Iraqi troops stand guard at the entrance of the Nineveh base for liberation operations in Makhmur, about 280 kilometres (175 miles) north of the capital Baghdad. Photograph: Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images

Iraq’s military is mobilising troops to prepare for an offensive the government has pledged to launch this year to retake the northern city of Mosul f(...)

A protester holds a sign reading in Czech “Stop Islam and stop Merkel”, during an anti-Islam rally in front of Prague Castle. Photograph: Filip Singer/EPA

In a secluded guesthouse beside a forest near the Czech town of Jihlava, a delicate experiment is under way. This is a temporary home for some of the(...)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad: “If we negotiate, it does not mean that we stop fighting terrorism”. Photograph: Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images

Bashar al-Assad has dealt a swift blow to international efforts to secure a ceasefire, deliver aid and promote a negotiated solution to the war in Sy(...)

Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and US secretary of state John Kerry  in Munich. Photograph: Alexandra Beier/Getty Images

The Munich agreement reached early on Friday by 17 countries belonging to the Syria support group specified that immediate humanitarian access is to b(...)

 Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov (left), US secretary of state John Kerry and UN special envoy of the secretary general for Syria Staffan de Mistura hold a press conference after the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting in Munich, Germany. Photograph: Sven Hoppe/EPA

Major powers agreed on Friday to a cessation of hostilities in Syria set to begin in a week and to provide rapid humanitarian access to besieged Syria(...)

Dutch far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders: said that if a bullet came “from the left”,  he would know where it came from. Photograph: Alessandro Garofalo/Reuters

Right-wing politician Geert Wilders has been described as “a threat to democracy and the rule of law” in the Netherlands after calling for “resistance(...)

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders smiles as he waves to the crowd at his 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary victory rally in Concord, New Hampshire February 9, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

It is a measure of the radical mood of America that virtually every presidential candidate who has so far come to the fore present themselves as an op(...)

 Syrian refugees   at the closed  border gate   in Kilis, Turkey:  Local councils in Aleppo  estimate that  100,000-150,000 civilians could flee the city if Russian air strikes continue. Photograph:  Chris McGrath/Getty

Hundreds of thousands of civilians could be cut off from food if Syrian government forces encircle rebel-held parts of Aleppo, the United Nations said(...)

Iraqi  forces   on the eastern outskirts of Ramadi: The recapture of the area from Islamic State secures a link between the city  and  an  army base operated by US-led coalition forces. Photograph:  Stringer/Reuters

Iraqi forces recaptured territory east of Ramadi from Islamic State militants on Tuesday, linking the Anbar provincial capital to a major army base ne(...)

Undated handout images, two of the 198 decade-old photos released by the Pentagon from investigations into the abuse of detainees during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The photographs were a focus of a lawsuit filed in 2004 by the American Civil Liberties Union in the wake of the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal, and some 1,800 others are still being withheld by the Pentagon. Photograph: The New York Times

Bruises, reddened marks and bandaged body parts featured in nearly 200 images of US detainee abuse that the Pentagon was forced to release on Friday, (...)