Middle East

In pictures: Inside Iraq cities under attack

Militants gesture as they drive through Tikrit

Islamist forces are reported to have taken control of the Iraqi city of Tikrit just days after they seized Mosul.

Smoke rises over the city of Tikrit

Images taken by eyewitnesses showed smoke rising over the city as jihadist militants continued their advance into different regions of Iraq.

A burned out vehicle is seen with a fire burning behind it in the Iraqi city of Mosul

Fighters for ISIS - the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - seized the northern city of Mosul on Monday after police and soldiers abandoned their posts.

A man looks at burnt vehicles belonging to Iraqi security forces one day after insurgents seized control of the city of Mosul on 11 June 2014.

As many as half a million people have been forced to flee the city, which was left badly battered and strewn with burned-out vehicles.

Empty street see in Mosul

The streets of Mosul - Iraq's second city - were deserted on Wednesday. ISIS fighters took staff working at the Turkish consulate in the city hostage.

Gunmen are seen parading in vehicles with weapons in the Iraqi city of Tikrit

Armed groups were pictured inside Tikrit. It is the birthplace of Saddam Hussein and has been a hotbed of Sunni opposition to the Shia Prime Minister, Nouri Maliki.