Iraqi forces regained control on Tuesday of part of a key highway linking Baghdad to the north where Amnesty International said jihadists had carried out a wave of ethnic cleansing. Iraqi troops backed by militia have been pushing north after breaking a months-long jihadist siege by Islamic State fighters of the Shiite Turkmen town of Amerli. Visiting the town on Monday, outgoing prime minister Nuri al-Maliki vowed that the army would turn Iraq into a "graveyard" for IS. A senior UN human rights official said the jihadist group had carried out "acts of inhumanity on an unimaginable scale," since it swept through much of the Sunni Arab heartland north of Baghdad in June and then stormed minority Christian and Yazidi Kurdish areas last month.
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — U.S. military forces attacked the extremist al-Shabab network in Somalia Monday, the Pentagon said, and a witness described ground-shaking explosions in a strike that reportedly targeted the group's leader.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that Ukrainian moves to seek NATO membership were aimed at undermining efforts to end the war in the east of the country. Lavrov said last week's move by Kiev came shortly after a meeting of the Russian and Ukrainian leaders to seek to defuse the crisis. "So the party of peace was trying, and is still trying, to advance a negotiated political settlement of all the fundamental questions Ukrainians face, and in Kiev, the party of war is taking steps clearly aimed at undermining these efforts," he told a news conference.