Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry's agreement on Syria has led to talk of an improvement in US-Russian relations. But observers say the change is a matter of style, not substance.
Syria began its descent into civil war in early 2011, when government security forces shot and killed protesters. But if President Bashar al-Assad thought a show of force would end the protests, he was wrong.
The nerve agent sarin was used in an April attack on a Syrian town that killed dozens, the international chemical weapons watchdog OPCW has confirmed. But it did not say who was to blame.
Germany's Sigmar Gabriel and Russia's Sergey Lavrov have exchanged strong words during a joint press conference in Krasnodar. Gabriel accused the Syrian regime, which Russia backs in the region, of war crimes.
The White House has claimed that it has identified plans for another chemical weapons attack in Syria. It warned of drastic action should Assad use chemical weapons.
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