The Venice of the Sands.
The destruction of Iraq and Syria's cultural heritage is more than wanton vandalism – it's a grim political project.
Displaced Iraqis flee Ramadi as Islamic State forces advance.
With the war in Iraq and Syria going nowhere, the US has tried to spin a botched attempt to capture an IS leader as a success.
Religion can be a force for peace, the goal of these Australian religious leaders, or conflict – the believer and not the religion itself bears the responsibility.
There are religious and non-religious extremists and we should not confuse violent believers with religion itself, which has a long history of peacemaking.
When Australians hear about Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s dire warnings and counter-terrorism raids, they could lose historical perspective on the threat posed by Islamic State.
Dire government warnings and counter-terrorism raids in our suburbs paint a picture of the worst threat Western nations have ever faced. A little historical perspective is in order.
An Islamic finance centre-to-be.
Already a trillion dollar industry, Islamic finance is making inroads in China, where it is being trialled in a small province in the country's northwest.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
We are used to thinking of Gaza as a war-torn stretch of ground. A place where life goes grimly on in the face of an intractable conflict. A graveyard not only for civilians caught in the crossfire, but…
Funeral of a Libya Dawn fighter in Tripoli.
There appears to be little chance of a negotiated solution to the chaos tearing the country apart.
Foreign ministers Julie Bishop and Mohammad Zarif demonstrated a growing rapport between Australia and Iran in reaching agreement on some but not all fronts during her visit to Tehran.
Australia made progress on restoring trade and sharing intelligence on Islamic State in Iraq. Iran was less open to accepting the return of asylum seekers, which may prove a blessing in disguise.
Under the leadership of both Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda has failed to reproduce an event that has shaken the international order since 9/11.
Islamic State's rapid successes in Syria and Iraq stand in stark contrast to al-Qaeda's efforts at global jihad over the past decade.
Iranians, who celebrated in the streets of Tehran following this month’s nuclear agreement, are keen to rebuild relations with the West.
By reaching out to Iran, Australia can help end a long stand-off with the West that prevented solutions to many of the world's most dangerous problems, including Syria's civil war and Islamic State.
Shaping how the war is perceived through disseminating communiques has become a key feature of the Syrian conflict.
While social media was the main forum for Syrian demonstrators to confront Bashar al-Assad’s media machine in 2011, FM radio is now the battleground for Syrian hearts and minds.
A tribal militiaman loyal to President Hadi in Aden.
An already complex and dangerous situation has been made worse by the meddling of competing powers. Meanwhile the people continue to suffer.
The aftermath of an apparent Saudi air strike in Yarim, Yemen.
The joint Arab assault on Yemen is so massive, planning must have been underway for a very long time.
The modern Saudi state rarely steps outside of its borders militarily unless it feels existentially threatened – as it is doing now in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia's incursion into Yemen is the latest manifestation of a long-standing struggle between it and Iran over statist issues of conflicting national interest, security and regional hegemony.
Iraqi forces ake up position near Tikrit, northern Iraq.
As the Iraqi's banner assault on Islamic State sputtered, the US stepped in to help – and a third of the ground troops promptly went home.
How did it come to this? Sana'a after an air strike.
Saudi Arabia could wait no longer to try and dampen the flames engulfing Yemen – but it may be too late.
Given Australia’s involvement in Iraq, Tony Abbott cannot dismiss human rights abuses by Iraqi security forces fighting Islamic State militants.
Australia has a clear obligation under international law to take action to stop abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law by the ISF and Shi’a militia.
As negotiations drag on, President Hassan Rouhani must defy rising hostility to a deal on Iran’s nuclear program from within the Islamic Republic and abroad.
As the deadline for an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program draws near, opposition to any such deal is gathering momentum.
The story of Jake Bilardi (centre) has distorted the characterisation of what most people think of as a radicalised individual.
There will be more Jake Bilardis to come, and Australia must realise that no two cases will be entirely the same. Radicalised individuals will come from all areas of society.
Syrian refugees cross the border into Turkey, one of several states that are already vulnerable to ethnic and demographic tensions.
The flows of refugees from the conflicts in Iraq and Syria are yet another driver of demographic changes that are threatening to destabilise other states long regarded as strong and democratic.