A Syrian boy walks past the collapsed minaret of a mosque in the rebel-held city of Douma, outside Damascus, on Thursday.  The mosque was targeted one day earlier by forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar Assad. Photograph: EPA/Mohammed Badra

France has become the first major western power to directly accuse the Syrian government of violating the country’s ceasefire, saying air strikes thi(...)

A market in   an eastern rebel-held district of Aleppo: a fragile ceasefire in Syria has allowed people in the besieged city to leave their homes and shop, and visit friends and relatives. Photograph: Karam al-Masri/AFP/Getty Images

The Saudi-sponsored Syrian opposition yesterday announced it would take part in the second session of UN-mediated indirect talks to end the five-year (...)

Russian president Vladimir Putin has pledged to do “whatever is necessary” to carry out the ceasefire and the “complicated” process of negotiating peace. Photograph: Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/Kremlin.

Russian warplanes pounded insurgent-held areas across Syria yesterday ahead of the midnight cessation of hostilities agreed by the Syrian government (...)

A man mourns as the bodies of his son and grandchildren, reportedly killed in an air strike, are placed in an ambulance in the rebel-held city of Douma, Syria, on Friday. Photograph:  Abd Doumany/AFP/Getty Images

Heavy air strikes were reported to have hit rebel-held areas near Damascus as fighting raged across much of western Syria on Friday, hours before a U(...)

Syrian Turkmens protest at Russian military intervention: their identity is closer to Ottoman Turkey than Syria’s official Arabism. Photograph: Basin Foto Ajansi/Lightrocket/ Getty Images

When Russian warplanes began bombing rebel-controlled villages in northwest Syria late last year reverberations were heard all the way to Ankara. In(...)

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 (...)

UN special envoy  Staffan de Mistura  announcing at a press conference in Geneva on Monday that Syrian peace talks are to begin on Friday. Photograph:  Denis Balibouse/Reuters

Talks between the Syrian government and opposition groups aimed at ending the country’s near five-year-old ci vil war are to begin on Friday, UN speci(...)

Christmas holiday lights hang from trees in the ancient quarter of Bab al-Sharqi in Damascus. Photograph: Omar Sanadiki/Reuters

Beleaguered Syrian Christians, who belong to the world’s most ancient Christian communities, are set to celebrate a fifth Christmas during a war that (...)

Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad during an interview with  Sunday Times journalist Hala Jaber in Damascus on December 2nd. Photograph: EPA/Syrian Arab News Agency

Syrian political and armed opposition figures are set to gather on Tuesday in the Saudi capital Riyadh in an effort to form a united front ahead of ne(...)