Pope Francis has called for prayers for a group of nuns seized from their convent in Syria and for all hostages held in the war-torn country.
Evidence collected by UN investigators probing war crimes in Syria points to Bashar al-Assad, says UN human rights chief Navi Pillay.
Israel has hit back at Hezbollah after the Lebanese Shi’a movement said it was behind the assassination of Hassan Hawlo al-Lakiss.
Fierce fighting outside Damascus has claimed the lives of 160 people in the past two days, according to activists.
The global chemical weapons watchdog is inviting private companies to bid to get involved in destroying Syria's stockpile of toxic agents and precursor chemicals.
Attacks in mostly Sunni Arab areas of Baghdad as well as northern and western Iraq have reportedly killed at least 18 people.
Islamist rebels report capture of largest Syrian oil field while army air strikes kill 40.
Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad captured the southern Damascus suburb of Hujaira as part of a broader advance that has brought him major gains.