Traditional desserts, like these served in 2010 at the original Naranj restaurant in Damascus, offer sweet, familiar flavors at the restaurant's various locations in the Middle East. A platter like this shows up at the end of every meal at Naranj, and all the pastries are made in-house. Jan Smith/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Jan Smith/Flickr

Turkish soldiers during the military operation in Syria on Sunday. Turkey launched the raid to evacuate some 40 soldiers guarding the Tomb of Suleyman Shah, grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire. Xinhua/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Xinhua/Landov

Saudi Arabia's Prince Turki al-Faisal, shown in 2013 in Bahrain, says the 'pinpricks' against the Islamic State have not been effective. The former intelligence chief also says the campaign needs to be better coordinated. Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty hide caption

itoggle caption Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty

Migrants who survived a shipwreck are escorted as they arrive at the Lampedusa harbor on Wednesday. Some 300 others drowned in the latest such disaster triggered by people fleeing conflicts in North Africa. Antonio Parrinello/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Antonio Parrinello/Reuters/Landov

Members of the family of Kayla Mueller, 26, have confirmed that their daughter has died. She had been held captive since being taken prisoner in 2013 while doing humanitarian work in Syria. The Mueller Family hide caption

itoggle caption The Mueller Family

Syria's President Bashar Assad is seen Monday during the filming of an interview with the BBC in Damascus. Assad said third parties including Iraq were conveying information about a U.S.-led campaign of airstrikes against the self-declared Islamic State group in Syria. SANA/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption SANA/Reuters/Landov

Members of the family of Kayla Mueller, 26, have confirmed that their daughter has been held captive since being taken prisoner in 2013 while doing humanitarian work in Syria. ISIS claims Mueller died in an airstrike Friday. The Mueller Family hide caption

itoggle caption The Mueller Family

Relatives of Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, who was captured by ISIS militants in Syria, protest Tuesday in front of the royal palace in Amman, Jordan. Jordan has suggested it might be willing to hold a prisoner exchange for his release. Jamal Nasrallah/EPA/LANDOV hide caption

itoggle caption Jamal Nasrallah/EPA/LANDOV

Relatives of Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, who was captured by ISIS militants in Syria, protest in front of royal palace in Amman, Jordan, Tuesday. Jordan has suggested it might be willing to hold a prisoner exchange for his release. JAMAL NASRALLAH/EPA /LANDOV hide caption

itoggle caption JAMAL NASRALLAH/EPA /LANDOV

Free Syrian Army fighters run behind sandbags in Daraa Al-Mahata, in southern Syria, on Jan. 21. Many moderate rebels joined the uprising to fight against President Bashar Assad, but the U.S. plans to train them to fight the self-proclaimed Islamic State. Wsam Almokdad/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Wsam Almokdad/Reuters/Landov

Allison Begalman, a student at the University of Southern California, wears goggles and headphones to experience a virtual mortar strike on civilians in Aleppo, Syria. James Delahoussaye/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption James Delahoussaye/NPR

Lebanese Hezbollah supporters carry the coffin of Jihad Mughniyeh during his funeral in Beirut on Monday. Mughniyeh was one of six ranking members of Hezbollah killed in a suspected Israeli strike Sunday. Iran says a general of its elite Revolutionary Guards was also killed. Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images

A rebel fighter takes aim during a training session in Eastern al-Ghouta, a rebel-held region outside the capital Damascus, earlier this month. Russia is inviting Syrian opposition groups to peace talks in Moscow, but few of them want to go to a country that supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Abd Doumany/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Abd Doumany/AFP/Getty Images

Alex Sanchez with his wife, Blanca, and sons Duvan and Irvin. Sanchez has been eligible to live and work legally in the U.S. since 2001, when his home country, El Salvador, experienced a major earthquake. Alexandra Starr for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Alexandra Starr for NPR

Syrian refugees carry gasoline under heavy snow fall at the a U.N.-run refugee camp of Fayda near the Bekaa Valley town of Zahle in eastern Lebanon on Jan. 7. STR/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption STR/AFP/Getty Images

Safi al-Kasasbeh and his wife Saafia are the parents of Moath al-Kasasbeh, the Jordanian air force pilot captured by the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Syria. The worried parents are proud of their son, but say Jordan should not be involved in the coalition against ISIS. Alice Fordham/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Alice Fordham/NPR

NPR's Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep interviews President Obama on Dec. 17 in the Oval Office, where they discussed U.S. involvement in the Middle East and the world as a whole. Kainaz Amaria/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Kainaz Amaria/NPR