Iran says wants progress in nuclear talks before action on Islamic State

PARIS/DUBAI - Iran is ready to do something to help tackle Islamic State insurgents in Iraq but first wants progress in negotiations with world powers over its nuclear programme, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was quoted as saying by Iranian media.


Insight - "Terrorists" help U.S. in battle against Islamic State in Iraq 21 Aug 2014

MAKHMUR Iraq - Washington has acquired an unlikely ally in its battle against Islamic State militants in Iraq - a group of fighters it formally classifies as terrorists.

Iraqi Kurdistan sells latest oil cargo, tanker empty near Israel 21 Aug 2014

LONDON - An Iraqi Kurdish crude oil tanker has reappeared off the coast of Israel having offloaded its cargo, ship tracking data on Reuters showed, in the latest sign the autonomous region is finding buyers for its oil in defiance of Baghdad.

Obama unlikely to deepen Iraq military involvement, say U.S. officials 21 Aug 2014

WASHINGTON - Despite outrage at home and abroad over the grisly beheading of an American journalist, President Barack Obama is unlikely to deepen military involvement in Iraq or Syria and will instead stay the course with U.S. air strikes, U.S. officials say.


Islamic State opens new anti-U.S. front with beheading video 20 Aug 2014

BAGHDAD/BEIRUT - Islamic State's beheading of a U.S. journalist and its threat to "destroy the American cross" suggests it has gained enough confidence seizing large areas of Iraq and Syria to take aim at American targets despite the risks.

Germany, Italy say prepared to send weapons to Iraq's Kurds 20 Aug 2014

BERLIN/ROME - Germany and Italy joined Britain and France on Wednesday in saying they would arm Iraqi Kurdish security forces fighting Islamic State militants in northern Iraq, in close coordination with the Baghdad central government.


Bulgaria may extend Turkish border fence to bar Syrian, Iraqi refugees 20 Aug 2014

SOFIA - Bulgaria may extend the fence at its border with Turkey to stop more refugees from Syria and Iraq entering illegally, a top interior ministry official said on Wednesday, while the foreign minister warned of "terrorism imports" to the EU member state.

German minister accuses Qatar of funding Islamic State fighters 20 Aug 2014

BERLIN - German Development Minister Gerd Mueller accused Qatar on Wednesday of financing Islamic State militants who have seized wide areas of northern Iraq and have posted a video of a captive American journalist being beheaded.

Tanker carrying Kurdish oil reappears unladen off Israel 20 Aug 2014

LONDON - A tanker carrying crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan reappeared unladen on Aug. 19 about 30 kilometres off the coast of Israel, ship tracking data on Reuters showed.

Aid airlift to northern Iraq has started, U.N. says 20 Aug 2014

GENEVA - A humanitarian airlift to northern Iraq began on Wednesday, kicking off a 10-day operation to provide tents and other aid to half a million displaced people who are struggling for survival, the United Nations' refugee agency UNHCR said.