A 49-year-old American living in Costa Rica decided to heed God's call on his life and join the fight against ISIS.
Dean Parker, formerly from Florida, joined the Lions of Rojava, a group of fighters linked with the Kurdish People's Protection Unit in October. He felt called to action after seeing ISIS persecute the Yazidi people and trap them on a mountainside.
"Women and children rushed in and started piling into the chopper," Parker told Mail Online. "The cameraman filmed this one mother holding her 10- or 11-year-old son. He was dressed for school it seemed. She was crying, holding him. He was looking at the camera and that look of sheer terror in his eyes overwhelmed me with emotions I have never felt before. I actually became physically ill and crying uncontrollably." more >>
An Iraqi man who claims to be one of the 50,000 "ghost soldiers" on the Iraqi military's payroll, revealed over the weekend that corrupt superior officers within the Iraqi military are allowing soldiers, who have failed to report for duty, to stay on the military's payroll in exchange for a portion of their salary.
Thirty-eight-year-old Mazin, who works full time as a cab driver in Baghdad while collecting a monthly salary from the Iraqi army, said in an interview with NBC News that he made an agreement with an Iraqi superior officer in 2009 to give up half of his own monthly salary (about $950) to the superior officer in exchange for not having to report for duty anymore and still remaining on the payroll.
"The officer used to call me every month to receive my salary and give him his share," Mazin said. "He used to call me whenever we needed, for example, to renew our identification cards." more >>
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A New York City pastor and Texas-based Yazidi activist who flew to Iraq the week before Christmas to assess the humanitarian needs of displaced Yazidis persecuted by the Islamic State have called the present situation of more than 300,000 refugees "genocidal" and "insane."
William Devlin and Murad Ismael connected via phone with a radio show in New York City live from Iraq just days before Christmas to describe the living conditions of distraught Yazidis staying at several refugee camps in Dohak in Kurdistan, in northern Iraq. more >>
Although hundreds of thousands of refugees are displaced from their homes in Iraq and their futures remain uncertain due to the siege of the Islamic State, The Vicar of Baghdad wrote in an online Christmas statement that Christian refugees in Iraq have not been deterred from exhibiting joy in the only thing they have left: the unconditional of Jesus.
Writing from his new temporary home in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ, the Rev. Canon Andrew White, the only Anglican pastor in Iraq, said that even though ISIS has left these displaced Christian refugees with no homes, no clothes and, in some cases, no families, their faith remains strong in the "refugee child," Jesus.
"All you have got left is the love of that refugee child. That to us in the Middle East is all that matters this Christmas," White explained. more >>
A German author who recently traveled to the Middle East has declared that the Islamic State terrorist organization is "more dangerous than people realize."
Juergen Todenhoefer, an author and former politician who's been a critic of American foreign policy, recently went into territory held by ISIS to investigate the militant group.
A spokesman for ISIS has claimed in an interview that it's only a matter of time before the jihadists expand and conquer Europe. He also defended the terror group's practices of mass enslavement and beheadings, and said that it plans to carry out "the largest religious cleansing campaign" in history, which will include the killing of hundreds of millions of people.
"No, we will conquer Europe one day. It is not a question of if we will conquer Europe, just a matter of when that will happen. But it is certain. ... For us, there is no such thing as borders. There are only front lines," the spokesman, identified only as a German ISIS fighter, told journalist Juergen Todenhoefer in an article for CNN.
"Our expansion will be perpetual. ... And the Europeans need to know that when we come, it will not be in a nice way. It will be with our weapons. And those who do not convert to Islam or pay the Islamic tax will be killed." more >>