At United Nations peace talks in Switzerland, the opposition and the Syrian government spent the first day of peace talks in name-calling. But some still hold out hope for an agreement on a transitional government.
Millions of people have been displaced in the civil war and one-third of the country remains out of government hands. But the Syrian regime is holding local elections across the country to show strength and normalcy.
The downing of a Russian plane during an Israeli air raid on Syria has caused tension between Tel Aviv and Moscow. Experts say the two countries will do everything possible to prevent another such incident.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Sergei Lavrov met in Berlin to discuss their roles in Syria. Germany promised reconstruction help if Russia kept President Assad from launching an offensive in opposition-held Idlib.
As the Syrian war appears to enter a decisive phase, Iran, Russia and Turkey are busy devising strategies to ensure they remain key players in the war-torn country. Experts say Iran's position could be vulnerable.
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