Attacks across Iraq, including 13 car bombs, killed at least 18 people Wednesday, highlighting the persistent danger from militants 11 years after American forces took Baghdad.
The latest violence is part of a protracted surge in nationwide bloodshed that has killed more than 2,400 people so far this year.
Two car bombs killed at least 25 people, including women and children, in a government-held neighborhood of Syria's central city of Homs Wednesday, state news agency SANA reported.
Another 100 people were wounded in Karam al-Luz, in attacks SANA blamed on rebels.
Hezbollah and the Syrian Army's five-month campaign to clear rebels from the strategic Qalamoun region is approaching its final stand.
The allies have seized one village and town after the other, gradually moving southward through the corridor between Damascus and Homs which links the Syrian capital to the Mediterranean coast.
"There is a practical Syrian reality that the West should deal with - not with its wishes and dreams, which proved to be false,"
This leaves Western powers reflecting on a perceived loss of influence in the Middle East. Many now see a new strategy of "containing" Assad - and the fallout from a bitter war that has created millions of refugees and legions of hardened guerrillas.
"America is in a state of confusion. On the one hand it does not want the regime to stay and on the other it cannot control the opposition which is represented by ISIL and Nusra,"
President Barack Obama said last month that the United States had reached "limits" after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and questioned whether years of military engagement in Syria would produce a better outcome there.