Palestinians stand on rubble from a home destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza city today. Amid mounting diplomatic pressure for a cease-fire, the reported death toll among Palestinians reached 500, and thousands of people have fled the northern Gaza Strip for Gaza city. Photograph: New York Times 1:48

The Palestinian death toll in an Israeli offensive in the Gaza strip jumped to more than 500 today, as the US, alarmed by escalating civilian bloodshe(...)

A medic helps a Palestinian man in the Shejaia neighbourhood, which was heavily shelled by Israel today leaving at least 60 people dead. Photograph: Finbarr O’Reilly/Reuters.

The Arab League has described Israeli attacks on Gaza that killed at least 60 Palestinians today as a “war crime”.Palestinian witnesses and officials (...)

Iraqi security forces pull down a flag belonging to Sunni militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Photograph: Reuters

An extremist group’s declaration of an Islamic state in territory it has seized in Iraq and Syria is a threat to the entire region, Iraq’s prime minis(...)

US secretary of state John Kerry (C) arrives to meet with Iraqi speaker of parliament Usama al-Nujayfi, in Baghdad today. Mr Kerry also met Iraq’s prime minister Nuri al-Maliki to push for a more inclusive government. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/Pool/Reuters.

US secretary of state John Kerry said has said that US support for Iraqi security forces will be “intense and sustained” to help them combat an Islami(...)

“We are strongly opposed to US and other intervention in Iraq,” IRNA news agency quoted Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying. Photograph: Reuters

Iran’s supreme leader yesterday accused the US of trying to retake control of Iraq by exploiting sectarian rivalries, as Sunni insurgents drove tow(...)

Mourners carry the coffin of an Iraqi soldier killed in clashes in Anbar province, during his funeral in Najaf yesterday. Photograph: Reuters/ Alaa Al-Marjani 1:05

Jihadist fighters in Iraq seized three border crossings into Syria and Jordan and four nearby towns over the weekend, giving the Islamic State in Iraq(...)

Afghan refugees pose for a photograph as they wait to leave for Afghanistan, at UNHCR registration centre  in Chamkani, on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan. Photograph: Arshad Arbab/EPA

The number of people forced to flee their homes worldwide has exceeded 50 million for the first time since World War II. A report released toda(...)

In an undated handout photo, an image posted by militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria appears to show insurgents leading away captured Iraqi soldiers. Handout via The New York Times.

Sunni militants captured the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar early today, its mayor and residents said, the latest blow to the nation’s Shia-led gover(...)

Israeli soldiers patrol near the West Bank city of Hebron. Israel sent more troops to the occupied West Bank today to step up searches for three Israeli teenagers believed to have been abducted by Palestinians, with a military source saying it was not known if they were dead or alive. Photograph: Ammar Awad/Reuters

Israel’s prime minister has said that three teenagers missing from the West Bank were taken by a terror group.Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu made t(...)

People stand amid rubble of collapsed buildings at a site hit by what activists said was a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad in the Al-Fardous neighbourhood of Aleppo yesterday. Another bomb has killed at least eight people in  Mayadeen today. Photograph: Hosam Katan/Reuters

A powerful explosion has rocked a Syrian town near the border with Iraq, according to state media and activists.Syrian state TV said the blast in a ma(...)