Terror group Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in a Shiite neighborhood in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, which left at least 21 dead and dozens injured Sunday. Another explosion in the city killed at least two, according to reports.
A suicide bomber targeted a security checkpost at the entrance of the Shiite-majority Kadhimiyah area in northwest Baghdad Sunday, according to BBC.
The bomber walked to the security point at the entrance to the residential area and detonated explosives. more >>
Chaldean Christians are caught in the middle of a "furious debate" over whether they should stay in their ancestral home in Iraq despite the ongoing genocide at the hands of the Islamic State terror group, or flee as refugees.
Fox News reported Thursday that the debate is causing fractions within the Chaldean community, with Baghdad-based Patriarch Sako, who aligns with Pope Francis and the Vatican, urging Christians to stay put and not to abandon their homeland despite the atrocities being carried out by IS.
The other side of the debate is spearheaded by Bishop Sarhad Jammo, who has called on Chaldeans to flee for their own survival. more >>
Why has the West been so supportive of Palestinian nationalism, yet so reluctant to support the Kurds, the largest nation in the world without a state?
The Kurds have been instrumental in fighting the Islamic State (ISIS); have generously accepted millions of refugees fleeing ISIS to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG); and embrace Western values such as gender equality, religious freedom, and human rights. They are also an ancient people with an ethnic and linguistic identity stretching back millennia and have faced decades of brutal oppression as a minority. Yet they cannot seem to get sufficient support from the West for their political aspirations.
The Palestinians, by contrast, claimed a distinct national identity relatively recently, are less than one-third fewer in number (in 2013, the global Palestinian population was estimated by the Palestinian Authority to reach 11.6 million), control land that is less than 1/15th the size of the KRG territory, and have not developed their civil society or economy with nearly as much success as the Kurds. Yet the United Nations, the European Union, the Arab League, and other international bodies have all but ignored Kurdish statehood dreams while regularly prioritizing Palestinian ambitions over countless other global crises. more >>
An Iraqi bishop has criticized the nations of the world for not working together to help suffering Iraqi Christians, and said that only education can defeat the Islamic State terror group.
"Our people are suffering too much," said Bishop Mar Schlemon Warduni of the Chaldean Christians in an interview with East County magazine.
"Nobody loves them, nobody takes care of them. The children, the young people, they have no future. They finish studying and they have no job. Always, we cry, all over the world, for those children." more >>
As the Islamic State will not be represented at the 2016 Summer Olympics, the terrorist organization has reportedly staged its own version of the international games, requiring hesitant residents and children to participate in a set of organized contests in the Iraqi city of Tal Afar.
Photographs posted on Twitter by TerrorMonitor.org show children and young adults participating in various party games on a turf soccer field in front of as many as 100 spectators.
One photo shows participants playing a game of tug-of-war, while another photo shows men playing a game of musical chairs. A third photo shows children, as young as 5 years old, participating in a balloon blowing contest. more >>
A Muslim man in the Iraqi city of Balad sacrificed his own life by hugging an Islamic State terror group militant who was wearing a suicide vest, saving hundreds of lives in the process.
India Times reported that the man, Najih Shaker Al-Baldawi, was at Balad's Sayyed Mohammad Shrine when he witnessed the IS jihadist making his way toward the crowd of people. Al-Baldawi stopped the jihadist from entering the shrine, and when he saw that the attacker was wearing an explosive-laden vest, he hugged him, and took the direct brunt of the explosion.
The suicide attack was still very deadly, leading to 37 deaths according to a Joint Operations spokesman in Iraq, but the man's actions potentially saved hundreds of others. more >>