Islamist militants have declared an Islamic “caliphate” in an area straddling Iraq and Syria, trumpeting the declaration in several videos, challenging al-Qaida and changing its name to the Islamic State. Full story

A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) waves an ISIS flag in Raqqa, Syria. Photo: Reuters

US secretary of state John Kerry has urged Kurdish leaders to stand with Baghdad and insisted that the imminent deployment of American military forces is “not intervention” in Iraq’s affairs. Full story here

Above: John Kerry meets with Massoud Barzani, the Kurdish president, in Irbil. Photo: Reuters

Iranian child bride faces execution

Razieh Ebrahimi was forced to marry at the age of 14, became a mother at 15, and killed her husband at 17. Now at 21, she faces imminent execution, despite international laws prohibiting execution for crimes committed by juveniles. Full story here

Barack Obama has announced that up to 300 “military advisers” will be sent to help Iraq’s beleaguered army repel the advance of Sunni insurgents, but insisted the US would not be dragged into another bloody war in the country. Full story here

Iraqi insurgents militants stand with captured Iraqi army Himvee at a vehicle checkpoint. Photo: AP

“Ukraine must not be forgotten while the world’s gaze is on Iraq”
Martin Woollacott: The human need to deal with one problem at a time means we think of news as a series of dramas, when in fact they overlap

A spokesman for the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has said he will not stand down as a condition of US air strikes against Sunni militants who have made a lightning advance across the country. Full story 

Photo: AFP/Getty

Islamist militants have attacked Iraq’s largest oil refinery in the city of Baiji, 155 miles north of Baghdad. 

The refinery accounts for more than a quarter of the country’s entire refining capacity, all of which goes toward domestic consumption – petrol, cooking oil and fuel for power stations. Full story

Iraq crisis: Barack Obama sends in US troops as Isis insurgency worsens

The Obama administration has ordered the urgent deployment of several hundred armed troops in and around Iraq, after the rampant insurgency in the country forced the first talks between the US and Iran over a common security interest in more than a decade. Full story here

Iraqi policemen stand at a checkpoint in northern Baghdad on Monday. Photo: STR/EPA

The crisis in Iraq escalated rapidly on Thursday as Iraqi Kurdish forces took control of key military installations in the major oil city of Kirkuk and the Sunni jihadi group Isis revealed its intention to move on Baghdad and cities in the southern Shia heartland. Full story here

Photos of the day: Iraqi civilians search through debris of a car bombing in south-east Baghdad (Khalid Mohammed/AP).

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