Middle East

History a casualty in Syria's war

The Great Mosque in Aleppo after the minaret was destroyed.

One of the casualties of Syria's civil war is history. 

Iran seeks give and take

Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran is ready to work with the United States and its allies to stop Islamic State militants.

Thousands of Kurds flee jihadists video

Turkish soldiers stand guard as Syrians wait behind the border fences near the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province, on Thursday.

Tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds have flooded into Turkey, fleeing an onslaught by Islamic State militants.

Turkish hostages freed

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Forty-nine hostages seized by Islamic State militants in northern Iraq have been freed.

Rift widens between Obama and US military

COPPING FLAK: Barack Obama explains the US strategy for degrading and defeating Islamic State militants without sending ground forces back into Iraq in front of American soldiers.

Flashes of disagreement over how to fight the Islamic State are mounting between President Obama and US military leaders, the latest sign of strain in what often has been an awkward and uneasy relationship.

Islamists offers hostages for imprisoned 'superstar'

'Superstar' of IS ... Aafia Siddiqui is currently serving an 86-year sentence at a federal prison in Texas on her conviction four years ago of attempted murder, although she has been linked to terror plots.

For months, Islamic State militants have engaged in a high-stakes game of deadly extortion, threatening to behead American captives they are holding in the Middle East unless their demands are met, including an end to US airstrikes targeting their strongholds in Iraq.

Islamic militants blamed for bombings

Where bombing is a fact of life: the crater from a car bomb east of Baghdad.

A series of vehicle bombings in Iraq killed at least 31 people, officials said, in the second straight day of attacks in Baghdad blamed on Islamic militants who have seized large parts of the country.

France carries out air strikes in Iraq on Islamists

French President Francois Hollande

French jets carried out their first air strike against Islamic State militants in Iraq, successfully destroying their target.

'Happy' singers sentenced in Iran

US singer Pharrell Williams is no happy six Iranians have been punished for singing his song.

Six Iranians arrested for singing along to the pop song Happy were given suspended sentences of 91 lashes and six months in prison.

Militants capture 21 Syrian villages video

Islamic State fighters sit on a tank in Raqqa, Syria.

Islamic State fighters, armed with heavy weaponry including tanks, took the group of villages in 24 hours and are besieging a nearby city.

US approves aid to rebels

President Obama speaks about the Senate vote on Thursday.

The Senate has approved President Obama's plan to train and arm Syrian rebels to counter the Islamic State.

British journalist John Cantlie shown in IS video video

An image grab taken from a video released by the Islamic State group through Al-Furqan Media via YouTube allegedly shows British freelance photojournalist, John Cantlie, at an undisclosed location.

Another Western journalist appears as a captive of Islamic State militants video.

How Islamic State grew to be a local threat

The Islamic State announced a caliphate in July.

The emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq has escalated quickly into an international crisis.

US edges closer to 3rd Iraq war

Secretary of State John Kerry testifies at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on "US Strategy to Defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" on Wednesday.

The US House of Representatives approves President Obama's plan to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels, despite skepticism about its chances for success.

No ground war for US

BARACK OBAMA: "The American forces do not and will not have a combat mission."

Barack Obama reaffirms he does not intend to send US troops into combat against the Islamic State.

US may use ground troops

Shi'ite fighters who have joined the Iraqi army to fight against militants of the Islamic State take part in field training on Tuesday.

America's top military officer raises the possibility of using US ground troops against the Islamic State, despite pledges from President Obama.

Manning weighs in on Iraq

The Guardian's portrait of Chelsea Manning.

The simmering debate about the evolving US military strategy in Iraq and Syria has been joined by an unlikely pundit: Army Private Chelsea Manning.

Egypt tourism could recover

PIT STOP: A horse rests near the pyramids of Giza outside of Cairo.

Egypt's tourism industry could fully recover by the end of next year.

Car bomb kills three in Kabul

Afghan security forces take cover during clashes with Taliban fighters in Kabul.

A Taliban attacker detonates car bomb next to military convoy, killing three members of the NATO-led force.

US air strike near Baghdad

HITTING BACK: US President Barack Obama.

US warplanes have made their first strike near Baghdad in a new effort to decimate Islamic State rebels.

US to Assad: Don't interfere

CONTROL: A soldier loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stands on Nasiriyah hill, after the military said they have regained control of the hill, along with Zur-Almsalq village and Khattab city, in the Northern Hama countryside.

US warns Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against responding to US strikes in Syria on Islamic State targets.

Brits rule out rescue mission

HOSTAGE TALKS: Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond leaves Downing Street.

Britain rules out special forces mission to rescue a Briton threatened in the latest execution video as does not know where he and other hostages were being held.

Peacekeepers pull back

ON PATROL: Members of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) ride on an armoured personnel carrier (APC) in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights are pulling out from positions due to a severe deterioration of security in the region.

Kiwi terrorists 'likely' - expert

UNCERTAIN NUMBERS: Waikato University international law expert Alexander Gillespie says the figure of two dozen New Zealanders involved is a guess based on Australian numbers.

There could be as many as two dozen New Zealanders involved with ISIS, an international law expert says.

Air strikes call resisted

Direct message: Footage of British aid worked David Haines, who was executed by ISIS.

Britain resists pressure for air strikes against IS after the militant group beheads David Haines, a British hostage, and threatens to kill another.

Arrests in Malala shooting

OUTSPOKEN: Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, shot in 2012.

Pakistan's army arrests 10 militants suspected of involvement in 2012 attack on Malala Yousafzai.

Can Obama really attack IS in Syria?

OBAMA: Made attacking Islamic State sound simple - but it's not.

It's not as clear as Obama made it sound that he has the authority to go after Islamic State militants in the manner he plans.

Fiji hails freed peacekeepers

RELEASED: Fijian UN peacekeepers released by al-Qaeda-linked group Nusra Front in Syria, gesture from inside a vehicle as they arrive in Israeli-held territory on the Golan heights.

Military strongman Voreqe Bainimarama says Fiji’s 45 soldiers freed by Syrian rebels are heroes.

'We will hunt down Islamic State' video

ADDRESSING THE NATION: US President Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama says he will not hesitate to attack Islamic State militants in Syria and would allow them "no safe haven".

Has Obama signed a death warrant?

HOSTAGE: A photo from an Islamic State video purportedly showing David Haines.

US declaration that it's time to go after Islamic militants may have deadly consequences.

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