Middle East

Troops depart for Iraq

Troops leaving Ohakea on the first leg of their journey to Iraq.

New Zealand troops bound for Iraq have left on the first leg of their deployment.

In whose interest? New Zealand’s policy towards Iraq

A US Army trainer watches Iraqi recruits in action; the return of troops to Iraq to help the fight against ISIS is for the wrong reasons, argues Harmeet Sooden.

OPINION: If New Zealand is serious about addressing the crisis in Iraq, Syria and beyond, it should withdraw from the US-led coalition and be guided instead by a UN mandate.

Christians killed in IS video? video

Image from an Islamic State video.

A new IS video apparently shows the shootings and beheadings of two groups in Libya.

Iran's nuclear weapons a US "myth" video

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has told military leaders Iran is being shamelessly threatened by the US.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says the US has created the "myth" of nuclear weapons to portray Iran as a threat.

Mass graves found in Iraq

An Iraqi forensics team unearths bodies from a mass grave in the palace compound of former President Saddam Hussein in Tikrit, Iraq.

Iraqi authorities uncover more than 160 bodies, most of them bound, shot and buried in mass graves.

Kardashian cut on Jewish news site

Kim Kardashian cut out of photo on Jewish news website

Israeli ultra-Orthodox Jewish news website cuts Kim Kardashian from a photo taken of her in Jerusalem this week.

Islamic State seizes village in Iraq's Anbar province

An Islamic State flag flies near a barricade at Yarmouk refugree camp on the edge of Damascus.

Islamic State militants gained ground in western Iraq, overrunning another village near the capital of Anbar province.

ISIL withdraws from camp

Shiite fighters cover their ears as a rocket is launched during a clash with Islamic State militants in the town of al-Alam.

ISIL fighters have largely withdrawn from a Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus.

Bomber's mid-air explosion video

The car erupts in a ball of flames either due to the explosives or fuel tank igniting.

Dramatic video shows moment Islamic State suicide bomber's car hits roadside bomb.

Sexual violence tactics

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

UN report highlights a shocking trend of sexual violence employed as a tactic of terror by radical groups.

Saudi king relieves minister

Saudi Arabia's King Salman.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman has removed a second minister handling social welfare issues in a month.

Iran to allow women at sports

Iranian-British woman Ghoncheh Ghavami, who was jailed for protesting against the law that blocked women from attending sports matches, has been pardoned.

Iran has partially lifted a ban on women attending men's sports matches days after a court pardoned an Iranian-British woman who had been jailed for protesting against the law.

Yemen air strike kills family

A young boy with a surgical mask and gun during a sandstorm in Sanaa on Friday.

An air strike on a village near the Yemeni capital Sanaa killed a family of nine, residents say, in what appears to be a hit by the Saudi-led military campaign against Houthi militia.

Nuclear deal starts new relationship video

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani: "This is a first step towards productive interactions with the world. Today is a day that will remain in the historic memory of the Iranian nation."

Iran's president says a nuclear deal was just the first step toward building a new relationship with the world.

Israel PM slams nuclear deal video

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he 'vehemently opposes' America's new agreement with Iran.

Benjamin Netanyahu says Iran-America deal "would threaten the survival of Israel".

Iran deal 'historic' - Obama video

"If Iran cheats, the world will know it. If we see something suspicious, we will inspect it," says US President Barack Obama of a new deal on nuclear weapons in Iran.

Nuclear framework reached in Switzerland would help make world safer, says Obama.

Victory over Islamic State in Tikrit

VICTORY: Iraqi security forces and Shi'ite fighters sit on a tank in the Salahuddin province March 2, 2015.

After victory in Tikirt, Iraq warn militants in other province they will fall next.

Israel PM rails against Iran nuclear agreement

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "Iran must stop its aggression in the region, stop its terrorism throughout the world and stop its threats to annihilate Israel. That should be non-negotiable and that's the deal that the world powers must insist upon."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a last-ditch appeal for world powers to call off an emerging nuclear agreement with Iran.

Bloody end to hostage crisis

A gunman poses with Prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz with a gun on his head after he was taken hostage in his office in a court house in Istanbul.

Police had negotiated with the hostage-takers for six hours and only launched the assault after hearing gunshots

Syrian girl 'surrenders' - or not?

Heartbreaking? The photograph of Syrian refugee Hudea, taken by Osman Sagirli, was first published in Turkish newspaper.

It's been described as the image that broke the internet's heart. But what's the real story?

NZ troops preparing for Iraq

Troops will work alongside their Australian counterparts as part of a joint mission.

New Zealand troops are in Australia preparing for a joint mission in Iraq.

Reports refugees killed by air strike

Belongings lie amid a damaged house which activists said belonged to Nusra Front and was destroyed by an apparent Syrian army air strike is pictured in south Salqin, Idlib March 6, 2015. Al Qaeda's Syrian branch was left reeling on Friday after its military chief was killed in an apparent army air strike, adding to confusion over the future path of the most powerful group opposing both President Bashar al-Assad and Islamic State. Abu Humam al-Shami, who trained in Afghanistan alongside plotters of the Sept. 11 2001 attacks on the United States and whose Nusra Front controls wide parts of northwestern Syria, was killed by an explosion at a meeting of commanders on Thursday in Idlib province. REUTERS/Mohamad Bayoush (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT)

An air strike hit a Yemeni refugee camp on Monday, killing 21 people, humanitarian workers told Reuters.

Powers meet to end nuclear impasse

European Union officials and Iranian officials gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Foreign ministers of Iran and six world powers in final push for preliminary nuclear accord less than two days before deadline.

Kabul suicide bomber

A member of the Afghan security forces at the site of a suicide attack targeting parliamentarian Gul Pacha Mujedi in Kabul on Sunday.

A suicide attacker targeting a prominent Afghan MP has killed three people and wounded seven.

Tunisian Jihadist chief killed

Protesters at an anti-extremism march, in Tunis on Sunday. Tens of thousands of Tunisians from across the political spectrum marched through the capital to denounce extremist violence after a deadly museum attack on foreign tourists.

Tunisia has killed the leader of the jihadists accused of organising the massacre at its national museum.

Countering extremism

Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby, left, speaks during a press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri at the conclusion of an Arab summit meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh, South Sinai, Egypt.

Arab states have agreed to form a combined military force to counter Iranian and Islamist extremism

Islamic State beheads 8 Shi'ites

A new video has been released by the Islamic State group which shows its fighters cutting off the heads of eight men.

A new video has been released by the Islamic State group which shows its fighters cutting off the heads of eight men.

Fighting, airstrikes throughout Yemen

Southern People's Resistance militants loyal to Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi take positions on the frontline of fighting against Houthi fighters in the country's southern province of Lahej March 24, 2015. Fighters from Yemen's dominant Houthi movement drew closer to Hadi's refuge in Aden on Tuesday, taking over two towns north of the port city as columns advanced from different directions.

Yemeni fighters loyal to the President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi clashed with Houthi fighters.

Living with a bomb: life after the Gaza war

Life after the war: Fadel Nasser with family members inside their home in Gaza. Photo: Ruth Pollard

A family has been living above a 3m Israeli missile for seven months following the war in Gaza.

Islamist groups seize Syrian city

ARAB INSULT: Rebel fighters place shoes on a damaged sculpture of late Syrian president Hafez al-Assad, father of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in Idlib city, after taking took control of the area on Saturday.

Hardline Islamist insurgents have taken the city of Idlib and are roaming the streets.

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