Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad: targeting of Syria shows Moscow gives priority to strengthening Damascus against near enemies rather than striking Islamic State. Photograph: Sana via Reuters

Russia’s deployment of war planes, missile systems, tanks, and armoured troop carriers has dramatically changed the shape of the conflict on the groun(...)

Moscow has made a strong case for fighting IS, though yesterday’s air strikes targeted other groups opposed to Bashar al-Assad. Photograph: AP Photo

Bombing by the Russian air force looks like a landmark event in the bloody 4½-year war in Syria. In the space of just a few weeks Moscow has been mak(...)

Israeli prime minister Binyamin  Netanyahu Russian president Vladimir Putin   at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia: Israel and Russia have a “common interest in ensuring stability” in Syria, Mr Netanyahu said at the meeting.  Photograph: Ivan Sekretarev/Pool/Reuters

Russian president Vladimir Putin and Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu disagreed over the threat to Israel’s security from Syria as they began(...)

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(...)

Residents cover their noses as they walk past garbage piled up along a street in Beirut, Lebanon, on Wednesday. Photograph:  Mohamed Azakir/Reuters

Six ministers representing the Shia Hizbullah party and three Christian allies on Thursday boycotted an urgent session of the Lebanese government, (...)

The ancient city of Palmyra. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Islamic State (IS) fighters have beheaded an 82-year old archaeologist in the ancient city of Palmyra and displayed his body on a column in the main(...)

A Lebanese woman covers her nose from the smell as she walks on a street partly blocked by piles of garbage in Beirut. Photograph: Hassan Ammar/AP

The sky was blue over Beirut yesterday after clearing had been completed of smouldering mounds of rubbish that had remained in the streets for two wee(...)

Maaloula: the 14th-century Christian town in Syria which is rising again after eight months of occupation by insurgents. Photograph: Michael Jansen

The 14th-century Christian town of Maaloula is rising again from the ruins and rubble of eight months of occupation by insurgents determined to oblite(...)

Lebanon’s Hizbullah deputy leader Sheikh Naim Qassem speaks as Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Moualem (centre) and Iran’s minister of culture  Ali Jannati listen during the International Media Conference Against Terrorism in Damascus. Photograph: Omar Sanadiki/Reuters

Syrian president Bashar al- Assad yesterday welcomed “positive” changes in western attitudes to the conflict in the country – suggesting the United St(...)

President Assad described the regime’s surrender of territory as a question of priorities, given its limited resources. Photograph: Getty

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has admitted his regime has a shortage of soldiers and has suffered military setbacks. In his first public speech for(...)