A bomb that struck close to the Syrian capital Damascus has left at least sixteen people dead. President Assad was dealt another blow when one of his allies admitted the possibility of the rebels winning the conflict.
Fighters with "Islamic State" have consolidated their control of the Iraq-Syria border, an Iraqi provincial capital and the world-famous Syrian heritage site of Palmyra. Thousands have fled the advance.
With the occupation of Palmyra, the 'IS' militia has taken control of about half of Syria. Time is on the Islamists' side and Middle East expert Michael Lüders told DW Damascus and Baghdad are in danger, too.
Government actions suggest a policy of "collective punishment" against citizens of Aleppo, Amnesty International has said in a new report. The watchdog also slams the rebels for "war crimes" and torturing prisoners.
International experts have found traces of precursors for VX and sarin nerve gas at an undeclared location in Syria, sources say. Damascus has repeatedly denied the charges of using chemical weapons on the battlefield.