President Barack Obama revealed on Sunday that the U.S. launched air strikes against Islamic State militants, also known as ISIS, to help Kurdistan forces retake control of parts of the Mosul Dam in Iraq, in order to protect civilians and American personnel.
"These military operations will be limited in their scope and duration as necessary to support the Iraqi forces in their efforts to retake and establish control of this critical infrastructure site, as part of their ongoing campaign against the terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)," Obama said in his letter to House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner.
"The failure of the Mosul Dam could threaten the lives of large numbers of civilians, endanger U.S. personnel and facilities, including the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and prevent the Iraqi government from providing critical services to the Iraqi populace. Pursuant to this authorization, on the evening of August 15, 2014, U.S. military forces commenced targeted airstrike operations in Iraq." more >>
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, has garnered countless headlines across the globe.
Their atrocities against religious minorities and effort to create an Islamic state in the Middle East have spurred international outrage as well as U.S. airstrikes.
Below are four important points about ISIS, specifically its origins, military engagement, atrocities and denunciations from Muslim leaders. more >>
An escaped Yazidi has opened up about her family's experience while being trapped on the side of a mountain, fleeing persecution from ISIS in Iraq.
Jamal Jamir, 23, told CNN how his family fled to Mount Sinjar in order to avoid persecution from ISIS but were trapped on the mountain, waiting for food and water to arrive. After leaving the mountain and walking to Syria, they traveled back to Faysh Khabur, which is controlled by Kurdish forces; unfortunately, his two younger brothers did not survive the journey.
"What we do? Not enough water and dusty," Jamir said. "They died. We are poor people. We don't have any problem with anybody. We need someone (to) help us." more >>
The United Nations has declared the highest level of humanitarian emergency in Iraq and has accused Islamic State militants of carrying out "barbaric" acts of sexual violence against women and teenage boys and girls belonging to Iraqi minorities.
U.N. special representative Nickolay Mladenov said that the declaration by the UN of a "Level 3 Emergency" in Iraq would "facilitate mobilization of additional resources in goods, funds and assets to ensure a more effective response to the humanitarian needs of populations affected by forced displacements," BBC News reported on Thursday.
The Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, has taken over significant territory in Iraq and Syria, capturing major cities, carrying out violent attacks on minorities, including Christians, and forcing close to 1.2 million people to flee their homes. more >>
The Islamic group known as ISIS has had a serious impact on the lives of young people raised by ISIS members, as well as those infatuated with the group's ideology.
"Everywhere our camera went, there seemed to be a young man eager to extol the virtues of the newly formed caliphate," VICE Media's Medyan Dairieh reported this week from the Syrian city of Raqqa, which has fallen into ISIS hands.
"I swear to Allah we will divide America in two," the young boy said. "And we'll destroy the enemies of the religion of them all, all who fight the Islamic State. We promise car bombs and explosives," he added. more >>
A priest from Nineveh has claimed that Christianity "is finished in Iraq," amid the ongoing conflict and thousands of Christians fleeing persecution from members of ISIS.
"Today the story of Christianity is finished in Iraq," Father Nawar told the Catholic News Agency. "It's a very difficult life … very, very difficult. [Families] are dying because of the temperatures, dying because they can't eat, dying because of fear, and also because of war, of bombs."
Father Nawar is originally from Nineveh, considered the Christian capital of Iraq, but ISIS forces took over the city and told Christians that they either had to convert to Islam or face death by the sword. The residents then fled to Kurdish areas in the country, where they were welcomed and able to take refuge. However, there were so many refugees there with very little resources. more >>