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US military rushes to defuse looming crisis in Kirkuk after Iraqi army advances

US commanders actively trying to mediate between two sides in the oil-rich city after forces loyal to the government in Baghdad seized control Monday US military commanders are scrambling to stop a conflict escalating between two forces...Show More Summary

Mogadishu bombing: parents' grief for medical student killed in blast

Maryan Abdullahi Gedi, who was among more than 300 people killed in attack, had been due to graduate this week On Saturday morning, Maryan Abdullahi Gedi made breakfast for her family, packed her books and laptop and set out across Mogadishu, the battered capital of Somalia, to see her supervisor at Banadir University about her thesis. Show More Summary

Anti-Isis coalition risks descending into war before caliphate crushed

Hardline response from Iraq and Iran to Kurdish referendum could lead to conflict with potential to destroy unity of Iraqi state With Islamic State days from being ousted from its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, and ejected two months ago from Mosul in Iraq, the western anti-Isis alliance should be congratulating itself. Show More Summary

Mogadishu bombing: al-Shabaab behind deadly blast, officials say

Security personnel say they have detained key member of cell behind attack that has killed at least 320 people Security officials in Somalia say a key member of the cell that launched a devastating attack on Mogadishu has told them that...Show More Summary

Clashes break out as Iraqi forces take control of Kurdish-held installations around Kirkuk

Gunfire and explosions rang out Monday as Iraqi forces moved to take control of a Kurdish-held military base and oil fields outside the disputed city of Kirkuk, raising the specter of a showdown between two U.S.-armed allies in the fight against Islamic State. The government forces, which include...

Israeli jets attack anti-aircraft battery in Syria in retaliatory strike

Israeli military says airstrike on missile launcher followed attack on jets on reconnaissance mission over Lebanon Israeli jets have attacked a Syrian government anti-aircraft missile launcher after it fired on its aircraft patrolling in Lebanese air space on a photographic reconnaissance mission, the Israeli military said. Show More Summary

Peshmerga fighters take to streets of Kirkuk – video

A convoy of Peshmerga fighters in vehicles flying Kurdish flags travels through the centre of Kirkuk early on Monday in images broadcast by Rudaw TV, a Kurdish broadcaster based in Irbil. Iraqi forces are reported to have advanced on the Kurdish city after the prime minister, Haidar al-Abadi, gave the order to seize its oil fields and air base. Continue reading...

U.S.-backed forces in Syria begin final assault on Raqqah after scores of militants surrender

Syrian forces backed by the United States said Sunday that they have launched a final push to drive Islamic State from its last footholds in Raqqah, after tribal leaders and a provincial council negotiated the safe exit of civilians along with the surrender of local militants and family members....

Iraqi army begins advance on Kurdish-held Kirkuk – state TV

Forces start moving at midnight on Sunday towards oil fields and an air base held by Kurdish forces near the oil-rich city Iraqi forces were reported to be advancing on Kirkuk after prime minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi, ordered his army to “impose security” on the oil-rich Kurdish city. Show More Summary

Mogadishu atrocity may provoke deeper US involvement in Somalia

President Trump had already approved use of US troops in Somalia before hundreds died in truck bomb blamed on al-Shabaab For many years, Somalia was a forgotten front among the various campaigns against violent extremist Islamists around the world. Show More Summary

Britain must do more to bring Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe back from Iran | Shirin Ebadi

There is no evidence for new charges against the British-Iranian charity worker that she plotted against Tehran. She’s a political prisoner and Britain should support her• Shirin Ebadi is a Nobel peace laureate Last week in Iran, while...Show More Summary

Truck bomb in Mogadishu kills at least 189 people

More than 200 injured in Somalia’s deadliest ever attack which government has blamed on militant group al-Shabaab At least 189 people have been killed in the most powerful explosion to rock Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, with more than 200 injured – making it the deadliest attack ever in the country, police and hospital sources have said. Show More Summary

Rex Tillerson cleans up after Trump on Iran but dodges 'castration' questions

Secretary of state: president is not undermining him, let alone ‘gelding’ ‘He is failing’: Trump strikes out solo as friends worry and enemies circle Rex Tillerson worked on Sunday to reinforce the basic lines of US policy on major international...Show More Summary

World Bank and IMF, put your money where your mouth is on Somalia

The institutions should match fine words about eradicating poverty with action to help one of the world’s most fragile states It is fair to say that Somalia was not top of the agenda at this year’s annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Show More Summary

Trump refuses to recertify the Iran nuclear deal. What does that mean?

President Trump on Friday announced steps to weaken the nuclear deal with Iran, which could potentially unravel one of the most important anti-proliferation agreements of the century. Trump declared that the agreement the Obama administration and five other world powers reached with Iran in 2015...

Escalating tensions with Iran, Trump adds new sanctions but keeps nuclear deal in place - for now

President Trump on Friday announced new restrictions on Iran, calling it "a terrorist nation like few others," but he stopped short of scrapping the landmark nuclear deal that was the Obama administration's signature foreign policy achievement. Instead, the president urged Congress to consider...

Saudi Aramco denies it is planning to shelve $2 trillion listing

The kingdom’s oil company dismisses reports it could drop huge international float in favour of private stake sales Saudi Aramco has dismissed reports that it is considering shelving plans for the world’s biggest ever flotation, with the state-owned oil company saying the $2tn (£1.5tn) listing was on track for next year. Show More Summary

From the Observer archive: this week in 1980

The role of the US and the USSR in the Iran-Iraq conflict When the war between Iraq and Iran broke out, it looked as though the two superpowers might tacitly agree to stay out of it themselves and thus throw a ring of quarantine around the conflict. Show More Summary

Husband of Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, jailed in Iran, tells of strain of separation

In his first newspaper interview since learning his wife Nazanin could face 16 years in an Iranian prison on ‘crazy’ new charges, Richard Ratcliffe speaks of being denied the chance to visit her or their three-year-old daughter Richard...Show More Summary

How art is blooming amid the Gaza wasteland

From film festivals to Shakespeare, the Palestinian enclave is producing top class culture. In this extract from his new book, Donald Macintyre meets some of the strip’s artists A handsome poster of James Barry’s 18th-century painting...Show More Summary

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