Ar-Raqqah

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US secretary of state John Kerry with delegates from a number of powers in Vienna for talks on resolving the Syrian conflict. Photograph: US Department of State/EPA.

The US is to send special forces to Kurdish-controlled areas in northern Syria in a significant shift in Washington’s policy in the 4½-year Syrian c(...)

US secretary of state John Kerry and Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov during talks in Vienna on October 23rd on the Syrian civil war. Iran has accepted an invitation to join talks. Photograph: Carlo Allegri/New York Times

The participation of the Iranian foreign minister in Friday’s talks on resolving the Syrian crisis with colleagues from the US, Saudi Arabia, Turkey a(...)

US defence secretary Ashton Carter and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen Joseph Dunford testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill about the US military strategy in the Middle East. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Pentagon plans to step up air strikes against Islamic State-controlled oil facilities in Syria as the US seeks to revamp its flagging military st(...)

A French army Rafale fighter before taking off from a base in The Gulf for Syria as part of France’s Operation Chammal launched in September 2015 in support of the US-led coalition against Islamic State. Photograph: AFP

If the French government targets French jihadis in Syria with Mirage 2000 bombers, is it extra-judiciary killing or legitimate self-defence? On Monday(...)

Azraq refugee camp in Jordan. Photograph: UNHCR/ M Hawari/ Ruadhán Mac Cormaic

In Jordan’s remote northeastern desert, a barren moonscape bounded on three sides by Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, the gleaming white symmetrical huts(...)

Relatives mourn a victim of the twin bombings in Ankara. Photograph: Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

Turkey’s blaming of Islamic State for Saturday’s bombing in Ankara points to a wider problem for countries that have supported the jihadists. The att(...)

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(...)

An Islamic State loyalist in the terror group’s de factor capital, Raqqa, in Syria, in June 2014. Photograph: Reuters

The US-led coalition fighting Islamic State has begun preparing to open a major front in northeastern Syria, aiming to put pressure on Raqqa, the terr(...)

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(...)

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