In this image made from undated video obtained by The Associated Press, a man believed to be Peter Theo Curtis, a U.S. citizen held hostage by an al-Qaida linked group in Syria, delivers a statement.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (left) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey during a Pentagon briefing on Thursday. Hagel said Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria posed a threat "beyond anything we've seen."
Syrians inspect a site hit by what they said were airstrikes carried out by President Bashar Assad in the Eastern Ghouta area on Aug. 3. Assad's forces continue to besiege the area near Damascus, which is still controlled by rebels.
President Obama leaves after making a statement Wednesday about the killing of journalist James Foley in Syria. The president said the U.S. would continue to confront Islamic State extremists despite the brutal murder.
Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Assad walk along a street in Mleiha, near the Damascus airport, during a tour organized by the Syrian government on Aug. 15.
A picture taken with a smart phone shows Syrian refugees queuing at one of the many UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency) registration centers in Lebanon. At the same time that civil wars and the Ebola outbreak are plaguing countries in Africa, Syrian and Iraqi refugees are seeking help from agencies.
Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images
Brig. Gen. Mohammad Ali Mughdeed talks to the men he commands to protect the Mosul dam, a critical piece of infrastructure that supplies water and electricity. The dam recently fell to the Islamic State in Iraq, but Kurdish forces say they've retaken it, a claim that could not be verified.
Ayaman with his wife, Selma, and their 1-month-old daughter, Shana, who was born in Turkey. Syrian refugee parents who give birth in Turkey are finding it difficult to register their newborns, and many are stateless.
Jodi Hilton for NPR
Rebel fighters drink tea on the front line of Ramouseh, near the Aleppo Artillery School. President Obama has requested $500 million to arm and train "moderate" Syrian rebel groups.
Women walk past election posters of Syria's President Bashar Assad on a Damascus street on Monday. Despite the civil war, the election will be held Tuesday in areas controlled by Assad's government. Assad became president after his father's death in 2000 and is assured of winning a third seven-year term.