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Shocking satellite images show devastation in districts that back opposition to President Assad

Syrian President Bashar Assad visits army and security soldiers wounded in the civil war at al-Youssef al-Azmah Hospital in Damascus

Syria conflict: Hospitals fill up with wounded soldiers as civil war drags on

Fighting in the country is now thought to have claimed 130,000 lives. But what about those who lived, yet suffered life-changing injuries? Patrick Cockburn meets some of those survivors in Damascus

Families, who had fled their homes due to fighting, return to their houses in the Barzeh neighbourhood of Damascus

Syrians return to their badly damaged homes as ceasefire makes streets safe again

For the first time in the Syrian civil war a ceasefire agreement in a Damascus district sees rebel fighters keep their weapons and control of their own neighbourhood in return for an end to the fighting. If repeated in other parts of Syria, such agreements have the potential to de-escalate violence that has left 130,000 Syrians dead.

Louay Safi of the Syrian National Coalition, one of the groups pressing for a transitional government

Syria Geneva II talks: Breakthrough in sight with humanitarian corridor that could see aid convoy heading to Homs within 48 hours

Humanitarian aid reaching desperate people trapped by the fighting could be the first tangible step in the talks between the regime and rebels in Syria, with a convoy moving to besieged Homs within 48 hours.

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

Syria Geneva II talks: the long road to peace?

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

Syrians drive a car with a national flag on the front hood bearing a portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Syria Geneva II talks: Scepticism on the streets as al-Qa’ida poses as peacemaker

Patrick Cockburn in Damascus finds people resigned to Geneva talks failure

Ahmad al-Jarba, leader of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), speaks to the press in Geneva, Switzerland

Syria rebels say Russia is prepared to drop Assad

The two sides in Syria’s civil war are due to start talking on Friday after three years of savage strife.

As attention turns to Geneva, Assad is starving millions of Syrians

6.3 million people are now in critical need of food

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during press conference in Moscow on 17 January 2014. He has since called the UN's withdrawal of its invitation to the Syrian peace talks to Iran

Syria peace talks: Russian Foreign Minster says withdrawing Iran's invitation is 'a mistake, but not a catastrophe'

His words come after the UN offered Iran a place at Wednesday's meetings on Sunday, which had been withdrawn by Monday

Free Syrian Army fighters carry their weapons as they run for cover in Daraya, near Damascus; Syamend Farhan says he is just happy to have escaped the terror of Syria

Syria civil war: You saved me, but I just think about the family I left behind

The story of one Syrian's journey from Damascus to Manchester

Free Syrian Army fighters carry their weapons as they walk towards the frontline in the refugee camp of Yarmouk, near Damascus

Yarmouk: A camp without hope for a people without a land

Of its 250,000 Palestinians, scarcely 18,000 now remain; up to 1,500 are dead, many of them due to hunger

Russia and US unite to push for Syria ceasefire as Kerry and Lavrov meet in Paris

Powers call for humanitarian aid as rebels fight each other

BNP leader Nick Griffin declared bankrupt: Where has all his money gone?

Surely a man on a near £1m income over five years, law degree from Cambridge and ambitions to manage the economy, should not have lost control of his purse strings?

Lebanese soldiers at an explosion site in Sbouba, Bekaa, on 17 December

Lebanese army fires on Syrian helicopters ‘for violating airspace’

Officials say the Syrians were chasing rebels who were trying to sneak into Lebanon

2013 - the year in review: What a contrast between the optimism of the Arab Spring and the dark mood of today's Middle East

Al-Assad will stay in power. The rebels are not strong enough to remove him without Western intervention

Syrian rebels have taken iconoclasm to new depths, with shrines, statues and even a tree destroyed – but to what end?

Compared writing poetry to the sex act? May he be turned to dust!

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee