President Trump has ordered about 4,000 more US troops to be sent to the Gulf in the face of a worsening crisis in Iraq

President Trump has ordered about 4,000 more US troops to be sent to the Gulf in the face of a worsening crisis in Iraq, effectively ending his policy of withdrawing from the Middle East’s “endless wars”.

Marines guarding the US embassy in Baghdad were again forced to fire tear gas yesterday as local militias and their supporters made a second attempt to storm it. Apache helicopters were deployed on New Year’s Eve, firing flares to warn off crowds outside the embassy that had earlier broken into the reception area and set fire to parts of the compound.

It is thought the image, obtained by French TV station TF1, was taken inside the Beirut mansion where he has been holed up since arriving in the country on Monday.

It comes as authorities around the world try to work out how he escaped house arrest in Tokyo, boarded a flight to Istanbul, changed planes and then went to Lebanon – amid reports that he was stowed away inside a double bass case.

“I know you can have kids in the car and there is anxiety and there is stress and the traffic is not moving quickly but the best thing to do – the best thing that helps those out there volunteering, out there trying to restore some order to these situations, is for everyone to be patient,” Morrison said.

On Thursday afternoon an angry protester told Morrison he should be “ashamed of himself” and that he had “left the country to burn” during a tour of the burnt out town of Cobargo.

Ms McCusker reportedly continued to press Mr Duffey as to the legal justification for the hold, which raised concerns among Defence Department officials who believed withholding the funds without notifying Congress violated a 1974 law that prohibits the president from “impounding” appropriated funds for more than 45 days without permission from the legislative branch.

On August 9, she sent a warning to Mr Duffey that failure to release the funds before August 12 would imperil the Pentagon’s ability to legally spend them before the end of Fiscal Year 2019 on October 1.

Authorities urged a mass exodus from several towns on the southeast coast, an area popular with tourists during the summer holiday season, warning that extreme heat forecast for the weekend will further stoke the fires.

Eight people have been killed by wildfires in NSW and Victoria since Monday and 18 are missing, officials said on Thursday.