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Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi – also known as Abu Tourab –  at the International Criminal Court in The Hague on Monday.  He expressed his deep regret to the people of Timbuktu and Mali. Photograph: Patrick Post/EPA

The first Islamist militant to appear before the International Criminal Court (ICC) has pleaded guilty to the destruction of sites of historic and rel(...)

Harry Sarfo, a former Islamic State fighter from Germany, inside the maximum-security prison in Oldenburg, Germany. Photograph: Gordon Welters/New York Times

Believing he was answering a holy call, Harry Sarfo left his home in the working class city of Bremen last year and drove for four straight days to re(...)

A man rides a bicycle past burning tyres, which activists said are used to create smoke cover from warplanes, in Aleppo, Syria. Photograph: Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

A major offensive by Syrian insurgents to break the government siege of opposition-held quarters of Aleppo appeared to have stalled last night, as the(...)

Fighters from the Popular Mobilisation units, supporting Iraqi  government forces, and members of the Iraqi police pose with an Islamic State flag in Falluja on June 28th after Iraqi forces retook the city from the jihadists. File photograph: Haidar Mohammed Ali/AFP/Getty Images

Islamic State has lost a quarter of the territory it controlled in Iraq and Syria and is likely to retaliate by mounting attacks on civilians and econ(...)

  Iraqi security forces detain dozens of men from  Fallujah  for interrogation on suspicion of belonging to Isis during a military operation  to take back the city. Photograph:  EPA

Territorial losses in both Syria and Iraq are driving Islamic State (Isis) to lash out with suicide and car bombings targeting mainly Shias in Baghdad(...)

US secretary of state John Kerry meeting Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud in Jeddah on Sunday for consultation ahead of another week of high-stakes diplomacy on the Syria conflict. Photograph: AFP/US State Department

Prospects for reaching a new cessation of hostilities and a political settlement in Syria are poor ahead of today’s meeting in Vienna of the 17-membe(...)

Damaged buildings in the rebel-held area of Old Aleppo in Syria. Photograph: Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Once Syria’s most populous manufacturing and trading hub, Aleppo has become a prize in the five-year war pitting the Syrian government against a dispa(...)

File photo  April 28th, 2016: A man carries a child after airstrikes hit Aleppo, Syria. Photograph: AP

Syrian opposition fighters have shelled government-held parts of Aleppo, killing at least 12 people, as the army claimed it was repelling a wide offen(...)

Masked Palestinian Hamas militants watch the televised speech of US President Barack Obama in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip in 2009. AP Photo/Eyad Baba

The horrendous last five years in the Middle East started with joy at the fall of dictators in Tunis and Cairo. Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali’s flight to (...)

Syrian children in the neighbourhood of Jobar,   Damascus. Photograph: Amer Almohibany/AFP/Getty Images

After five years of hearing the roar of the war from the suburbs and counting daily mortar strikes in the capital, Damascenes’ spirits are buoyed by b(...)

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