- Jihadist fighters in Iraq seized three border crossings into Syria and Jordan and four nearby towns over the weekend, giving the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) control over much of the country's western frontier and directly threatening the country's main power supply.
- Isis can now add large swaths of the Iraqi border to a 300km stretch of land it already controls along the Euphrates river, from Mosul in the north to Saddam Hussein's home town, Tikrit, which now gives the group a launching pad for potential attacks on strategic sites, including the lifeblood of Iraq's electricity generation, the Haditha dam. The gains also bring the crisis in Iraq to the doorstep of Jordan, a key ally of the United States.
- The latest Isis offensive comes as Iraq’s polarised political blocs face a week of intense lobbying to form an inclusive government that could unite the fracturing country.
- The US secretary of state, John Kerry, is in Baghdad.
- The latest Isis offensive in western Anbar province has seen the group take four towns in recent days.
- Iraqi officials said the militants took over the Turaibil crossing with Jordan and the Walid crossing with Syria after government forces there pulled out.
- Al-Qaim, a restive town on the Syrian border, fell a day earlier.
- The capture of the crossings follows the fall on Friday and Saturday of the towns of Rawah, Anah and Rutba. They are all in the Sunni-dominated Anbar province, where the militants have since January controlled the city of Falluja and parts of the provincial capital, Ramadi.