Tartus

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 Russian president Vladimir Putin  with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad. Photograph: Sergei Chirikov/AFP/Getty Images

When Vladimir Putin went to the rescue of the embattled Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and ordered Russian air strikes on Syria last autumn, defenc(...)

Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and US secretary of state John Kerry  in Munich. Photograph: Alexandra Beier/Getty Images

The Munich agreement reached early on Friday by 17 countries belonging to the Syria support group specified that immediate humanitarian access is to b(...)

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 (...)

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(...)

In this 2010 file photo, Syria president Bashar al-Assad addresses reporters following his meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France. Photograph: AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere

Over the past two years, Bashar al-Assad has lost control of two-thirds of Syria. Last spring, Islamists took over most of the northwestern province o(...)

Children playing at a makeshift settlement for Syrian refugees in Bar Elias, in the Bekaa valley. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 215,000 people have been killed since the start of the crisis in 2011, about  half of them civilians. Photograph: Jamal Saidi/Reuters

The four-year-old Syrian conflict has precipitated the world’s largest humanitarian crisis since the second World War. An estimated 200,000-220,000 ha(...)

Bakdash, a modest shop planted in the centre of 18th-century Souq al-Hamidiya in Damascus, is mobbed from morning to night

Four years of warfare, destruction, displacement and sanctions have shattered the Syrian economy. Its currency value has fallen dramatically from 55-6(...)

Abu al-Taib, the leader of Ahbab Al-Mustafa Battalion, demonstrates to female members as he holds a gun during a military training in a mosque in the Seif El Dawla neighbourhood in Aleppo on Monday. Photograph: Muzaffar Salman/Reuters

An opposition monitoring group that has tracked Syria’s widening civil war said today that more than 100,000 people had died in the 27-month confli(...)

Russian president Vladimir Putin and defence minister Sergei Shoigu oversee large-scale military exercises at the Raevsky training ground in Krasnodar region. Photograph: Reuters/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Pool

Russian president Vladimir Putin has inspected major naval exercises in the Black Sea that have alarmed some of Russia’s neigh(...)