Journalist James Foley was on assignment for Boston-based website Global Post and the Agence France-Presse when he was taken hostage at a checkpoint in northern Syria in November 2012. Photograph: AP Photo

James Foley, the US photojournalist who has been beheaded by the so-called Islamic State, was an avid reader of the Koran who wanted to promote dia(...)

An Islamic State fighter keeps guard as  employees of the group, hired to monitor and check the quality of goods in markets, throw away confiscated products in central Raqqa. Photograph: Reuters

Until now, journalists who attempted to cover the Sunni Muslim fundamentalist enclave in northern Syria and Iraq known as the Islamic State were in(...)

Isis fighters waving flags in a military parade along the streets of Syria’s northern Raqqa province. The jihadist group’s latest gains in Syria are more incremental than its sweep through north and west Iraq in June, but they highlight the continued expansion of a group which two years ago had no presence in the country. Photograph: Reuters

Islamic militants have taken control of most of eastern Syria as they build on the momentum of their advance through Sunni Muslim provinces of neighbo(...)

A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis) waves their flag in Raqqa yesterday.  The group has declared itself an Islamic ‘Caliphate’ and called on factions worldwide to pledge their allegiance. Photograph: Reuters 1:32

Iraqi troops battled to dislodge an al-Qaeda splinter group from the city of Tikrit today after its leader was declared caliph of a new Islamic state (...)

Isis fighters guard a checkpoint in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Photograph: Reuters

Iraqi forces were yesterday preparing a counterattack in an effort to regain the territory over-run by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) fight(...)

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad  and his wife Asma al-Assad cast their votes in the presidential elections at martyr Na’em Ma’asarani School in al-Malki neighborhood in Damascus yesterday. Photograph: EPA/Sana

Damascenes flock to a multiplicity of neighbourhood polling stations to cast ballots in Syria’s first ever multi-candidate presidential election, whic(...)

Hostages in Syria: French photographer Pierre Torres (left) and French reporter Nicolas Henin. Photographs: Janine Haidar/Chris Huby/AFP/Getty Images

Twenty-two western journalists are currently held hostage in Syria. At least 20 Syrian, Lebanese and Turkish journalists have also been kidnapped. Mor(...)

Residents react during what activists said was an air raid by forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad in Aleppo. Photograph: Reuters

Syrian military helicopters dropped more improvised “barrel bombs” on the northern city of Aleppo today, a monitoring group said, bringing the death (...)

A Free Syrian Army soldier mans an anti-aircraft weapon on the back of a truck in old Aleppo on Thursday. Photograph: Mahmoud Hebbo/Reuters

The Saudi-sponsored fundamentalist Islamic Front and Jabhat al-Nusra killed 15 civilians from Syria’s Alawite and Druze minorities in the central c(...)

President Bashar al-Assad said Syria will respect United Nations accords on chemical weapons. Photograph: Reuters

Syria will respect United Nations accords on chemical weapons, president Bashar al-Assad told Italian television station RaiNews24 today.“We joined th(...)