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.
James Foley's kidnapping and murder is a sad trend in the war in Syria, but it's paying off for terrorist groups. They've collected millions of dollars in ransoms, and journalist David Rohde, who spent seven months in Taliban captivity, says current kidnapping policies aren't keeping journalists safe.
You might wonder why a doctor from Atlanta, a successful heart surgeon, would bother to go to a Syrian refugee camp as a volunteer? Dr.Omar Lattouf knew very little about the Syrian crisis and the massive refugee problem until he arrived at Jordan's Al-Zaatari Syrian Refugee Camp.
There are now several dozen Westerners who have gone to Syria and volunteered for Kurdish militias fighting ISIS. And while many have military experience, some are simply outraged neophytes eager to help fight the jihadi group.
The Syrian government and its allies, Russia and Iran, are indiscriminately bombing and shelling the last square mile of Aleppo under rebel control. The area still contains tens of thousands of unarmed civilians. Many experts say it's a war crime. But legally, it's not genocide. It's a crime of extermination.