Saudi men examine debris following a blast inside a Shia mosque in the Saudi Gulf coastal town of Qatif on Friday. Photograph: AFP Photo

A suicide bomber killed 21 worshippers during Friday prayers in a packed Shia mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia, residents and the health minister said, (...)

News that the so-called Islamic State (IS) has captured the ancient and strategic city of Palmyra from Syrian government forces underlines how precari(...)

File photograph of the ancient Palmyra theater in the historical city of Palmyra.   Islamic State fighters in Syria have entered the ancient ruins of Palmyra after taking complete control of the central city. Photograph: Omar Sanadiki/Reuters 1:07

Islamic State (IS) now controls more than half of Syrian territory according to a UK human rights group.The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human(...)

Iraq’s prime minister Haider al-Abadi. Mr Al-Abadi’s rivals have enjoyed another setback for the prime minister after his failure to retake Anbar province from Islamic State. Photograph: Zach Gibson/The New York Times

The campaign to retake Anbar province from Islamic State was supposed to be Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi’s show. The script went like this: US(...)

 Displaced Iraqis who were forced to flee their hometowns ahead of gains made by Islamic State (IS) militants in Ramadi, western Iraqi, wait near the Bzebiz bridge crossing the Euphrates River on their way to Baghdad at the weekend. Photograph: EPA

The use of Shia militias to try to take back the Iraqi city of Ramadi from Islamic State risks unleashing more sectarian bloodletting, current and for(...)

A Rohingya migrant child poses for an identification picture at a temporary shelter  in Kuala Langsa, Aceh province, Indonesia. Photograph: Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

Three hundred refugees due to come to Ireland under a new EU scheme will be given integration courses in Dublin before being resettled elsewhere in t(...)

A car is engulfed by flames during clashes in the city of Ramadi on Saturday.  Photograph: Reuters 1:00

Shia paramilitaries were preparing to deploy to Iraq’s western province of Anbar on Monday after Islamic State militants overran the provincial capit(...)

George W Bush (left) with Jeb Bush in 2006. Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

It isn’t about what we know now. It’s about what we knew then. It is simply not true, as Republican presidential aspirant Scott Walker said on Friday,(...)

Iranian cheetah: the subspecies is slimmer, lighter and shorter than African cheetahs. Those living above the snow line grow a luxuriant, pale coat as winter sets in. Photograph: Houman Jowkar

The Asiatic cheetah is a subspecies that once roamed across much of Asia. Now, only 50 adults remain in the wild, in Iran. The director of Fota Wil(...)

 King Salman of Saudi Arabia. His decision   not to attend President Barack Obama’s summit of US and Arab leaders is seen as  a signal of displeasure over US actions on Iran. Photograph: Reuters

The decision of King Salman of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf leaders not to attend President Barack Obama’s summit of US and Arab leaders outside Washin(...)