Russia began carrying out air raids near the city of Homs in Syria on Wednesday. It says it's target is Islamic State but Washington has expressed concern that Moscow may be hitting moderate groups that are opposing President Assad.
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 first meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg is likely to be short. But that isn't stopping Moscow from hoping for a new era in relations with Washington.
Iran and Russia will set the agenda at the Astana talks as the president's "protecting powers" have effectively taken control of government, writes DW's Kersten Knipp. The US is to send a representative to the talks.
Vice President Mike Pence has told the Ukrainian foreign minister that the US remains firmly committed the cause of Ukrainian sovereignty. At the same time, Trump met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
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