Iraqi families, who fled the city of Ramadi after it was seized by Islamic State, waiting to cross Bzeibez bridge on the southwestern frontier of Baghdad on Friday.  Photograph: Ahmad al-rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

The Islamic State (IS) seized Syria’s last border crossing with Iraq yesterday, after big advances in both countries that have cast doubt on the effe(...)

The ancient Roman city of Palmyra, northeast of Damascus, before it was overrrun by Islamic State forces. The advance of the jihadists in both Iraq and Syria has forced their opponents to reappraise strategy. Photograph: AP 1:07

Islamic State fighters are celebrating their second major conquest in a week in Syria and Iraq as they pick through the ruins of the historic city of(...)

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(...)

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(...)

A UN chemical weapons expert gathers evidence at one of the sites of an alleged poison gas attack in the southwestern Damascus suburb of Mouadamiya on August 26th, 2013. File photograph: Ahmad Alshami/Reuters

Chemical weapons experts have found traces of deadly nerve agents used to make chemical weapons at a site in Syria where the agents were not supposed (...)

 Syrians holding portraits of President Bashar al-Assad as they gather in the central city of Homs around the city’s newly renovated clock tower during a ceremony revealing the restored monument. Photograph Getty Images

Prosecution cases have been prepared against president and senior members of his regime for possible war crimes tribunal Smuggled Syrian documents en(...)

 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(...)

US secretary of state John Kerry shakes hands with Russian president Vladimir Putin in the presidential residence of Bocharov Ruchey in Sochi.  Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Top US and Russian officials said they hoped to work together on contentious issues such as the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria but offered no sign of(...)

Jordan’s Queen Rania holds a picture of pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh who was executed by the Islamic State earlier this year. Photograph: Petra News Agency/Reuters

Jordan is a comfort zone in this war-wretched region, a land of relative stability that has survived the violent flowering of the Arab Spring although(...)

A man holds an injured boy after what activists said was a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad and hit a school and a residential building in Seif al-Dawla neighborhood of Aleppo. Photograph: Hosam Katan/Reuters

Syrian government forces are targeting civilians in barrel bomb attacks in Aleppo that have forced hospitals and schools to move underground, Amnesty(...)