Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad: targeting of Syria shows Moscow gives priority to strengthening Damascus against near enemies rather than striking Islamic State. Photograph: Sana via Reuters

Russia’s deployment of war planes, missile systems, tanks, and armoured troop carriers has dramatically changed the shape of the conflict on the groun(...)

An Islamic State loyalist in the terror group’s de factor capital, Raqqa, in Syria, in June 2014. Photograph: Reuters

The US-led coalition fighting Islamic State has begun preparing to open a major front in northeastern Syria, aiming to put pressure on Raqqa, the terr(...)

Plane spotting folk out watching planes land at Dublin Airport.Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Before dawn breaks on a clear Tuesday morning in Dublin, a handful of cars are parked at a lay-by on the old airport road, facing the runway. Engin(...)

Matthew VanDyke: busy sending US military veterans to train Iraqis on the other side of the fight

The last time Matthew VanDyke saw US journalist James Foley, they were running through war-torn Aleppo in Syria avoiding snipers. Foley became the mo(...)

Syrian Kurdish fighters celebrate on Monday after wresting Tal Abyad from Islamic State. Photograph: Rodi Said/Reuters

Islamic State fighters have been expelled from the strategic town of Tal Abyad by a Syrian Kurdish militia bolstered by US air cover. Commander Husey(...)

Smoke rising from the Baiji oil refinery in northern Iraq. Iraqi forces appear to be lifting the months-long siege on the country’s main oil refinery. Photograph: EPA

The US chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Gen Martin Dempsey, has said the battle against Islamic State in Iraq is “starting to turn” as Iraqi for(...)

Iraqi security forces in a sweep  against IS militants   north of Baghdad yesterday.   Iraq will need about 80,000  troops to retake the terrain it lost to IS, a top US general said yesterday. Photograph: Reuters

The top-ranking officer in the American military said yesterday the United States is actively considering the direct use of troops in the toughest for(...)

An Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga soldier   on the outskirts of Suruc, near the Turkey-Syria border. Photograph: Vadim Ghirda/AP

News of the deployment at the besieged Kurdish town of Kobani of 150 Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga militiamen and 52 fighters claiming connections with the (...)

A Syrian Kurdish refugee woman and her child wait after crossing the Turkish-Syrian border near the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province today. Photograph: Murad Sezer/Reuters

New US-led air strikes against Islamic State fighters failed to stop them from pressing their assault on a strategic Syrian town near the Turkish bord(...)

Fewer than one in three of today’s members of the United States House of Representatives were in Congress in 2002 for the vote that authorised Preside(...)