Turkey was an early supporter of Syria's rebellion, keeping its border open for refugees and aid, but has became wary of jihadi groups operating on its turf.
A multilateral effort to destroy the Syrian government's chemical arsenal cleared its first hurdle after missing year-end deadline.
Iran turned down a limited US invitation to the Syria peace conference, but the two have an increasingly common interest in stemming the rise of Sunni militancy in places like Iraq.
The UN asked today for $6.5 billion for Syria, its largest appeal ever for a single crisis. A breakdown of what's been requested, and where it would go.
There are discouraging signs for talks scheduled for January: the main rebel forces will not send a representative, and President Assad has less reason to compromise after recent battlefield gains.
As leader of the Tawhid Brigade, Abdulkader al-Saleh was an important figure in the Syrian rebellion. He was expected to rise high in rebel ranks until he was killed by government forces.