A refugee camp for Yazidis near the town of Zakho, Iraq. The United Nations refugee agency today said it was launching a major aid operation to get supplies to more than half a million people displaced by fighting in northern Iraq. Photograph: EPA.

Iraqi forces launched an offensive today to drive Islamic State fighters out of Tikrit, home town of executed dictator Saddam Hussein, while the milit(...)

A US Navy F/A-18 Hornet launches off from the flight deck of the US Navy aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush in the Persian Gulf, at sea, yesterday. Aircraft from the carrier are part of the US military aircrafts conducting strikes against the Islamic State (IS) extremists in northern Iraq to halt their advance. EPA/MAZEN MAHDI

Air strikes by American fighter aircraft and drones have targeted Islamic State (IS) fighters near north Iraq’s vital Mosul dam.The Islamic State grou(...)

Iraqi Christians celebrate the Feast of the Assumption at Notre Dame de Chaldée in Paris yesterday. Photograph: Lara Marlowe

Some 100 Iraqi Christians gathered yesterday at Notre Dame de Chaldée in northeast Paris to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption. With 100,000 of (...)

Displaced children from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town,  head towards the Syrian border, near the  town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah governorate in Iraq. Photograph: Reuters/Rodi Said

US bombs may be falling once more on Iraq, but this week’s dramatic intervention belies a stark truth on the ground: the fightback against Islamic (...)

Inas (left), an Iraqi Christian living in exile in Paris, talks often to her sister Mariam, a refugee from the jihadists of the Islamic State, via Skype. Photograph: Lara Marlowe

Mariam, a 50-year-old Christian obstetrician from Mosul in Iraq, considers herself and her family lucky, though she fears they will never again see th(...)

Refugees from the Yazidi religious minority take shelter by the roadside in Dayrabun in Iraq’s northern Dohuk province, yesterday. Many of the Yazidis who fled from Islamic State fighters remain on the slopes of Mount Sinjar, where they are now in danger of starving upon a mountain which they hold sacred. Photograph: Adam Ferguson/The New York Times

Islamic State militants have killed at least 500 members of Iraq’s Yazidi ethnic minority during their offensive in the north, Iraq’s human rights min(...)

US president Barack Obama addresses the nation from the State Dining Room of the White House, in Washington yesterday.  Photograph: Mike Theiler/EPA

The US military conducted two additional air strikes against Islamic State forces near the city of Arbil in northern Iraq this evening, the Pentagon s(...)

Soldiers of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and Shia volunteers take position during fighting with Islamic State fighters, in Amerly town in northeastern Baghdad today. Photograph: EPA

Islamist militants surged across northern Iraq towards the capital of the Kurdish region today, sending tens of thousands of Christians fleeing for th(...)

An Iraqi Christian family fleeing the violence in the Iraqi city of Mosul, arrives at the town of Qaraqush in the province of Nineveh. The ancient Christian community of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul had all but fled by Saturday, ending a presence stretching back nearly two millennia after Isis set them a deadline to submit to Islamic rule or leave. Photograph: Stringer/Reuters

A senior Iraqi bishop has urged the world to act after Islamic hardliners drove Mosul’s Christians from the northern Iraqi city, effectively ending a (...)

Increasingly bitter political squabbling in Iraq has  prompted the country’s senior Shi’ite cleric today to urge  leaders to pull together and for fighters to respect all Iraqis regardless of sect or ethnicity. Pictured is Sheikh Abdul Mehdi Al-Karbala’i delivering a sermon by Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. Photograph: Mushtaq Muhammed/Reuters.

Kurdish forces seized two oilfieds in north Iraq today and took over operations from a state-run oil company, while Kurdish politicians formally susp(...)