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Iraqi Kurdish forces survey a bridge rigged with explosives by Islamic State militants, as they inspect the area in Zumar, Iraq. (AP Photo/Zana Ahmed)

Kurdish forces are claiming their biggest victory yet against Islamic State militants

When baby Mariam was born her mother laid her in a bed made from a plastic bag Below: Refugees in a camp near Erbil (CNS)

In an Iraqi Christian refugee camp old men savour memories of Christmas dinners and young mothers anxiously nurse their newborns

A woman who fled the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar earier this year  sits with a child in Syria's northern town of Qamishli (CNS)

Francis meets patriarch and 350 bishops, priests and lay people from the Syriac Catholic Church

Prince Charles looks at a gift presented to him with Archbishop Habib of Basra, Iraq, during a visit to meet Iraqi Christians, in London (PA)

Prince tells Iraqi Christians they are ‘literally following in the footsteps of the Holy Family’

Refugees from the Syrian town of Kobani (CNS)

The Knights of Columbus donate $2.2 million to help Middle East refugees

Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I wave to the faithful in Istanbul (AP)

Francis meets refugees after issuing joint declaration with Patriarch Bartholomew

ISIS fighters stand guard at a checkpoint in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul (CNS)

Militants have been said to be using the convent as a logistics base

Pope Francis pictured  with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in a poster displayed outside a Catholic Church in Istanbul (CNS)

Vatican spokesman says some refugees may be present when the Pope meets Catholic students

Jordan Matson, the former US soldier who reportedly joined the fight against ISIS

ISIS stands for kidnap, murder, slavery and threats of terror – no one anywhere should support it

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako (CNS)

Patriarch compares situation in Iraq to Europe under Nazi occupation