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  1. Photo of a Chinese J-11B that the Pentagon said intercepted a Navy P-8 on August 19. Department of Defense

    China vows to respond to U.S. surveillance flights

    China said Thursday it will continue responding to U.S. military surveillance flights off its coast, rejecting American accusations that one of Beijing's fighter jets acted recklessly in intercepting a U.S. Navy plane last week.

    • Aug. 28, 2014
  2. Bystanders watch a fire consuming a school in downtown Donetsk on Wednesday after being hit by a shelling. Several civilians died when their car was completely burned after being hit by shell fragments in central Donetsk, the rebel-held city in eastern Ukraine. FRANCISCO LEONG / AFP/Getty Images

    Ukraine president: Russian forces have invaded

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared Thursday that 'Russian forces have entered Ukraine' and called an emergency meeting of the nation's security council to respond to what he said was a 'sharp aggravation' in eastern Ukraine, where Ukrainian arm

    • Aug. 28, 2014
  3. Rep. Duncan Hunter: '[Islamic State] in Iraq is not an existential threat to us. They're not going to harm the United States. They're bad guys, yes. If you're there.' Win McNamee/Getty Images

    Rep. Hunter: Islamic State just 'guys in pajamas,' not an 'existential threat'

    A GOP House member who served in Iraq says the Islamic State is not an 'existential threat' to the United States, striking a different tone than other Republicans.

    • Aug. 28, 2014
  4. The Coast Guard cutter Monomoy, seen in this 2005 file photo, fired at an Iranian dhow in self-defense during an encounter Tuesday in the Persian Gulf, according to the Defense Department. JOSN Joseph Ebalo / Navy

    Coast Guard fires on Iranian sailing vessel

    A Coast Guard boat operating in the Persian Gulf fired in defense on an Iranian vessel Tuesday, according to a Defense Department statement.

    • Aug. 27, 2014
  5. Airman Adam Wickham signals an MH-60S Sea Hawk with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 15 to land on the flight deck of aircraft carrier Carl Vinson. Carl Vinson left San Diego Friday for a Western Pacific deployment. MC2 Scott Fenaroli/Navy

    Vinson strike group heads to Middle East

    About 6,200 sailors with the Carl Vinson carrier strike group departed San Diego Friday for a scheduled nine-month deployment to the Western Pacific and Central Command areas of responsibility.

    • Aug. 27, 2014
  6. A fighter from the Islamic State group, armed with a knife and an automatic weapon, next to captured Syrian army soldiers and officers, following the battle for the Tabqa air base, in Raqqa, Syria. AP

    Photos show gruesome Islamic State seizure of base

    The mother of a hostage American journalist pleaded for his release Wednesday in a video directed at the Islamic State group, while new images emerged of mass killings, including masked militants shooting kneeling men after the capture of a strategic air

    • Aug. 27, 2014
  7. Fighters from the Islamic State group that captured the Tabqa air base from the Syrian government operate a captured tank, in Raqqa, Syria. AP

    Reports: 2nd U.S. Islamist fighter killed in Syria

    The Obama administration is investigating reports from Syria that a second American was killed over the weekend while fighting alongside Islamist State extremists.

    • Aug. 27, 2014
  8. Members of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, load an Antonov 124 cargo plane with food and other humanitarian aid destined for Erbil in northern Iraq at the airport Leipzig-Halle on Aug. 22 in Schkeuditz, Germany. Ronny Hartmann / Getty Images

    Sources: U.S. considering new relief mission in Iraq

    The Obama administration is considering launching a humanitarian relief operation for Shiite Turkmen in northern Iraq who have been under siege for weeks by Islamic State militants, U.S. defense officials said Wednesday.

    • Aug. 27, 2014
  9. Outgoing commander of ISAF, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, left, and incoming commander, Army Gen. John F. Campbell, right, salute during a change of command ceremony Aug. 26 at the ISAF Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. ISAF is a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan. Massoud Hossaini / AP

    Gen. Dunford: Taliban will test Afghans in 2015

    Afghanistan's election stalemate this summer hurt progress in training the country's military, and resolving the political chaos will be key to that military's success in 2015, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford said as he stepped down as the top U.S.

    • Aug. 27, 2014
  10. Peter Theo Curtis reads a statement to reporters outside his mother's home on Aug. 27 in Cambridge, Mass. Curtis, a freelance reporter who wrote under the byline Theo Padnos and who was held hostage for about two years in Syria, returned to the U.S. Tuesday. Charles Krupa / AP

    U.S. journalist thankful for work to secure freedom

    A U.S. journalist speaking publicly for the first time since his release from a Syrian extremist group said Wednesday that he was overwhelmed to learn that so many 'brave, determined and big-hearted' people were behind efforts to secure his release.

    • Aug. 27, 2014
  11. A pro-Russian rebel walks in a passage at the local market damaged by shelling in Petrovskiy district in the town of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on Tuesday. Mstislav Chernov/The Associated Press

    U.S.: Russia directing new offensive in Ukraine

    The Obama administration accused Russia on Wednesday of orchestrating a new military campaign in Ukraine that is helping rebel forces expand their fight in the country's east and sending tanks, rocket launchers and armored vehicles toward communities else

    • Aug. 27, 2014
  12. An Afghan election commission worker sort ballots for an audit of the presidential run-off votes at an election commission office in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday. Rahmat Gul/AP

    Afghan candidate pulls out of election audit

    One of two men vying to become the president of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah, pulled his observers Wednesday from an audit of the country's disputed election over concerns of widespread fraud in a move that throws the already contentious election into f

    • Aug. 27, 2014
  13. An E2-C Hawkeye launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush on Aug. 16 in the Arabian Gulf. Spc. 3rd Class Brian Stephens/U.S. Navy

    Sources: U.S. surveillance planes over Syria

    The U.S. has begun surveillance flights over Syria after President Obama gave the OK, U.S. officials said, a move that could pave the way for airstrikes against Islamic State militant targets there.

    • Aug. 26, 2014
  14. U.S. transfers 2 Yemenis held in Bagram prison to Yemen

    Yemeni security officials say that two prisoners held at a U.S. military prison in Afghanistan have been handed over to Yemen.

    • Aug. 26, 2014
  15. American woman is being held hostage in Syria

    The Islamic State militant group is holding hostage a young American woman who was doing humanitarian aid work in Syria, a family representative said Tuesday.

    • Aug. 26, 2014
  16. A screenshot of Douglas McAuthure McCain's Facebook profile picture. via Facebook

    Reports: American dies fighting for Islamic State

    A 33-year-old San Diego man was killed over the weekend fighting for the Islamic State, NBC News and CNN are reporting.

    • Aug. 26, 2014
  17. U.S. giving extra $60M in military aid to Tunisia

    The U.S. has announced it will be giving Tunisia another $60 million in military aid next year.

    • Aug. 26, 2014
  18. An Islamist fighter from the Fajr Libya (Libyan Dawn) coalition flashes the V sign for victory on Aug. 24 at the entrance of Tripoli international airport. Mahmud Turkia / Getty Images

    Arab strikes in Libya show impatience with U.S.

    Egypt and the United Arab Emirates secretly carried out airstrikes against Islamic militias inside Libya, the United States publicly acknowledged Tuesday, another sharp jolt to American-led attempts over the past three years to stabilize Libya after dicta

    • Aug. 26, 2014
  19. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem speaks during an Aug. 25 press conference. AP

    Syrian official warns U.S.: No unilateral airstrikes

    Syria said Monday it was ready to help confront the rising threat from the Islamic State group, but warned the United States against carrying out airstrikes without Damascus' consent, saying any such attack would be considered an aggression.

    • Aug. 25, 2014
  20. Iraqi premier-designate Haider al-Abadi speaks Aug. 25 at his first press conference since accepting the nomination to be Iraq's next prime minister in Baghdad, Iraq. Office of the Iraqi Prime Minister / AP

    Iraq premier-designate: Militias must follow state

    Iraq's prime minister-designate called Monday on the country's numerous Shiite militias and tribes to come under government control and stop acting independently, as violence killed at least 58 people in areas where the Muslim sect dominates.

    • Aug. 25, 2014
  21. Iran TV shows off allegedly downed Israeli drone

    Iran's state TV on Monday broadcast footage purported to show an Israeli drone the country's Revolutionary Guard claimed to have shot down over the weekend near an Iranian nuclear site.

    • Aug. 25, 2014
  22. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., talks to reporters July 8 after a closed meeting on Iraq and Afghanistan on Capitol Hill. Jim Watson / Getty Images

    Sen. Graham hints at future strikes against Islamic State

    As the Obama administration weighs further action against the Islamic State, one of the top defense voices on the Hill is sending clear signals he expects action soon.

    • Aug. 24, 2014
  23. A fighter from the Islamic State group inspects a military truck on Aug. 7 in Raqqa, Syria. AP

    Islamic State fighters capture major Syrian air base

    Islamic State fighters captured a major military air base in northeastern Syria on Sunday, eliminating the last government-held outpost in a province dominated by the extremist group, activists and state media said.

    • Aug. 24, 2014
  24. This screen grab shows Peter Theo Curtis, a 45-year-old author and freelance journalist, while detained in Syria. Curtis was released August 24, after being held hostage for 22 months by an Islamic rebel group in Syria. AFP via Getty Images

    Captive U.S. journalist freed in Syria

    An American held captive for two years by an al-Qaida-linked group in Syria was released Sunday, according to the Obama administration.

    • Aug. 24, 2014
  25. Peshmerga fighters inspect the remains of a car on Aug. 18 that with an image of the trademark jihadist flag of Islamic State (IS) militants after it was targeted by an American airstrike in the village of Baqufa, Iraq. Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP

    Islamic State biggest threat since 9/11, officials say

    The Islamic State presents the greatest terrorist threat to Americans since 9/11, and fighting it will take more than air strikes in Iraq, according to a top member of Congress and a retired four-star general.

    • Aug. 24, 2014
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