTERS.

Cable news channel Al-Jazeera America, which debuted in 2013 to great fanfare when it promised to cover US news soberly and seriously, will be shuttin(...)

UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura (left) and Iran’s deputy foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian arrive for a meeting in Tehran. Photograph: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura has wound up a regional tour with assurances from both Iran and Saudi Arabia that regional tensions will not affect their(...)

A Bahraini woman holds a picture of Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr   during  a protest after his execution  by Saudi authorities. Photograph: Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty Images

As the political crisis deepened over the execution of dissident Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr, Bahrain and Sudan on Monday followed the lead of their Sun(...)

Old Moore erroneously predicted pregnancies for many celebrities this year. Photograph: Thinkstock

Old Moore, aka Theophilus Moore, is an ancient, apparently deathless soothsayer who has, since 1764, predicted the news headlines in Old Moore’s Alma(...)