Main headlines

August 19, 2014

Iraqi forces are attempting to retake control from Islamic State militants. (AFP/File)
15:00 GMT

Iraqi government forces have launched a major operation to retake Tikrit from ISIS militants.

Kurdish forces are providing Yazidis with food, aid, uniforms, and weapons. (AFP/File)
13:24 GMT

Hundreds of Yazidis are in training with Kurdish forces to fight the Islamic State militants.

Mohamed Morsi was ousted in July 2013 and subsequently imprisoned (File/AFP)
13:15 GMT

An Egyptian court adjourned the trial of former leader Mohamed Morsi along with some 130 Muslim Brotherhood members till August 23.

Security forces destroyed several "terrorist hideouts" used to launch attacks in Sinai (File/AFP)
12:58 GMT

Egypt's security forces killed two militants and arrested seven others in the northern Sinai, the country's state news agency reported.

Rival militias have battled for control of Tripoli's airport since July 13. (AFP/File)
12:39 GMT

Forces loyal to retired General Khalifa Haftar have claimed responsibility for recent air strikes in Tripoli.

Thousands of Iraqi Christians have fled ISIS violence in recent weeks (File/AFP)
12:25 GMT

A group of international scholars called for more protection of Iraqi Christians following the advance of ISIS militants in the country's north, causing thousands to flee.

Demonstrators had gathered outside a cemetery where Turkish police attempted to remove the statue of a Kurdish rebel who founded the PKK (File/AFP)
11:43 GMT

A Kurdish protester was killed and two others injured Tuesday during clashes with Turkey's security forces in Diyarbakir province.

Ibrahim Halawa, 18, from Firhouse, a suburb of Dublin, was arrested in August 2013 along with his three sisters after they were caught up in a military siege of a mosque in Cairo while his family was on holiday in the country. [Facebook]
10:37 GMT

Tony Blair has been urged to intervene in the case of an Irish teenager who has been imprisoned without trial in Egypt for a year and is now facing the death penalty in a mass trial, which has been described as a “mockery of a court process”.

The Ark Futura, a Danish-chartered cargo vessel which is assisting in the effort to extract Syrian chemical weapons from the country (File/AFP)
10:26 GMT

The Pentagon says a specially-equipped US ship has completed the neutralization of all the 600 metric tons of the most dangerous of Syria’s chemical weapons components.

Azzam al-Ahmad, who heads the Palestinian delegation during the Cairo talks, attends a meeting of the Palestinian leadership chaired by president Mahmud Abbas, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on August 16, 2014. [AFP]
09:07 GMT

Ceasefire talks are at risk of collapse given Israel's refusal to make concessions, members of the Palestinian delegation to Cairo said late Monday.

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel pictured with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, speak during a press conference in Ankara, February 25, 2014 (File/AFP)
09:00 GMT

Turkish authorities summoned the German ambassador over allegations of spying. Germany's secret service, BND, is believed to have targeted Turkey since 2009.

The ban applies to all US-registered planes, commercial operators and FAA-licensed pilots. [FAA Website]
07:26 GMT

The United States has announced that Syrian airspace in not safe for American airlines due to the ongoing conflict in the country.

Palestinians flee their destroyed neighbourhood to take shelter in a United Nations school for the night in the northern Gaza Strip city of Beit Hanun, on August 18, 2014. [AFP]
07:15 GMT

A senior UN official says the Gaza Strip has suffered an “unprecedented amount of destruction” as a result of Israel’s offensive against the coastal enclave, calling for an end to the Israeli siege of Gaza.

US President Barack Obama applauds retiring ABC reporter Ann Compton as he speaks about the US involvement in Iraq. [AFP]
06:58 GMT

Barack Obama has insisted that the US has made a “major step forward” after American air strikes assisted Kurdish and Iraqi forces in driving back the Islamic State from one of Iraq’s key dams.

Thousands of Syrians have been displaced since the war began in 2011 (File/AFP)
06:52 GMT

Australia's government has been taking steps to deport refugees fleeing Syrian violence, according to a letter and emails obtained by Britain's Guardian newspaper.