A teenage girl at a refugee camp in Iraq who escaped from ISIS militants has described some of the atrocities being committed by the terror group, including forced conversion to Islam and the rape of young women by ISIS leaders.
"In Mosul they tried to make us change our faith and religion," a 15-year old girl identified as "Aria" told CNN at the Khanke refugee camp in northwest Iraq. "They said to us, 'Read our Quran.' A couple of the girls said, 'We never went to school — we can't read.' I couldn't understand the Quran."
Aria was kidnapped over six weeks ago while her family was trying to flee by car from their home in Sinjar, knowing that ISIS militants were coming. A convoy of vehicles carrying the terror group's black flags surrounded them, and the young girl was taken. more >>
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said that despite reluctance from Western powers, ground troops might be needed in Iraq to fight terror group ISIS, as that would be the only way to really defeat them.
"Unless you're prepared to fight these people on the ground, you may contain them but you won't defeat them," Blair, who serves as a U.N. Middle East peace envoy, told BBC News.
He added that there is "no appetite for ground engagement in the West" but said that local forces could step in instead. more >>
Several Christian villages that were overrun by members of ISIS were recaptured by Kurdish peshmerga forces after a clash in northern Iraq that resulted in the death of a senior commander in the terror group on Tuesday.
In early August, ISIS militants forced tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians to flee their homes in an exodus Christian leaders described as the worst assault on their group in centuries. Iraq's largest Christian village Qaraqosh and many others were emptied of Christians driven out by ISIS. more >>
Twenty-six foreign ministers pledged that their countries will do everything necessary to stop terror group ISIS during a major summit in Paris on Monday. The meeting came as the U.S. launched its first airstrikes in Iraq since President Barack Obama's announcement last week the expansion of operations.
French President François Hollande said that there is "no time to lose" in the fight against the Islamic militants, who have captured several cities across Iraq and Syria, carrying out beheadings and mass persecution of religious minorities.
"The cost of inaction would be to say to these butchers 'go ahead, you have a free pass.' We won't accept that," added French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. more >>
While diplomats from 26 countries pledged to unite to fight ISIS "by any means necessary" at a conference in Paris Monday, the pathway to defeating the militant Islamic terror group appeared far from certain as Syria and Iran, the two countries sharing most of Iraq's borders, showed no support for the global coalition led by the U.S.
"They committed to supporting the new Iraqi government in its fight ... by any means necessary, including appropriate military assistance, in line with the needs expressed by the Iraqi authorities, in accordance with international law and without jeopardizing civilian security," said a statement after the meeting Monday, according to Al Arabiya.
"They will ensure that the commitments made today are implemented and followed up on, notably in the framework of the United Nations," it continued. more >>
A lack of concern for Christians and a lack freedom of expression for religious minorities in the Middle East is one of the reasons behind the rise of terror group ISIS in Iraq and Syria, said David Curry, the CEO and president of Christian persecution watchdog group, Open Doors USA.
Curry spoke with The Christian Post in a telephone interview about the most pressing needs and concerns of refugees at camps in Syria and Iraq, where Open Doors is serving.
He also shared his thoughts on President Barack Obama's recent speech about America's strategy concerning the terror group; the hopelessness that refugees are facing; and how Christians can help those who are suffering right now. more >>