The rise of the barbaric Islamic State terrorist group was masterminded by one of Saddam Hussein's former military intelligence officers, who planned for years to help the terrorist group conquer Iraqi and Syrian territories, blueprint documents uncovered by the German magazine Der Spiegel have revealed.
In a recently published report titled "The Terror Strategist: Secret Files Reveal the Structure of Islamic State," the news outlet reported that it obtained 31 pages of documents, through negotiations with Syrian rebels, that have been deemed to be "blueprint" materials detailing how the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria was orchestrated.
The report adds that the obtained handwritten notes and charts were composed by Samir al-Khlifawi. more >>
ISIS militants have been desecrating Christian graves and destroying entire cemeteries in Mosul, recording their actions on video, which they say are part of their efforts to "eradicate pagan symbols."
Images of jihadists tearing down tombstones were spread through the terror group's social media websites, and have been republished by sites such as Iraqi News.
Fides News Agency reported that one of the destroyed cemeteries was located at the Syrian Orthodox Cathedral, dedicated to St. Thomas the Apostle, which housed tombs of Christian soldiers who died during the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980s. more >>
The British pop-electronica band Ooberfuse recently teamed up with the Archbishop of Erbil to release a music video for its new song, "We Are One," which was written to let the thousands of refugees displaced by the Islamic State know that they are not alone in their suffering.
"We Are One" features very strong Christian overtones and reiterates the fact that although many of these refugees have lost their homes and lives they once knew in Iraq, they will never be without the love and hope of God.
"In our home, in our faith, in our love, we are one," Ooberfuse female singer Cherrie Anderson sings in the song. "You aren't alone in this dream. We are one." more >>
At least four non-U.S. civilians were killed and 18 others were injured in a suicide car bomb attack Friday at the entrance of the U.S. Consulate in the Kurdish Iraqi city of Erbil, for which the Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility, according to reports.
While the attack was clearly targeted at the U.S. Consulate in Erbil, the capital of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government, none of its personnel was hurt, according to the U.S. State Department.
A report released Wednesday that includes interviews with 11 women and nine girls who were sexually enslaved by the Islamic State reveals horrifying details about how the terrorists beat, torture and pass around sexually abused Yazidi and religious minority women and girls.
The investigation, which was conducted by Human Rights Watch, explains that religious minority women and children as young as 8, were abducted by the terrorist group when it took over large swaths of northern Iraq last year. It has been widely reported that many of the abducted young women and girls have been sold in sex slave markets, forced to marry ISIS fighters, and are often sold and raped by multiple foreign ISIS fighters.
The report states that ISIS often holds abducted Yazidi girls in many different locations throughout northern Iraq, in places such as farm compounds, hotels, prisons, military bases, schools, and former government buildings. more >>
Following the visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi to the White House on Tuesday, the Obama administration revealed that U.S. Armed Forces have launched over 1,900 airstrikes against terror group ISIS in the country, and have spent billions through various avenues to help Iraq.
An Iraqi official warned after the meeting, however, that the key city of Ramadi is in great danger of falling to the militants.
"This visit provides an opportunity to review the important progress that Iraq and the United States have made together and to discuss ways to further enhance cooperation across the full spectrum of the strategic partnership," a joint statement by Obama and al-Abadi read. more >>