Uphill battle: the aftermath of air strikes in Kafr Nabel, a town in Idlib province. Photograph: Hadi al-Abdallah via AP

The timeline of Syria’s grinding civil war is dotted with illusory turning points. These were atrocities or grim milestones that the world assumed wou(...)

Russian president Vladimir Putin and French president Francois Hollande at the start of a summit on Ukraine in Paris on Friday. Photograph: Etienne Laurent/Pool.

The Russian defence ministry said on Friday that it had bombed seven targets in Syria in overnight air raids, including a command post and a traini(...)

A man reacts amidst rubble after what activists said was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo’s rebel-controlled Al-Mashad neighbourhood earlier today. Photograph: Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

The Syrian military has recently started using new types of air and ground weapons supplied by Russia, a Syrian military source said on Thursday, unde(...)

 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(...)

A Muslim man reads the koran at a mosque during the Islamic month of Ramadan. Photograph: Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images

A bomb has exploded inside a mosque where al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria was holding a fast-breaking meal, killing at least 14, activists said. The blast (...)

‘Some might say there are other organisations which could more appropriately have been scrutinised for evidence of crimes touching directly on US interests. Banks, for example. HSBC, for instance.’ Above, Fifa officials are escorted out behind sheets following their arrests by Swiss authorities  in Zurich  last week.  Photograph: Pascal Mora/The New York Times 1:31

What business is it of the FBI that Fifa officials may have been involved in skulduggery in Switzerland? Whence comes US attorney general Loretta Lync(...)

Israel’s security cabinet minister Naftali Bennett is calling on the international community to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Photograph: Jim Hollander/EPA

A far-right ally of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged world powers on Sunday to recognise Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights,(...)

Islamic State militants were reported to have gained ground against Syrian troops in fighting near the historic city of Palmyra, also known as Tadmur. This is a file potograph of the ancient city. Photograph: Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images

Islamic State militants were reported to have gained ground against Syrian troops in fighting near the historic city of Palmyra, also known as Tadmur(...)

US secretary of state John Kerry meets with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman in Riyadh last week. Photograph: Andrew Harnik/AFP/Getty Images

King Salman of Saudi Arabia has withdrawn from a carefully orchestrated summit with the US that president Barack Obama hoped would assuage Gulf anxiet(...)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media in Jerusalem. Netanyahu said on Wednesday it was not too late for world powers still locked in nuclear negotiations with Iran to demand a “better deal”. Photograph: Debbie Hill/Reuters 1:49

Iranians celebrated in the streets after negotiators reached a framework for a nuclear accord, and US president Barack Obama hailed an “historic under(...)