Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad. Western powers want his removal from office as part of a Syrian peace deal. Photograph: EPA/Syrian Arab News Agency

“Assad must go,” is the constant refrain from US president Barack Obama, French president François Hollande, British prime minister David Cameron and (...)

Ireland’s ambassador Isolde Moylan with Palestinian president Yasser Arafat, whom she met dozens of times, in his compound in Ramallah in 2000

Since 2010, Isolde Moylan, who has served as a diplomat for 40 years, has been accredited to five countries: Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. (...)

A rebel fighter on the  the frontline against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Aleppo. Photograph: Hosam Katan/Reuters

The Syrian conflict is being driven and prolonged by a war economy, by profiteering and dirty deals between militias. “Moderate” rebels openly form ba(...)

Lebanese citizens and policemen gather at the site of a car bomb  at a stronghold of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group, in the center of the predominantly Shiite town of Hermel, northeast of lebanon, which is about 16km from the Syrian border. Photograph: AP

The dock at the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon remained empty yesterday as four men went on trial in absentia for the murder in 2005 of forme(...)

Hizbullah memorial: captured Israeli tank lies amid other remnants of battle. Photograph: Hamzah Tahan

The outgoing lane from Beirut to the ancient port of Sidon is open but there is a steady stream of traffic into Beirut from the south. At the entrance(...)