An undated handout photograph provided by GlobalPost oshows American journalist James Foley who was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in  Syria. The Islamic State (IS) militia released a video on 20 August 2014 purporting to show the decapitation of Foley. Photograph:  Nicole Tung / Courtesy of Global/EPA

US president Barack Obama has said the beheading of American journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants “shocked the conscience of the entire w(...)

Increasingly bitter political squabbling in Iraq has  prompted the country’s senior Shi’ite cleric today to urge  leaders to pull together and for fighters to respect all Iraqis regardless of sect or ethnicity. Pictured is Sheikh Abdul Mehdi Al-Karbala’i delivering a sermon by Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. Photograph: Mushtaq Muhammed/Reuters.

Kurdish forces seized two oilfieds in north Iraq today and took over operations from a state-run oil company, while Kurdish politicians formally susp(...)

US secretary of state John Kerry (C) arrives to meet with Iraqi speaker of parliament Usama al-Nujayfi, in Baghdad today. Mr Kerry also met Iraq’s prime minister Nuri al-Maliki to push for a more inclusive government. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/Pool/Reuters.

US secretary of state John Kerry said has said that US support for Iraqi security forces will be “intense and sustained” to help them combat an Islami(...)