Pope Francis has spoken out against the persecution of Christians and other minorities in Iraq, and has addressed whether the use of force to stop their persecutors is justified.
"In these cases, where there is an unjust aggression, I can only say that it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor," Pope Francis told journalists. "I underscore the verb 'stop.' I'm not saying 'bomb' or 'make war,' just 'stop.' And the means that can be used to stop them must be evaluated."
Hundreds of thousands of Christians and religious minority members have had to flee their homes and communities in order to avoid being slaughtered by radical Muslims. The Islamic group known as ISIS has spent recent months murdering thousands across northern Iraq in an attempt to form a unified Islamic Caliphate. The militant group has already taken over a large area of Syria and hopes to "cleanse" the region of Christians and other minorities such as the Yazidids. more >>
Kurdish forces continue to fight with the terrorist group Islamic State, better known as ISIS, over control of Mosul Dam, the largest dam in Iraq.
With the aid of U.S. airstrikes, it is being reported that Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have taken back the Mosul Dam, which is a major victory against ISIS.
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 >>