Turkish police and soldiers observe Syrian Kurds waiting   to cross into Turkey near the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province yesterday. Photograph: Reuters

Tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds have crossed into Turkey in the past 24 hours, fleeing an advance by Islamic State fighters who have seized dozens (...)

French president Francois Hollande said  France launched its first airstrikes today against the Islamic State militant group in Iraq, a day after he said his country would join the US-led aerial campaign against the jihadists. Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA

French jets struck a suspected Islamic State target in Iraq for the first time today, expanding a US-led military campaign against militants who have (...)

A file image of Saudi members of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, or religious police, attending a training course in Riyadh. Photograph: Ali Jarekji/Reuters.

The Saudi religious police have issued a rare apology for the beating by its personnel of a British man residing in the kingdom in a supermarket in (...)

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, whose group has been helping Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad fight a Sunni Islamist-dominated insurgency, said Islamic State could easily recruit in other areas where its hardline ideology exists. Photograph: Jamal Saidi/Reuters

The leader of Lebanese Shia group Hizbullah described the radical Islamist movement that has seized territory in Iraq and Syria as a growing “monster”(...)

Iraqi security forces and armed volunteers move with military vehicles during clashes with militants of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis), also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, in the town of Dalli Abbas in Diyala province. Photograph: Reuters.

The Iraqi army has driven Sunni insurgents out of late dictator Saddam Hussein’s home village, state media and police said, part of a campaign to reta(...)

A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis) waves their flag in Raqqa yesterday.  The group has declared itself an Islamic ‘Caliphate’ and called on factions worldwide to pledge their allegiance. Photograph: Reuters 1:32

Iraqi troops battled to dislodge an al-Qaeda splinter group from the city of Tikrit today after its leader was declared caliph of a new Islamic state (...)

Ryanair and Aer Lingus were dragged down in a sector-wide slide in airline stock linked to Germany’s Lufthansa lowering of its profit forecast earlier in the week.

European stocks were little changed yesterday despite poor retail sales and jobs data from the US, while oil prices hit a three-month peak on escalat(...)

A woman casts her vote at a polling station during a parliamentary election in Baghdad. Iraqis headed to the polls on Wednesday in their first national election since US forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011, with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki seeking a third term amid rising violence. Photograph: Ahmed Saad/Reuters

Iraqis are heading to the polls today in their first national election since US forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011, with Prime Minister Nuri al-(...)

A mortar shell is seen in front of vehicles after bombs landed on two areas in Damascus today. Photograph: Reuters/SANA

At least 50 people have been killed and scores wounded in a series of attacks in Syria. A car bomb killed 36 people in the central city (...)

Iraqi Sunni Muslim tribesmen take their positions with their weapons during clashes with the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the city of Ramadi, 100 km  west of Baghdad. Photograph: Reuters.

Iraqi troops and allied tribesmen killed 57 Islamist militants in Anbar province today, the defence ministry said, in advance of a possible assault on(...)