French ground forces are heading to northern Mali to fight Islamist rebels. A West African regional force is expected to join the conflict in the coming days, with logistical help from Germany.
Barack Obama has downplayed US military action in Syria. A rebel faction in the civil war may have been responsible for abducting UN peacekeepers in the Syrian Golan Heights.
Germany has sent six soldiers to northern Iraq to coordinate the delivery of German civilian and military aid packages. The supplies aim to help Kurdish forces fighting the militant extremist group "Islamic State."
Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the actions of the "Islamic State" in Iraq can be called "genocide." The German government is about to break its own rules on sending weapons to conflict zones in response.
The mother of an American journalist held by the "Islamic State" has appealed for mercy. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has found unusually strong words to describe the actions of the self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq.
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