US president Barack Obama discusses possible action against ISIS in a White House press briefing. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

US president Barack Obama has said that he had not yet developed a strategy to combat Islamic State militants, months after the jihadist army, former(...)

US president Barack Obama who has authorised surveillance flights over Syria, a precursor to potential airstrikes there. Photograph: Reuters

President Barack Obama has authorized surveillance flights over Syria, a precursor to potential airstrikes there, but a mounting concern for the White(...)

Course of action: US president Barack Obama golfing at Farm Neck Golf Club, Martha’s Vineyard, at the weekend. Photograph: Steven Senne/AP

Fore! Score? And seven trillion rounds ago, our forecaddies brought forth on this continent a new playground, conceived by Robert Trent Jones, and ded(...)

US secretary of defence Chuck Hagel (L) and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Martin Dempsey prepare to leave  a media briefing at the Pentagon in Washington last night. Photograph: Yuri Gripas/Reuters.

The militant Islamic State poses an “imminent threat” to the US and may take years to defeat, defence secretary Chuck Hagel has said. “They are an imm(...)

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, who had fled  violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar, take part  in a demonstration at the Iraqi-Syrian border crossing in Fishkhabour, Dohuk province, yesterday.  Photograph: Youssef Boudlal/Reuters

Nuri al-Maliki has given up his fight to remain prime minister of Iraq and now supports his replacement, Haider al-Abadi, state television has reporte(...)

Yazidi refugees wait for a chance to board a helicopter sent by the Kurdish autonomous government to Iraq’s Sinjar mountains. Photograph: Adam Ferguson/The New York Times 1:58

More than 100 US marines and special forces landed on Mount Sinjar in Iraq today to organise an escape route for 30,000 Yazidi civilians threatened by(...)

The photograph of a young boy holding the decapitated head of a slain Syrian soldier and published in Australian media today underscored the barbarity of Islamist State militants, Australian prime minister Tony Abbott said.   Photograph: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

The photograph of a young boy holding the decapitated head of a slain Syrian soldier and published in Australian media today underscored the barbarity(...)

File photograph of detainees held  in the US military prison for “enemy combatants” in Guantanamo Bay. Of the 143 prisoners still detained there, 71 are approved for transfer. Photograph:   John Moore/Getty Images

The Pentagon has told members of the US Congress it plans to transfer six prisoners at the controversial Guantánamo Bay detention camp to Uruguay, the(...)

Palestinians look at the remains of a missile which witnesses said was fired by an Israeli aircraft on a street in Deir El-Balah in the central Gaza Strip. Photograph: Ashraf Amrah/Reuters

Israeli air strikes in Gaza have hit a mosque and a centre for the disabled where two women were killed today, raising the death toll from the offensi(...)

Brigadier General Rick Mustion (right), adjutant general of the US army, presents a promotion certificate to  Robert Bergdahl, Bowe Bergdahl’s father. Photograph: EPA/US army

US Army Sgt Bowe Bergdahl was held in solitary confinement for long periods during five years in Taliban captivity, according to a US military officia(...)