Islamic State militants were reported to have gained ground against Syrian troops in fighting near the historic city of Palmyra, also known as Tadmur. This is a file potograph of the ancient city. Photograph: Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images

Islamic State militants were reported to have gained ground against Syrian troops in fighting near the historic city of Palmyra, also known as Tadmur(...)

US secretary of state John Kerry meets with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman in Riyadh last week. Photograph: Andrew Harnik/AFP/Getty Images

King Salman of Saudi Arabia has withdrawn from a carefully orchestrated summit with the US that president Barack Obama hoped would assuage Gulf anxiet(...)

Sevan, Samuel, Lucy, Arshag and Arthur Agopyan in their Yerevan apartment. Photograph: Daniel McLaughlin

Looking across Yerevan to where Mount Ararat soars over Armenia’s border with Turkey, Samuel Agopyan’s thoughts travel on, to the ancient Syrian city (...)

Irish Military War Museum founder and curator William Sullivan  in the museum in Collon, Co Louth. Photograph: Barry Cronin

Exhibits at the Irish Military War Museum near Collon, Co Meath, explain the “complex political background” to the involvement of Irish men in two Wor(...)

President Michael D Higgins lays a wreath at the Irish UN memorial in the southern Lebanon village of Tibnin. Photograph: Mohammed Zaatari/AP

The 47 Irish soldiers who lost their lives during United Nations peacekeeping missions in south Lebanon have been honoured by President Michael D Hig(...)

Actress and special envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Angelina Jolie, speaking at a United Nations Security Council meeting on the Syria conflict. Jolie urged council members to visit refugees in the region. Photograph: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

The United Nations aid chief has urged the UN Security Council to impose an arms embargo and sanctions in Syria for violations of humanitarian law, as(...)

Company commander Comdt Paul Kelly briefing his men before the platoon rotation at UN post 80. “The mission is to ride in a fast, effective and orderly manner,” he tells his section commanders

The dawn sun was doing its best to peek from under low cloud as a chilly early breeze blew across Camp Ziouani. The Mowag armoured personnel carriers (...)

Capt. Cormac Brady, ahead of departing for UN duty in Syria: “You are worried about any mission but, at the end of the day, it is definitely harder for your partner . . . Goal-setting is hugely important – the half-way mark, the leave period, the planned holiday.”  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

When Cormac Brady wanted to propose to his girlfriend, Hazel McDermott, he decided to do it underwater while they were both scuba-diving in Lanzarote.(...)

Army personnel prepare live rounds in an exercise involving Mowags. “No deployment plan is going to be generic, you are going to have to have a bespoke solution for everything” 16:01

Military planners have a phrase, “teeth to tail”, which they use to explain what is necessary to put troops on the ground and keep them supplied.Right(...)

Gail Kilroy , Monkstown, Co. Dublin  with her favourite Louis Vuitton bag.   Photograph: Eric Luke

Gail Kilroy (above) Mother of four  Girls find boys at 12, I found bags. A denim rucksack in Tenerife was the start of it. Now as(...)