Russia's recent military build-up in Syria aims not only to boost the embattled regime of crucial ally Bashar Assad but also to send a strong signal to the West, experts say.
With President Vladimir Putin set to make Syria a key issue of his address to the U.N. General Assembly in New York later this month, Moscow is making it clear that it will not be ignored in the Middle East.Full Story
In ramping up its military involvement in Syria's civil war, Russia appears to be betting that the West, horrified by the Islamic State group's spread and an escalating migrants crisis, may be willing to quietly tolerate President Bashar Assad for a while, perhaps as part of a transition.
The logic is that prioritizing the fight with the jihadis means accepting Assad as the less bad option despite his own brutal acts, and might produce a more effective and coordinated fight in the air and on the ground.Full Story
Seeking to sell his nuclear deal with Iran to a skeptical Israeli public, President Barack Obama has repeatedly declared his deep affection for the Jewish state. But the feelings do not appear to be mutual.
Wide swaths of the Israeli public, particularly supporters of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have little trust in the American leader, considering him naive and even hostile. One recent poll showed less than a tenth considered him "pro-Israel."Full Story
This year's record refugee influx will bring sweeping social, demographic and economic change to Germany, which was long uncomfortable about being known as a country of migrants, analysts say.
Europe's top economy is expecting to welcome 800,000 asylum seekers this year, almost double the previous high in 1992, when it took in 438,000 refugees from the war-torn former Yugoslavia.Full Story
A flood of desperate refugees and images of a toddler lying dead on a beach have thrown Syria's chaos into stark relief, but global powers are still far from seeing eye-to-eye on a solution to the conflict.
Despite a renewed sense of urgency, major players in the West, Gulf, Russia and Iran are pursuing vastly different military and diplomatic tactics on the Syrian crisis.Full Story
The Yemen war is entering a new and potentially decisive phase as Gulf nations build up ground forces to battle rebels in the country's north and rebel-held capital, analysts say.
After five months of air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition and ground combat between Iran-backed rebels and coalition-supported fighters, Yemen "is bracing for a new and more deadly phase of violence in the north", said April Longley Alley of the International Crisis Group.Full Story
As hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees languish in camps or risk their lives to reach Europe, questions are being asked about why wealthy Gulf states have accepted so few.
By the end of August, more than four million Syrians had fled their country but very few if any refugees have been officially accepted by the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.Full Story
As thousands of refugees arrive every day in Germany, calls are growing louder from business leaders in Europe's biggest economy to offer them jobs.
"If we can integrate them quickly into the jobs market, we'll be helping the refugees, but also helping ourselves as well," the head of the powerful BDI industry federation, Ulrich Grillo, said this week.Full Story
From his office in Strasbourg in eastern France, Hatem Gheribi picks up the phone to a desperate woman who says she has washed up on a tiny Greek island.
As part of the "Watch the Med" team, Gheribi answers lots of calls like this.Full Story
The sensation of drowning, short-term memory loss, insomnia and suicidal tendencies: they may have made it safely to Italy, but many asylum seekers are plagued by symptoms of trauma and the psychological help they need is in short supply.
Between 10 percent and 30 percent of asylum seekers reaching Europe are estimated to have been tortured in their home countries. All are at risk of trauma during desert crossings, a lawless Libya, or treacherous boat journeys.Full Story