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(...)

People make victory signs during the funeral ceremony of victims of a suicide bomb attack on Monday in Suruc, Turkey, blamed on Islamic State. Experts are questioning the assumption, however, that Islamic State’s defeat is inevitable. Photograph: Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

Islamic State uses terror to force obedience and frighten enemies. It has seized territory, destroyed antiquities, slaughtered minorities, forced wom(...)

Ash Carter (right) with Israel’s defence minister Moshe Ya’alon  at the Hussein Lookout, near Kiryat Shmona, northern Israel. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/Reuters

With bilateral ties at rock bottom following last week’s signing of the Iran nuclear deal, US secretary of defence Ash Carter went out of his way y(...)

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and interior minister Mohammed bin Nayef Al Saud (left) said terrorist incidents would not destabilise the kingdom. Photograph: Saudi Press Agency/AFP/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia has arrested 431 people suspected of belonging to Islamic State (IS) and foiled attacks in Riyadh and the Eastern Province, where the maj(...)

 Syrian refugees waiting on the Syrian side of the border crossing  near Akcakale, in Turkey’s Sanliurfa province, on Wednesday. Iran has denied it has deployed troops in Syria to bolster the Syrian army and its militia allies although this has been widely reported in the Syrian media. Photograph: Sedat Suna/EPA

UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura estimates that Iran spends $6 billion (€5.3 billion) a year to sustain the Syrian regime. This figure apparently e(...)

Children queue for water in the northwestern Syrian city of Ariha, in Idlib province, on Tuesday, after a coalition of insurgent groups seized the area. Syria has seen an increased flow of weapons and funds and an influx of fighters to insurgent and jihadi groups. Photogaph:  Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

In early March, the Syrian regime was on the offensive and had retaken territory lost to insurgents. Reasonable prospects existed for dialogue between(...)

Saudi men examine debris following a blast inside a Shia mosque in the Saudi Gulf coastal town of Qatif on Friday. Photograph: AFP Photo

A suicide bomber killed 21 worshippers during Friday prayers in a packed Shia mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia, residents and the health minister said, (...)

President Michael D Higgins lays a wreath at the Irish UN memorial in the southern Lebanon village of Tibnin. Photograph: Mohammed Zaatari/AP

The 47 Irish soldiers who lost their lives during United Nations peacekeeping missions in south Lebanon have been honoured by President Michael D Hig(...)