The international community is demanding UN access to the site of an alleged chemical attack in Syria.
Syrian president Assad said that "ups and downs" are normal in a war, following a string of defeats suffered by the government forces. Assad also dismissed reports that his troops are in trouble as "propaganda."
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.
Palmyra has fallen to the "Islamic State." The capture of the Syrian city is IS's second major victory inside a week, after it seized Ramadi, capital of neighboring Iraq's western Anbar province, on Sunday.
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.