Syria has been embroiled in a civil war since 2011, when violence broke out in the wake of uprisings against the government and pro-Assad forces.
Since March 2011 Syria has been torn by violence. In a wave of protests extending the mass revolutions of the Arab Spring in North Africa, Syrians took to the streets to demand more freedoms and constitutional protections from the government of Bashar al-Assad. The protests were violently suppressed and the country divided along religious and political lines. An exodus of refugees has flooded neighboring countries while the international community deliberates peace initiatives.
The presidents of Russia and the US spoke about the situation in Syria and a coordination of anti-terror efforts in a call that lasted for over an hour. Also on the agenda were the conflict in Ukraine and North Korea.
Islamic State and other jihadist groups are facing defeat in Syria. But neighbouring Turkey is worried that militant fighters are heading its way. Over the past few years over 300 people have been killed in attacks in Turkey, blamed on jihadists. But hundreds of Islamic State militants escaped from Raqqa and thousands more are based just across Turkey’s border. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul.