World powers meeting in Munich have announced a ceasefire plan for Syria. Fighting is supposed to stop in a week. But no Syrians were at the conference, leaving this observer skeptical about the implementation of the deal.
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has given a rare interview to the media — to the BBC. Assad denied using barrel bombs. But British trauma surgeon David Nott was astonished to hear that, since he was nearly killed by one of the devices in Aleppo a few months ago.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan don't often see eye-to-eye on important foreign policy issues, such as Russia's annexation of Crimea and the crisis in Syria. But when the two leaders met at the beginning of the week in Ankara, they became a "coalition of the unwilling."
Syria's official news agency, SANA, publishes a website in eight language — including most recently in Hebrew. The Syrian regime added Hebrew, the official language of Israel, to "gain the upper hand in the battle for public opinion."
Syrians in the Turkish border town of Kobane say they're on the verge of being overrun by ISIS militants. But while American warplanes are coming to their aid, the US is still reluctant to get involved — but may be forced into much wider action that it wants.
An Islamic extremist group fighting in Syria, known as ISIS, is demanding that non-Muslims in areas they control convert to Islam or pay a "tax" for protection. Syrian Christian pastor Nadim Nassar, living in exile in London, says Syria's Christians are caught "between two fires" — Assad's dictatorship and a fragmented rebellion.
It's essentially an improvised explosive device - an oil barrel filled with explosive material and shrapnel - dropped from the sky. Host Marco Werman speaks with Time's Middle East bureau chief, Aryn Baker from Beirut about so-called barrel bombs and why Syrian forces are dropping them on cities.
Ebola, ISIS and Ukraine are the issues of the day for political cartoonists gathering in San Francisco for their annual conference. But for some of the international cartoonists visiting from Cuba, Pakistan, India and other places, the issue is more fundamental: Can I even get my cartoons published?
Among the more than one million Syrians who've fled the war are Syrians of Armenian descent. Unlike most Syrian refugees, they're Christian. And many of them fear that if Syrian Bashar al-Assad leaves, they can never go home again.
The US is having some issues mobilizing a coalition in its new war on the militants of ISIS. US Secretary of State John Kerry has been traveling in the Middle East and says he has support from 10 Arab nations, but what that support actually means is uncertain.