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Massive loss of life feared if ground offensive goes ahead, with the port the main point of entry for aid for the entire country.
Find out what was targeted, who was involved and how the world has reacted.
Thousands flee expected final assault as rebels lose all but one strongpoint in region close to capital.
The Turkish military is set to activate ground operations in addition to the air strikes it has launched against the US-backed YPG militia in Afrin province
After Russia announced the defeat of ISIL in Syria, President Putin told soldiers "the motherland is waiting" for them.
The North Korean military in numbers
US military spending in 2016 topped that of China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, France, UK, Japan, Germany and South Korea combined
Turkish forces have entered the northwestern Syrian province as part of a joint mission with Russia and Iran to enforce a ceasefire there.
Offensive against ISIL in Lebanon paused in hope of prisoner release.
The Lebanese army and Hezbollah, have launched separate offensives against an Islamic State enclave on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria.
Heavy street fighting slows Iraqi army in final push against ISIL in Mosul's Old City
The Philippines deploys more troops to defeat Islamist rebels in the southern city of Marawi, while hundreds of civilians wait to be evacuated.
Egypt has launched a second round of air stirkes over Libya in retaliation for Friday’s attack on a bus carrying Coptic Christians near Cairo
The Iraqi army’s new push in the battle to recapture Mosul has been hailed as “the beginning of the end” for the extremist group there.
New front opens in the battle to retake Mosul from ISIL
Fierce fighting took place on Friday in the old part of Western Mosul as Iraqi forces continue to battle ISIL fighters.
The US drops the so-called mother of all bombs onto a cave complex in Afghanistan.
The US' Tomahawk missile was first used in 1991 and is relied upon for land attacks. As many as 59 were fired at Syria on Friday morning.
The governor of Homs says the US missile attack on an air base near the western Syrian city was to “serve the goals of terrorism.
The Iraqi military is battling Islamic State group in a final push to take control of the parts of western Mosul that are still held by the extremist group.
Colombia’s military has killed ten members of the country’s second biggest rebel group, including a number of women.
Thousands more people continue to flee fighting in Western Mosul to newly built UN camps on the outskirts of the city.
ISIL is being squeezed in its last urban stronghold in Iraq, Mosul, as the city falls to Iraqi special forces, and the Islamic militants appear close to collapse.
Russia’s Defence Ministry claims its forces played a decisive role in the recapture of Palmyra.
After nearly three years under ISIL control, Mosul airport is captured by Iraqi security forces, state television announces.
The fighting follows Turkey's announcement that it had killed 44 jihadists in the city, and reported US airstrikes on Monday