News that the so-called Islamic State (IS) has captured the ancient and strategic city of Palmyra from Syrian government forces underlines how precari(...)

File photograph of the ancient Palmyra theater in the historical city of Palmyra.   Islamic State fighters in Syria have entered the ancient ruins of Palmyra after taking complete control of the central city. Photograph: Omar Sanadiki/Reuters 1:07

Islamic State (IS) now controls more than half of Syrian territory according to a UK human rights group.The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human(...)

An Iraqi fighter from the Shia Muslim Al-Abbas popular mobilisation unit in  the embattled Anbar province. Photograph: Mohammed Sawaf/AFP/Getty Images

Iraqi security forces deployed tanks and artillery around Ramadi yesterday to confront Islamic State fighters who have captured the city in a major(...)

 Displaced Iraqis who were forced to flee their hometowns ahead of gains made by Islamic State (IS) militants in Ramadi, western Iraqi, wait near the Bzebiz bridge crossing the Euphrates River on their way to Baghdad at the weekend. Photograph: EPA

The use of Shia militias to try to take back the Iraqi city of Ramadi from Islamic State risks unleashing more sectarian bloodletting, current and for(...)

 Iraqi soldiers inspect human remains and military equipment found at a site believed to be a mass grave containing the bodies of Iraqi soldiers killed last year by Islamic State  militants,  in Tikrit, northern Iraq, April 8th,  2015. Photograph: EPA

Iraqi security forces launched a new offensive against Islamic State insurgents in the Sunni Muslim heartland of Anbar on Wednesday, seeking to build(...)

A member of the Iraqi security forces stands inside a damaged house in the southern entrance of the city of Tikrit on Sunday. Photograph:  Ahmad al-Rubaye/Getty Images

The decision by Iraqi prime minister Haidar al-Abadi to request US air strikes against Islamic State (IS) fighters entrenched at the heart of the stra(...)

A Shia fighter gestures during clashes with Islamic State militants in Salahuddin province at the beginning of the month. Iraq’s armed forces, backed by Shia   militia,  have  launched an offensive to retake the city of Tikrit and the surrounding Sunni Muslim province of Salahuddin. Photograph:Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters

Iraqi security forces and militias have fought their way into Saddam Hussein’s home city of Tikrit, advancing from the north and south in their bigge(...)

Members of the Iraqi security forces and Shia fighters celebrate after taking control of the town of Hamrin from Islamic State militants, on Tuesday. Two of the Shia militias most feared by Sunnis are taking part in the ongoing offensive to take Tikrit. Photograph:Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters 1:15

Iraq’s offensive against Islamic State fighters holding the strategic city of Tikrit is a test for the Iraqi army, allied Shia militias, the Shia fund(...)

Iraqi security forces and Shia fighters on a tank in the Salahuddin province on Monday. Iraq’s armed forces, backed by Shia militia, attacked Islamic State strongholds north of Baghdad  as they launched an offensive to retake the city of Tikrit and the surrounding Sunni Muslim province of Salahuddin. Photograph: Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters

Thousands of Iraqi soldiers and Shia militiamen sought to seal off Islamic State fighters in Tikrit and nearby towns on Tuesday, the second day of Ir(...)

An image grab taken from the Jordanian TV shows flames erupting from a building hit by an airstrike against Islamic State by warplanes of the Jordanian Air Force. Photograph: Jordanian TV/AFP/Getty Images.

Arab leaders have bemoaned what they call a lack of strategy and weapons in the fight against jihadists groups like Islamic State, a security confe(...)