A blazing car after explosions hit the Syrian city of Tartous. Photograph: Syrian Arab News Agency handout via Reuters

Monday’s co-ordinated attacks by Islamic State on Tartous and Jableh sent a message to Damascus, the government’s stronghold, and its ally Russia: Syr(...)

US secretary of state John Kerry meeting Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud in Jeddah on Sunday for consultation ahead of another week of high-stakes diplomacy on the Syria conflict. Photograph: AFP/US State Department

Prospects for reaching a new cessation of hostilities and a political settlement in Syria are poor ahead of today’s meeting in Vienna of the 17-membe(...)

Residents wait in line to receive food aid distributed in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, Syria: This year access has been secured to 16 of 18 besieged areas of the city and aid agencies have entered hard-to-reach locations . Photograph: United Nation Relief and Works Agency/Getty Images

For those Damascus-based humanitarian agencies delivering food, medicine and essentials to Syrians living in besieged and hard-to-reach areas, the buz(...)

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 (...)

According to  Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, eight of the Dutch fighters are reported to have been “executed” in Maadan last Friday, after being accused of “attempted desertion and mutiny”. Photograph: Reuters/Stringer

Families of Dutch jihadists in Syria are desperately trying to verify reports that eight fighters from the Netherlands have been executed by the Isla(...)

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(...)

A Syrian man walks past a poster bearing a portrait of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad on a street in the capital Damascus.   Opponents of Mr Assad expect the government to ignore the planned truce starting on Saturday. Photograph: Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images

Russian warplanes bombed Syrian rebel-held areas in northwestern Syria and government forces pounded a suburb of the capital on Thursday, ahead of a (...)

A woman carrying a child injured in the triple blast in the Saida Zeinab suburb of Damascus on Sunday. The blasts  killed 90 civilians, 40 security personnel and wounded 150. Photograph: Sana via AP

The UN Relief and Works Agency (Unwra) has condemned a triple bombing at the Saida Zeinab suburb of Damascus on Sunday that killed 90 civilians and 40(...)

A Syrian woman reads a newspaper at a kiosk in  Damascus on Tuesday,  a day after a ceasefire deal was announced. Photograph: Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images

Patrick Wintour A preliminary hurdle to the start of a US and Russian-brokered ceasefire in Syria has been cleared after the Assad government said (...)

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