The self-proclaimed "Islamic State" (IS) is a Sunni Islamist rebel group which controls territory in Iraq and Syria. It is also active in eastern Libya and Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, among other places.
The United Nations has accused "IS" of committing human rights abuses, mass executions and war crimes. The terror group is known for its social media and web propaganda, which includes online videos of the beheadings of soldiers, journalists and aid workers. It is largely financed by income from the oil fields in Syria and Iraq, and private donations, often from the Gulf states Qatar and Saudi Arabia. DW's recent content tagged with "Islamic State" or "IS" appears on this page.
Peshmerga fighters and Iraqi forces have launched an offensive on a town near Mosul as a part of an operation to regain control over the city. US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is in Irbil to assess the situation.
The liberation of Mosul is advancing more quickly than expected, according to Iraqi officials. The US defense secretary has said Iraq and Turkey have agreed in principle on a role for Turkish forces in retaking the city.