Obama and Putin's frosty meeting at the United Nations this week gives little hope of an end to the brutal conflict.
US Senator John McCain said Moscow's real priority was to "prop up" Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Reports from the scenes of Russia's air strikes suggest that the targeting of groups other than Isis was deliberate. Yet the detail may not matter.
Warplanes have carried out air strikes in Hama, Homs and Latakia in what Russia's powerful Orthodox Church has termed a "holy battle".
Tehran plays a critical role that unnerves its allies in the regime as much as its enemies.
The situation for refugees in the Bekaa Valley is desperate.
The tabloid's explicit use of a drowned boy underscores its baffling welcome to the refugees.
Syria's ancient city of Palmyra integrated migrants and worshipped many gods. It is being destroyed by the Islamic State's monocultural bigotry.
Over four million refugees have fled the conflict in Syria. The UN has described it as the world's largest refugee crisis in nearly a quarter of a century.
Enough documentary evidence has been accumulated to prosecute the Syrian president.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the militants carried out raids on villages inhabited by the ancient Christian minority west of Hasaka.
Hundreds of armed Turkish forces have entered Syria to evacuate troops guarding an Ottoman tomb.
M&G's photo editor Paul Botes brings you a selection of captivating photos from around the world, including some of the events that made headlines this year.
Contradictions mean little to a dressmaker who patches up the people she shoots.
Guerrilla group "White Shroud" is hunting down Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant fighters in eastern Syria.
A looming bloodbath is spurring a Kurdish revolt in Turkey that could spin out of control.
United States President Barack Obama vowed to continue air strikes against Islamic State fighters and pledged to build more international support.
Desperate women are seeking refuge from war in arranged marriages, despite reports of abuse.