As the Islamic State continues to control Iraq's two "capitals of Christianity," American combat experts have taken it upon themselves to train Christian militia fighters to not only defend the remaining Christian villages from ISIS, but eventually go on the offensive to recapture the historic Christian lands of Mosul and Qaraqosh.
Sons of Liberty International, a group headed by Baltimore-native Matthew VanDyke, a renowned Libyan revolutionary and former prisoner of war, has been operating in northern Iraq since last December. The organization's main focus is training recruits in the Nineveh Plains Protection Unit, a militia made up of a couple thousand Christians, and prepare them to protect the Nineveh Plains from the brutal ISIS extremists.
"The purpose of the NPU is beyond just fighting ISIS," VanDyke told The Christian Post in a Thursday interview. "It is not just a short-term project. They have their eye on being a security force for their region from now on, and being able to demonstrate to their people that they will be safe and that they can stay in the country and Christianity can survive in Iraq." more >>
Reports are circulating that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi might've been seriously injured during an airstrike operation, leading the terror group to choose a former Iraqi physics teacher as his replacement.
Hisham al Hashimi, an Iraqi government adviser, told Newsweek earlier this week that al-Baghdadi was wounded back in March, and is unable to carry out his day-to-day duties. He said that Abu Alaa Afri has been selected to stand in as his replacement, and could take over permanently if al-Baghdadi dies.
"After Baghdadi's wounding, he [Afri] has begun to head up Daesh [arabic term for ISIS] with the help of officials responsible for other portfolios," Hashimi said. "He will be the leader of Daesh if Baghdadi dies." more >>
Recently published testimony provided by an escaped Yazidi Islamic State captive battling a "terminal illness" has revealed more horrifying details into ISIS' blatant disregard for human rights and how many of the thousands of Yazidi sex slaves were sorted and divided as battle "shares" for militants.
In an op-ed published by the International Business Times, Murad Ismael, a Yazid activist who works for the NGO Yazda, wrote about a Yazidi women named Samia who was taken captive, along with her two sisters, after ISIS seized her Iraqi village of Kocho on Aug. 15 of last year.
Although Samia was diagnosed with cancer in 2007 and was still receiving chemotherapy last August when she was taken hostage — along with 130 other women and girls from her village — that didn't prevent her from being subject to the total wrath of the group's sexual and physical brutality that it systemically imposes on religious minority women. more >>
Up to as many as 60 girls and women kidnapped by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria die by suicide each month after suffering physical and sexual abuse at the hands of ISIS jihadis, an aid worker stationed in Iraq has claimed.
The aid worker, who's referenced by the name of Yousif, told the British news site The Express that he has witnessed women who are subject to rape, forced marriage and physical assault by ISIS militants killing themselves at a rate of one or two per day in order to escape their horrific ordeals.
"Everyday between one or two commit suicide," Yousif explained. "There are different methods they use inside there, whether they hang themselves, cut themselves, different ways they do it." more >>
The University of Al Azhar, the highest academic center of Sunni Islam, along with Muslim governments in the region have condemned the slaughter of 28 Ethiopian Christians in a video released by ISIS on Sunday.
The statement from Al Azhar, attributed to Imam Ahmed al-Tayyeb and sent to Agenzia Fides, calls the mass killings a "heinous crime, committed by the Daesh terrorist group, which goes against any religion, law or human conduct."
The university has also sent its condolences to the government and people of Ethiopia and to the families of the victims. more >>
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 >>