1. Iraq forces face IS resistance but US says Tikrit will fall
    Samarra (Iraq) (AFP) – Iraqi forces faced tough resistance from jihadist fighters around Tikrit Saturday, but the top US military officer said ahead of a Baghdad visit that victory was only a matter of time.
  2. Nigeria’s Boko Haram pledges allegiance to Islamic State: audio clip
    LONDON (Reuters) – Nigeria’s militant Islamist group Boko Haram pledged allegiance on Saturday to Islamic State, which rules a self-declared caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, according to an audio clip posted online.
  3. Iran open to regional cooperation ‘against extremism’
    Tehran (AFP) – Iran is ready to cooperate with other regional powers in the battle against extremism and terrorism, its foreign minister said Saturday during a meeting with his visiting Jordanian counterpart.
  4. Iraqi offensive sees success in fight on ISIS
    Iraqi government forces are putting the squeeze on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria to reclaim the northern city of Tikrit, an ISIS stronghold 80 miles north of Baghdad.
  5. Syria to West: Accept that Assad is here to stay
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Syria’s envoy to the United Nations says it’s time for the United States and other Western powers to accept that President Bashar al-Assad is here to stay, and to abandon what he suggested was a failed strategy of trying to split the Middle East into sectarian enclaves.
  6. Female Islamic State recruiter arrested at Barcelona airport
    Madrid (AFP) – A Moroccan woman was arrested at a Spanish airport Saturday on suspicion of recruiting European and North African women to join the Islamic State group, authorities said.
  7. US-Backed Moderate Syrian Rebels In North Defect; Obama Strategy Set Back
    ISTANBUL — It was supposed to be a crucial instrument of the Obama administration’s aims in Syria, an ostensibly moderate rebel fighting force that would keep the pressure on the authoritarian regime in Damascus without aiding the ruthless jihadist forces that have captured much of the country.
  8. Islamic State ‘demolishes’ ancient Hatra site in Iraq
    Islamic State militants have destroyed ruins at the ancient city of Hatra, Iraqi officials say.
  9. Grand Ayatollah Wants Sunnis Armed; 143 Killed in Iraq
    Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the highest-ranking Shi’ite cleric in Iraq, called on the government to provide weapons and supplies to Sunnis in Anbar province.
  10. Iraq gunmen kidnap 31 ‘criminals’
    Gunmen dressed all in black have abducted 31 Shiite men from their homes in eastern Baghdad, an attack police described as targeting suspected criminals, Iraqi officials said.