Although the Pentagon admits it is sending 250 more troops to Syria, it denies that this represents any mission creep in the war against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. The deployment is said to be needed simply to meet current requirements.
The Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Syria have voted to seek autonomy. The vote was to unite three Kurdish-controlled provinces into a federal system. The move could complicate UN-backed peace talks, in which Kurds are not included.
The recent cessation of hostilities brokered by Russia and the U.S., agreed to by many in the opposition to Assad and the Assad government, is mainly holding, even though both sides complain of violations.
The Syrian civil war rages on after five years of intense fighting and has absorbed a wide variety of factions into the conflict, including the Kurds, Islamic State, the Syrian army, the United States and its allies, and Russia.
More than 1 million refugees face sub-zero temperatures and increased risk of illness on Europe's borders and in the Middle East. Harsh winter conditions will see temperatures fall to -11C in the Balkans.
John Kerry, US secretary of state, has given a positive assessment of efforts to negotiate a ceasefire between rebels aiming to overthrow Assad and his forces. Kerry claimed a ceasefire could be just weeks away.
After considerable criticism, the Pentagon has announced it is ending its $500 million program to train and equip vetted moderate Syrian rebels to form a New Syrian Force to fight the Islamic State.
At the end of September Russia launched its first air strikes against rebel positions in Syria. Did the show of force mean that Putin had outmaneuvered Obama once again or was it a desperate move to shore up the crumbling regime of Bashir Assad?
The solution to the migrant crises in Europe is not open borders or donations to refugee camps. Instead, oppressors must be removed and there must be a concerted effort help to create tolerant, pluralist societies.
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for more forceful intervention in the Syrian conflict — but groups on the ground say that America's misguided actions aren't just not helping — they're making things worse.
While the Islamic State appears to have suffered significant casualties in the long conflict over the Syrian town Kobani( or Kobane) on the border with Turkey the Kurdish troops in the town appear to be at a disadvantage at present.
Two of the main moderate rebel groups who had received weapons from the US have surrendered to the Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front after defeats in battle.There are reports that Islamic State forces joined the Nusra Front in at least one attack.
The U.S. and the UK say they are willing to look at the possibility of creating a "buffer zone" between Syria and Turkey. Meanwhile the Islamic State is continuing its assault on the border town of Kobane with fighting now taking place within the town .
Many weapons used by the Islamic State were seized as they captured bases in Iraq from Iraqi forces. However, the group also has US weapons that appear to have been given originally to moderate Syrian rebels linked to the Free Syrian Army.
Jihadists associated with Islamic State (also ISIS or ISIL) seized territory inside Lebanon. The rebel group that swore allegiance to the Islamic State set up checkpoints in the town of Arsal.
For President Obama, Iraq is the anti-war horse he rode to victory in 2008. Many political analysts say opposition to the Iraqi war was the club he used to first pound Clinton then Republicans into submission.
Activists report that Syrian rebels have negotiated a ceasefire near the city of Homs. The ceasefire came into effect Friday. Earlier negotiations led to rebels giving up Homs while they were transported with weapons to rebel-held areas.
New York -
Lakhdar Brahimi the UN and Arab League joint special representative on Syria is said to be planning to resign in the near future. He told reporters almost a year ago in New York that he thought about resigning every day.
People carry as they lower the bodies of the five civilian activists, who were killed during what activists said was an ambush, into their graves during their funeral in eastern al-Ghouta, near Damascus November 24, 2013. Fierce fighting to the east of Damascus has killed more than 160 people in the past two days as Syrian rebels struggle to break a months-long blockade by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad
Sigrid Kaag, Special Coordinator of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations (OPCW-UN) joint mission on eliminating Syria's chemical weapons programme, speaks during a news conference in Damascus November 30, 2013
With permission by Reuters / Khaled al-Hariri
A portrait of Bashir al-Assad among the trash in al-Qsair.
A U.N. chemical weapons expert, wearing a gas mask, holds a plastic bag containing samples from one of the sites of an alleged chemical weapons attack in the Ain Tarma neighbourhood of Damascus August 29, 2013
With permission by Reuters / Mohamed Abdullah
Doctors and medical staff treating injured rebel fighters and civilians in Aleppo
File photo: Scott Bobb
An image grab taken from Hezbollah's al-Manar TV on August 25, 2015 shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad answering questions during an interview in Damascus.
Anti-riot police in central Damascus, Jan. 16, 2012.
Elizabeth Arrott - Voice of America
Free Syrian Army soldier walking among rubble in Aleppo.jpg
Syria: Wounded civilians
Scott Bobb /VOA
Women and children among Syrian refugees striking at the platform of Budapest Keleti railway station 4 September 2015
The docks at the port of Latakia on Syria's Mediterranean coast. Norwegian and Danish ships are expected to transport Syria's chemical weapons from Latakia to a port in Italy for processing and making safe aboard a specially adapted American ship.
OPCW-UN Chemical Weapons Team Arrives in Damascus
Kamal Hamami, aka Abu Basir, was reportedly killed with his brother during a reconnaissance mission in Turkmen mountains
Via Al Jazeera
A close-up view of the Za'atri camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan, as seen on July 18, 2013, from a helicopter
U.S. State Department
Residents pick up after aerial bombings by government forces in the rebel-held Azaz section of Aleppo, August 16, 2012.
Scott Bob report from Azaz, Syria.
Russia's Defence Ministry released images showing an airstrike carried out by its warplanes on an Islamic State facility in the Syrian province of Idlib