Iraq’s prime minister Haider al-Abadi speaks on state TV on Sunday as he announces the start of an offensive to retake Mosul from Islamic State. Photoghraph: Office of Iraqi prime minister

Preparing for the battle to drive Islamic State from Mosul has taken Baghdad and its problematic allies more than 30 months since the Iraqi army’s hu(...)

Peshmerga forces leaving a base as they take part in an operation to liberate several villages from the control of the so-called Islamic State militant group southeast of Mosul, Iraq. File photograph: Andrea Dicenzo/EPA

Columns of Iraqi and Kurdish forces backed by US-led air strikes have slowly advanced on Mosul from several directions, launching a long-awaited opera(...)

Workers lay concrete as they build shelters in Hasan Sham village, some 45km east of Mosul city, to house some of the multitudes of civilians expected to flee  violence in the northern Iraqi city  due to   a planned operation to retake the  city from jihadists,  October 6th, 2016. Photograph: Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has said the international community must step up humanitarian efforts to assist those in the Mosul area(...)

Qayyarah, a town of 15,000 people, has been engulfed in smoke from burning oil wells lit by retreating Isis fighters. Photograph: Ruaidhri Giblin

Plumes of thick black smoke, which can be seen for miles across the horizon, get deeper and darker the closer one gets to Qayyarah. Islamic State is(...)

Neelie Kroes pictured  in Dublin Castle in 2013. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

For years, Neelie Kroes traveled Europe as one of the continent’s senior officials, warning big corporations that they couldn’t “run away” from the E(...)

Yarmouk Hospital in Baghdad. Photograph: Corinne Reilly/Merced Sun-Star/MCT via Getty Images

A fire has ripped through a maternity ward at a Baghdad hospital – killing 12 newborn babies, government officials said. By Wednesday morning, grief-(...)

Michael McDonald, Fintan O’Farrell and Declan Rafferty

The Supreme Court has, by a four/three majority, dismissed the State’s appeal against orders directing the release of three dissident republicans serv(...)

Displaced Iraqi children, who fled from Falluja because of Islamic State violence, are seen at a camp on the outskirts of Falluja, Iraq: recent arrivals suffer extreme temperatures without shelter in the desert. Photograph: Reuters/Stringer

The United Nations has warned that Iraqi civilians fleeing fighting in Falluja between government forces and Islamic State fighters lack water, food a(...)

Iraqi forces vehicles drive past incomplete and damaged buildings in Falluja’s southern Hayakel neighbourhood during an operation to retake areas from the Islamic State  group on June 16th, 2016. Photograph: Jean Marc Mojon/AFP/Getty Images

After weeks of battling Islamic State militants, Iraqi forces quickly entered central areas of Falluja on Friday, as thousands of civilians fled in a (...)

Iraq’s prime minister Haider al-Abadi visits an Iraqi army base on Wednesday in Camp Tariq near Falluja. Photograph: Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters

Iraq has delayed its assault on the city of Falluja because of fears for the safety of civilians, prime minister Haider al-Abadi said on Wednesday, as(...)

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