Displaced Sunni people fleeing the violence in Ramadi on the outskirts of Baghdad. Iraqi forces recaptured territory from advancing IS militants near the recently-fallen city of Ramadi on Sunday. Photograph: Reuters/Stringer

Rival powers and allies have traded barbs and accusations over the recent successes of Islamic State, a week after the militant group seized Ramadi (...)

US secretary of state John Kerry is welcomed by Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, at the presidential residence of Bocharov Ruchey in Sochi. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/AP

Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, welcomed US secretary of state John Kerry to the Black Sea resort of Sochi today, but its sunshine and spring flow(...)

Angela Merkel and Barack Obama: after meetings about  Ukraine and other topics at the White House. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Barack Obama has thrown his support behind German diplomatic efforts to contain Russia in Ukraine, hinting that military alternatives under considerat(...)

 Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko, German chancellor Angela Merkel and US vice-president Joe Biden prior to a Friday meeting of  the Munich Security Conference. Photograph: Matthias Schrader/AP

German chancellor Angela Merkel will press US president Barack Obama today to postpone a decision on sending defensive arms to Ukraine pending a fresh(...)

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (centre), German chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande during their talks in Kiev yesterday. Mykola Lazarenko/AFP/Getty Images

Russia has warned the United States that arming Ukraine in its fight with Moscow-backed separatists would do “colossal damage” to already fractious re(...)

Ashton Carter, US president Barack Obama’s nominee to be secretary of defence, during a Senate Armed Services Committee nomination hearing in Washington. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

President Barack Obama’s choice to be the next US secretary of defence has said he would be “very much inclined” to send lethal arms to the Ukrainian (...)

US defence secretary Chuck Hagel arrives  in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photograph:  Mark Wilson/Getty Images

With striking optimism, Chuck Hagel said on his final visit to Afghanistan as US defence secretary that he believes Afghans will successfully put dow(...)

US President Barack Obama is expected to nominate former Pentagon official Ashton Carter as US defence secretary, CNN reported on Tuesday. Photograph: Yuriko Nakao/Reuters.

US President Barack Obama has chosen Ashton Carter, a seasoned Pentagon official, to be his fourth defence secretary, succeeding departing secretary C(...)

Outgoing US defence secretary Chuck Hagel: reported to have resigned under pressure from a White House eager to project more assertive responses.  Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Chuck Hagel, president Barack Obama’s defence secretary, has stood down after less than two years in the job in a sign of increased unease at the W(...)

President Barack Obama leaving the White House yesterday. His salary is set by law and cannot be changed. However, he can voluntarily forgo part of his pay by writing a cheque to the US treasury. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

US president Barack Obama plans to return 5 per cent of his $400,000 (€311,000) salary in a gesture of solidarity with US government workers being (...)