Syrian Democratic Forces fighters near destroyed airplane parts inside Tabqa military airport after taking control of it from Islamic State fighters, west of Raqqa city, Syria, earlier this week. Photograph: Rodi Said/Reuters

In the summer of 2014, the movement that became known as Islamic State took the world by surprise when it seized the Iraqi towns of Mosul, Tikrit and (...)

A Kurdish peshmerga fighter during an operation to attack Islamic State militants in the town of Naweran, near Mosul, on Sunday. Photograph: Azad Lashkari/Reuters

A growing spat between the Turkish and Iraqi governments has cast a pall over the operation to oust Islamic State from Mosul. On Saturday, Iraq’s pr(...)

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(...)

Kurdish peshmerga forces ride in military vehicles on the southeast of Mosul, Iraq, on August 14th. Photograph: Azad Lashkari/Reuters

The planned assault on the Islamic State-held city of Mosul in northern Iraq has the potential to cause a humanitarian disaster unless the internation(...)

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 (...)

Followers of Iraqi Shia   cleric, politician and militia leader, Moqtada al-Sadr,  protesting  outside Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone last week. Photograph: Ahmed Saad/Reuters

With tens of thousands of protesters marching in the streets of Baghdad to demand changes in government, Iraq’s Shia prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, (...)

An Iraqi family fleeing the violence in the northern city of Mosul arrives at a Kurdish checkpoint in Makhmour, about 280km north of Baghdad. Photograph: Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images

It is a half-hour drive from the Makhmour military base to the front line between Iraqi army and Islamic State positions, bouncing down mud roads, thr(...)

Iraqi security forces and allied Sunni tribal fighters evacuate an injured woman after she was shot by Islamic State fighters in Ramadi, Iraq, on Monday. Photograph: AP Photo

The fighting has finally stopped in Ramadi, a major city in the Sunni heartland. Islamic State has been ousted, and the Iraqi flag is flying once aga(...)

Iranian women chant slogans at an anti-Saudi protest rally: they were among thousands of worshippers have marched in Tehran after Friday prayers to denounce the “incompetency” of Saudi Arabia’s handling the hajj. Photograph: Vahid Salemi/AP

The human crush that killed more than 700 pilgrims near Mecca echoed across the Muslim world on Friday as countries from Africa, Asia and Europe claim(...)

Iraq and hard place: Emma Sky walks with Gen Ray Odierno and Stryker brigade soldiers through the Iraqi town of Khalis. Photograph: SPC Kimberly Millett/US army

It has long been accepted that more planning went into the average Saturday-morning omelette than what would happen in Iraq once “democracy” had be(...)

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