Iraq's top Shiite cleric on Monday gave his support to the new government battling the Islamic State group as militants unleashed a wave of deadly attacks on the country's majority Shiite community, killing at least 43 people.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday the Obama administration decided to airdrop weapons and ammunition to "valiant" Kurds fighting Islamic State extremists in the Syrian border town of Kobani because it would be "irresponsible" and "morally very difficult" not to support them.
The head of the U.N. nuclear agency is sounding a note of caution about Iran's claims that it is not interested in nuclear arms, saying he cannot guarantee that all the country's atomic activities are civilian in nature.
The United States is focused mainly on the security of Iraq, but Islamic State fighters attacking the Syrian town of Kobani in recent days have made themselves targets of an opportunity too good to pass up, the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East said Friday.
Iraqi lawmakers approved Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's remaining Cabinet nominees on Saturday, including for the critical defense and interior portfolios, completing the formation of a government that will strive to push the Islamic State extremist group out of the sprawling territory it has seized in recent months.
While an international military effort has focused on Islamic State advances in northern Syria and in Anbar province in western Iraq, the extremists have stepped up their terrorist attacks in the Iraqi capital.
Most of the C-27 transport aircraft given to the Afghanistan military as part of a failed $486 million Defense Department program were locally scrapped for just $32,000, federal auditors said Thursday.
Over the objections of human rights groups, the Afghan government on Wednesday executed five men convicted in the gang rape of four women, an incident that caused widespread outrage from the Afghan public. The arrest and swift conviction of the men was badly flawed, the organizations say.
Iraqi Kurds are calling for powerful weaponry to help them battle Islamic State insurgents, but U.S. and Iraqi politics, combined with doubts about the Kurdish forces themselves, are contributing to a holdup, experts on the region say.