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Kurdish fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) sit in a house in Raqqa, Syria. Photograph: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

US-backed forces encircling Raqqa expect the fight to oust the remnants of Islamic State from its most symbolic Syrian stronghold to take at least thr(...)

Dan Martin: “I have never felt better going into the Tour de France.”

If it was a boxing match, it would be a 12-rounder where the fighters slug lumps out of each other from start to finish. The final stage of last month(...)

 Team Sky rider Chris Froome: “My hunger to win hasn’t got any less but the challenge is bigger this year because the level of my rivals is higher.” Photograph: Kenzo Tribouillard/Reuters

He was the dominant winner in 2013, 2015 and 2016 but, this time around, Chris Froome starts the Tour de France knowing things could be more difficult(...)

Spanish rider Omar Fraile of Team Dimension Data celebrates after crossing the finish line to win the 11th stage of the 100th Giro d’Italia cycling race over 161km from Florence to Bagno di Romagna, Italy. Photograph:Alessandro Di Meo/AFP

Omar Fraile took his maiden Grand Tour victory on stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia as Tom Dumoulin hung on to the overall lead despite a frantic and stre(...)

A satellite image taken in January 2015 of what the US says is a building modified to support a crematorium in Syria. Photograph: State Department/DigitalGlobe/AP

The US has evidence Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s government has built a crematorium at a large military prison outside the capital Damascus, a s(...)

A photo of the damaged Team Sky bike posted by Chris Froome on Twitter on Tuesday.   Photograph: Chris Froome

Chris Froome has said he was deliberately knocked off his bike by a hit-and-run driver while training in southern France. The 31-year-old three-time(...)

Syrians bury the bodies of victims of Tuesday’s  suspected toxic gas attack in Khan Sheikhoun, in Idlib province, Syria.  Photograph: Fadi Al-Halabi/AFP/Getty Images

The horrific air strike on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Syria’s rebel- and jihadi-held northwestern province of Idlib could derail negotiations on th(...)

UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura  is welcomed by Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov during their meeting in Moscow on Wednesday. Photograph: Sergei Ilnitsky/EPA

Syrian government and opposition teams begin a fifth round of talks in Geneva on Thursday in an effort to end six years of war that has killed 350,000(...)

Scenes from the war in Syria. Illustration: Marc Corrigan

Next week the Syrian conflict will enter its seventh year. What began in March 2011 as an uprising against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad turne(...)

Jihad Makdissi: The head  of the opposition Cairo Platform called Russia’s role in ending the Syrian conflict “essential”. Photograph: Martial Trezzini/EPA

A Saudi-sponsored Syrian opposition group has cast doubt on the Damascus government’s willingness to reach agreement as talks on a peace deal continue(...)

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