The Temple of Bel before and after the destruction at  Palmyra. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Satellite images have revealed the destruction by Islamic State of the iconic 2,000-year-old Bel temple in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra just fiv(...)

A general view shows the Temple of Bel in the historical city of Palmyra, Syria in October, 2010. Photograph: Omar Sanadiki/Reuters

While residents in the historic city of Palmyra reported a massive explosion in its ancient ruins, the temple of Bel – one of Syria’s most prized trea(...)

Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad during the interview with al-Manar, in Damascus,on Tuesday this week. Photograph: Reuters

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad said he was open to the idea of a coalition against Islamic State but indicated there was little chance of it happeni(...)

French president Hollande  after his speech during the annual gathering of French ambassadors at the Élysée Palace in Paris on August 25th. Photograph:  Philippe Wojazer / EPA/ Pool MaxPPP

When French president François Hollande addressed France’s ambassadors to foreign countries, assembled in the red velvet and gilt reception rooms of t(...)

Syrian migrants on an overcrowded dinghy try to disembark on the shore of the Greek island of Kos this week. Photograph: EPA/YANNIS KOLESIDIS

The beheading earlier this week of Khaled al-Asaad, an 83-year-old archaeologist, by Islamic State militants in the Syrian city of Palmyra brings into(...)

Khaled al-Assaad,  the  retired chief archaeologist of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, who was beheaded in a public square on Tuesday by the Islamic State terror group. Photograph: Syrian Arab News Agency/AFP/Getty Images

For decades, he was the bespectacled caretaker of some of Syria’s greatest archaeological treasures. He explored the sprawling ruins in his home town,(...)

 Lebanese Salafist leader Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir: radical cleric tried to flee Beirut in disguise. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Gone was the long, scraggly beard of the fugitive sheikh’s heyday, replaced with the bushy moustache, thick glasses and combover of a 70s actor. Ahmad(...)

Soldiers from the Kurdish YPG militia who have inflicted a string of defeats on Islamic State forces. Photograph: Getty Images/AFP

Islamic State has launched an offensive against Syrian rebels north of Aleppo, gaining ground near the Turkish-Syrian border in an area where Turkey a(...)

Two members of Turkish police special forces patrol outside a police station after an attack in Istanbul on Monday. Photograph: Huseyin Aldemi/Reuters

Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif’s visit to Turkey, during which he was expected to discuss the Syrian conflict, has been postponed, a Turkish for(...)

An image grab taken from a video shows alleged Islamic State leader  Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Mosul. Photograph: Al-Furqan Media/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

It seems a strange obsession for men so opposed to graven images that they smash ancient statues with sledge hammers. The jihadists of Islamic State (...)