The Islamic State terror group has razed to the ground Iraq's oldest Christian monastery where U.S. troops would worship until recently, in an apparent attempt to erase the region's history, receiving strong condemnation from around the world, including from the Obama administration and the Vatican.
Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, destroyed the 1,400-year-old St. Elijah's monastery in Mosul just months after taking over the Iraqi city in June 2014, The Associated Press reported with satellite images Wednesday, saying the terrorists demolished the structure in late September.
"Bulldozers, heavy equipment, sledgehammers, possibly explosives turned those stone walls into this field of gray-white dust. They destroyed it completely," Stephen Wood, CEO of Allsource Analysis, was quoted as saying. more >>
ISIS' leadership has reportedly sent an official letter to militants stating that salaries would be halved due to financial losses associated with U.S.-led coalition airstrikes.
A letter issued to Islamic State fighters from the terrorist group's treasury branch, based in Raqqa, Syria, cites that "exceptional circumstances" have forced leaders of the terrorist organization to cut fighters' salaries by half, according to the the Independent.
"So on account of the exceptional circumstances the Islamic State is facing, it has been decided to reduce the salaries that are paid to all mujahideen by half, and it is not allowed for anyone to be exempted from this decision, whatever his position," the letter, written by IS Treasury Minister Bayt al-Mal reads, adding, "Let it be known that work will continue to distribute provisions twice every month as usual." more >>
An 11-year-old Christian girl from Iraq has become an Internet sensation after fleeing the Islamic State terror group and performing on "The Voice Kids" singing competition TV show.
Mirna Hana wowed judges during her auditions in Beirut, Lebanon, when she performed the Iraqi tune "Yesterday in a Dream" and "Let It Go" from the popular Disney movie "Frozen."
Along with impressing judges with her voice, Hana gained international media attention after she revealed the struggles she and her family faced in Iraq before they fled the country eight months ago. more >>
The Islamic State terror group has destroyed the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq, satellite photos have confirmed, reducing to rubble the 1,400 year-old St. Elijah's Monastery that stood as a place of worship before the Catholic-Orthodox split.
The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that it obtained satellite photos from imagery firm DigitalGlobe, which revealed that the site where St. Elijah's Monastery once stood has been reduced to a field of rubble.
Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi pointed out that the monastery was a special place for many, because it dated back to a time before the split between the Catholic and the Orthodox traditions. more >>
As many as 18,800 people have been killed since 2014 in the ongoing Iraq war, the United Nations has said, revealing a "staggering" civilian death toll, while 3,500 women and children remain captured as ISIS slaves.
"The violence suffered by civilians in Iraq remains staggering. The so-called 'Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant' continues to commit systematic and widespread violence and abuses of international human rights law and humanitarian law. These acts may, in some instances, amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide," states the report, which was compiled and released on Tuesday by the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Another 36,245 people were injured in the recorded time period between January 1, 2014, and October 31, 2015, while more than 3.2 million Iraqi have been internally displaced, which includes over a million school children. more >>
The Turkish army has bombed the Iraqi border village of Sharanish, home to many Christians, Chaldeans and Assyrians, under the supposed pretext of its ongoing war with the Kurdish PKK.
Fides News Agency reported Monday that the bombings took place over the weekend, creating panic and forcing many to flee to the city of Zakho in bitter cold conditions. Reports have not yet revealed the number of victims, but the Patriarchate of Babylon of the Chaldeans condemned the attack as "totally unjustified."
"The attack was carried out under the pretext of the fight against the positions of the Kurdish PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party)," Patriarchate Louis Sako said. more >>