Pussian president Vladimir Putin: he’s an ex-KGB man – which is to say, he spent his formative years as a professional thug. Photograph: EPA/Sergei Chirikov

More than a century has passed since Norman Angell, a British journalist and politician, published The Great Illusion, a treatise arguing that the age(...)

Members of the Kurdish security forces who took part in the offensive to regain control of Iraq’s Sinjar mountain on Thursday. Photograph: Ari Jalal/Reuters

Kurdish forces, backed by a surge of US airstrikes in recent days, recaptured a large swath of territory from Islamic State militants on Thursday, (...)

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. EPA/Julien Warnand

EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels have given their backing to a UN-led “freeze” in the city of Aleppo, in a bid to improve the humanitarian si(...)

Iraqi security forces  take part in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, earlier this week. Photograph: Reuters

At least nine people have been killed after militants attacked a police station in an Iraqi village north of Baghdad.The attack started at dawn with a(...)

Members of Iraqi Shiite militia al-Abbas brigades, who are fighting with Iraqi forces against Islamic state group, at Kitba village near Tikrit in northern Iraq. Photograph: Ali Mohammed/EPA

Iraqi prime minister Haidar al-Abadi has capitulated to US pressure by agreeing to arm Sunni tribesmen fighting against Islamic State (IS), in spit(...)

A still from SLR by Stephen Fingleton: the story of a pornographer who becomes obsessed with a mysterious, anonymous photographer

Two Northern Irish films have made it onto the long list for best live-action short at the Academy Awards. Ten films appear on the list, from which fi(...)

People fleeing Islamic State fighters in Mosul last June arrive at a checkpoint in Irbil, in northern Iraq. Photograph: Kamal Akrayi/EPA

Iraq’s national security adviser Falah Fayadh was in Washington struggling to arrange delivery of US fighter jets to aid the country’s fight against a(...)

US president Barack Obama talks before a luncheon for bi-partisan Congressional leaders in the Old Family Dining Room at the White House yesterday. Photograph: Larry Downing/ Reuters

President Barack Obama has approved sending up to 1,500 more troops to Iraq, helping Iraqi and Kurdish forces battle the militant group Islamic State,(...)

Tribal fighters take part in a security deployment against Islamic State militants in the town of Amriyat al-Falluja, in Anbar province. The jihadists’ momentum in Iraq appears to be stalling. Photograph: Reuters

Islamic State appeared unstoppable after its blitz through Iraq this summer, with its battle-hardened fighters continually raising their black flag ov(...)

An Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga soldier   on the outskirts of Suruc, near the Turkey-Syria border. Photograph: Vadim Ghirda/AP

News of the deployment at the besieged Kurdish town of Kobani of 150 Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga militiamen and 52 fighters claiming connections with the (...)