A shaky truce enters its third week in parts of Syria. In the north of the country residents of a town that was recently liberated from Islamic State told western journalists about the violence they endured under the Islamist militants.
US and Russian officials have addressed the rising tensions in Syria, as the war enters a critical new phase. Washington and Moscow-backed military groups are both set on securing the oil-rich province of Deir el-Zour.
The Syrian army has made significant advances since breaking the siege of Deir el-Zour, said a top Russian general in Syria. The "Islamic State" has lost much of the territory it gained during its brutal 2014 campaign.
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 Lebanese army has announced a pause in fighting on the Syria-Lebanon border to allow negotiations over its soldiers held by "Islamic State" (IS). Syrian forces are also battling IS in the area with Hezbollah's help.
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