News Demonstrators protest against the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad outside the UN offices in Geneva during the talks on Friday

At first the talks were delayed for 24 hours, then Syria’s foreign minister threatened to walk out. But last night the two sides agreed to be in the same room. Kim Sengupta reports from Geneva on the UN mission to end the bloodshed

A Turkish military vehicle on the border with Syria yesterday

Turkey warns of retaliation if Syria violates border

Tensions between Turkey and Syria escalated yesterday after the Turkish Foreign Minister warned its neighbour it would retaliate if Syrian forces violated its border again.

Credit to moderator Martha Raddatz for ensuring Joe Biden and Paul Ryan had a substantive debate

In an election campaign blighted by hectoring and half-truths, thank goodness the vice-presidential candidates were willing to get their hands dirty

Turkey scrambled fighter planes to force a Syrian passenger jet to land

Russia accuses Turkey of endangering lives by grounding Syrian passenger plane

Damascus said intercepting the Syrian Air plane was an act of piracy, further heightening tensions between the neighbouring countries

Suicide bombers attack Air Force intelligence compound on edge of Damascus in the latest sign of Islamist influence

The Free Syrian Army today threatened to “teach a lesson” to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah by hitting targets in the Lebanese capital as two suicide bombers in vehicles laden with explosives struck a regime intelligence building in Damascus.

Suicide blasts kill 33 in central Aleppo

Three suicide bombers detonated cars packed with explosives in the main square of the northern city of Aleppo yesterday, killing at least 33 people, levelling buildings and trapping survivors under the rubble.

UN accused of arming and funding 'terrorists'

Syria accused the US, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey yesterday of hijacking the country's 18 month-old conflict between government forces and rebel groups by aiding terrorism" with arms, money and foreign fighters.

General Martin Dempsey has not supported demands made by Obama that President Assad must step down to end the conflict

America's most senior general warns against rash action
on Syria and Iran

The head of the American military has stated that the worst possible outcome of the Syrian civil war would be an "unstable state with all the risks that involves".

Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi performs dramatic U-turn telling audience in Iran that he supported military intervention in Syria

The new Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, performed a dramatic about turn today when he told an audience in Iran that he supported military intervention in Syria – infuriating Bashar al-Assad’s foreign minister and cleaving a gaping political fissure with Tehran.

Syrian activists claim rebels downed government plane

Syrian activists have claimed rebels shot down a government warplane over the northern province of Idlib on Thursday, the second time in a week that opposition fighters claimed to have brought down an aircraft in the escalating civil war.

A burial site in Daraya. At least 245 people died during last Saturday’s mass killing

Robert Fisk: Inside Daraya - how a failed prisoner swap turned into a massacre

Exclusive: The first Western journalist to enter the town that felt Assad's fury hears witness accounts of Syria's bloodiest episode

12 killed and more than 80 injured after fighting in Lebanon between two communities divided over Syria

The crack of gunfire and the heavy thud of rocket-propelled grenades rang out over Lebanon’s second city of Tripoli today as the death toll climbed during a third day of running street battles that have ominous echoes of the conflict in neighbouring Syria.

Syrian rebel fighters near Syria’s second city of Aleppo yesterday

Syria fighter jet crashes

Rebels in eastern Syria said they downed a government fighter jet today, but state television said the plane crashed due to technical difficulties.

Robert Fisk: In the end, all Israel and her Western allies want to do is to break Iran – via Syria

The long view: A video allegedly shows Samaha transporting explosives from a car in an underground car park

Syrian president Assad appoints Wael Nader al-Halq as new PM

Syrian President Bashar Assad has appointed a new prime minister to replace one who defected this week to neighbouring Jordan.

A school destroyed by an air strike near Aleppo

Assad's gunships and tanks launch heaviest assault on Aleppo rebels

Regime troops launch fresh bid to break deadlock on front line

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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen