Syrian President Bashar Assad, shown here in July, appeared to be in a tough position at the beginning of the year. But many analysts say his hold on power grew stronger over the course of 2014, due in part to the U.S. bombing campaign against the Islamic State.
A convoy of U.N. vehicles with chemical weapons experts on board head out on Friday to do more work as the investigate allegations of chemical weapons use in near Damascus.
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In Washington, D.C., this week, there have been demonstrations both in favor of and against a military strike on targets in Syria. Outside the White House on Monday, supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad waved a Syrian flag with his face on it.
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Vice President Joe Biden stands in front of his residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, as President Obama arrives at a dinner Biden is hosting for Republican senators.
Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., right, accompanied by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks Monday following a White House meeting with President Obama. Both senators are calling for a tough military response against Syria.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo
Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and British Prime Minister David Cameron met earlier this month. Cameron said then that he was encouraged by Russia's willingness to take part in a peace conference on Syria. Now, Russia is said to be angry about the EU's decision to lift an embargo on arming the Syrian opposition.
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British Prime Minister David Cameron (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin viewed the Sochi Olympic Park along the Black Sea coast by helicopter Friday.
Nikolsky Alexei /ITAR-TASS /Landov