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.
The US-Saudi relationship, which is built on defense partnerships and oil wealth, has been publicly strained over disagreement over Syria, warming US-Iran ties, and a UN Security Council seat.