Two suicide bombings hit Damascus on Wednesday, including an attack at a central courthouse that killed at least 32 people. The second wave of deadly attacks in the capital in less than a week after twin bombings killed 74 on Saturday.
Although several hundred US special forces troops have been active in Syria for months now, the Marines' arrival marks the largest deployment of America's conventional forces in Syria since the civil war began six years ago.
Iraqi forces on Sunday launched an operation to retake the west bank of Mosul, the latest phase of a massive offensive on the ISIS bastion. Here are the main dates concerning the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
The rebels in Syria have lost control of most of their foothold in Aleppo. Some say the defeat of the rebels there could be decisive. Others say the eventual fall of Aleppo is unlikely to end the war in Syria. But it does raise the possibility of movement in that direction. So how do wars end?
ISIS militants beheaded a renowned antiquities scholar and hanged his body on a column in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. Khaled al-Asaad, 81, was apparently killed for refusing to reveal where valuable artifacts had been moved for safekeeping before ISIS seized the UNESCO World Heritage site in May.
When British artist Banksy does something, people take notice. The unidentified and mysterious graffiti artist has posted a film online that spoofs Syrian rebels and shows them accidentally killing Dumbo the Elephant. The video's gone viral and has generated a lot of reaction in the Twittersphere.
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.
Abubaker Deghayes, a British property manager, is mourning the death of a second son who has died fighting in Syria with the extremist group Jabhat al-Nusra. Deghayes says Western governments must do more to reach out to youth who are tempted to enlist in jihadi groups.