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Forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad carry the national flag as they ride on motorcycles in Qusayr, after the Syrian army took control from rebel fighters yesterday.  Photograph: Reuters/Mohammed Azakir

Syrian troops and their Lebanese Shia Hizbullah allies yesterday took control of the strategic Syrian border town of Qusayr, routing thousands of rebe(...)

Nelofer Pazira in Afghanistan

In her memoir A Bed of Red Flowers: In Search of My Afghanistan, writer and director Nelofer Pazira recounts her shock the first time someone took her(...)

The government of Cuban president Raul Castro has described the country’s inclusion on a US list of state sponsors of terrorism as shameful. Photograph: Prensa Latina/Reuters.

In what has become an annual ritual, the United States kept Cuba on its list of “state sponsors of terrorism” and Havana reacted angrily, calling it a(...)

Syria has already received the first shipment of an advanced Russian air defence system and will soon get the rest of the S-300 missiles, president Bashar al-Assad was quoted as saying today. Photograph: Khaled al-Hariri/Reuters.

Syria has already received the first shipment of an advanced Russian air defence system and will soon get the rest of the S-300 missiles, president Ba(...)

Mourners carry the body of a 17-year-old boy, in Hermel, Lebanon, on Tuesday. The boy was killed in a rocket attack on the village, which is near the Syrian border. Photograph: Bryan Denton/The New York Times

The increasingly bitter warfare within Syria is a proxy for regional and international rivalries. Thus far, the EU and its Nato member states have pro(...)

Lebanese Army soldiers patrol near the site of the army checkpoint where three Lebanese soldiers were killed near the town of Arsal, in the eastern Bekaa Valley. Gunmen killed three Lebanese soldiers at an army checkpoint today before fleeing towards the Syrian border, Lebanese officials said. Photograph: Ahmad Shalha/Reuters

Disputes between Russia and the West over arming warring sides in Syria today dimmed prospects for peace talks that were also clouded by disarray amon(...)

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore (R) looks on as Turkey’s foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu addresses a joint news conference in Brussels yesterday. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters.

There will be no supply of arms to Syria by European Union member states in the short term, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore ha(...)

Iran’s chief negotiator Saeed Jalili. Mr Jalili is one of eight approved candidates in the upcoming election. Photograph: Osman Orsal/Reuters

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is to fight a decision by election overseers to disqualify his top aide from the upcoming presidential ra(...)

Syria’s president Dr Bashar al-Assad (right) sits during an interview with journalists from Argentina in Damascus in this handout photograph distributed by Syria’s national news agency Sana. Photograph: Reuters/Sana

Syrian troops supported by Hezbollah militants launched an offensive to retake a major town near Lebanon from rebels today, the heaviest fighti(...)

Syrian refugees wait in line for a daily bread ration distributed by the World Food Program at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. Photograph: Lynsey Addario/The New York Times

United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon has urged world powers to organise Syrian peace talks “as soon as possible”, to seek an end to a c(...)

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