King Abdullah II of Jordan has praised Pope Francis' much-debated remarks about the limits to free speech, and insisted that religious beliefs must not be offended.
"King Abdullah made explicit reference to the words expressed by the pope on the fact that freedom of expression is a right, and in some cases even a duty, but at the same time it has limits, and cannot offend the religious beliefs of others. The monarch defined these considerations positive," said Archbishop Maroun Lahham, patriarchal vicar for Jordan of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, as reported by Fides News Agency on Thursday.
Pope Francis said last week that freedom of speech must be protected, but there should be limits when it comes to causing offense to religions. more >>
The United Nations warned on Tuesday that ISIS militants are executing educated women within the territories it controls, reporting that the militants have already executed three female lawyers this month.
UN spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told reporters that numerous women living in ISIS strongholds, especially in the Iraqi city of Mosul, have recently been killed by ISIS militants and added that educated women are especially in danger.
"Educated, professional women, particularly women who have run as candidates in elections for public office seem to be particularly at risk," Shamdasani said. "In just the first two weeks of this year, reports indicated three female lawyers were executed." more >>
The Islamic State terrorist organization in Iraq has executed 13 teenage boys solely because they were found watching a soccer match, an act that has apparently been deemed punishable by death under ISIS' sharia law.
According to the Syrian activist organization Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a group closely monitoring executions carried out by ISIS militants, the 13 teens were caught last week in the Al-Yarmouk district of the Iraqi city of Mosul watching the Iraq vs Jordan Asian Cup soccer match, which was held in Australia.
After being caught watching the game, which Iraq won 1-0, The boys were rounded up by ISIS militants and were later publicly executed via a firing squad using machine guns. more >>
In response to the growing threat posed by the Islamic State terrorist group, the royal family of Saudi Arabia is having a 600-mile barrier constructed to completely block the Iraqi portion of the Saudi northern border, hoping to prevent ISIS militants from infiltrating the kingdom.
The planned fence structure will span the entire distance of the Iraq-Saudi border, from Jordan to Kuwait. The border barrier system will feature five layers of barbed wire fencing, a ditch, a patrol road, 240 rapid response vehicles, underground motion sensors, 40 watchtowers, radar, day/night cameras, seven command centers, 28 communication towers, 32 military response stations (equipped with helipads), and three rapid intervention teams. The entire system will also be connected through a fibre-optic communications network.
The idea for the "great wall" was first proposed during the height of the United States' invasion of Iraq in 2006. But, construction on the barrier did not begin until last September, after the Islamic State conquered large swaths of the neighboring Anbar province in Iraq. more >>
The Islamic State's execution spree picked up dramatically last week, as the militant group released its latest round of execution photos. Along with photos showing the execution of two gay men, an adulteress and two bandits in Iraq, the group has also reportedly crucified and executed 17 men accused of fighting against the caliphate.
In releasing its latest wave of execution photos on an Islamic State-affiliated JustPaste.It account, photos show a muslim crowd gathered around a tall brown brick building in the ISIS Iraqi stronghold of Mosul that looks to be many storeis high. In the following photographs, two men were forced to the roof of the building and were hurled over the edge by two ISIS militants.
A subsequent picture captured one of the victim's freefall and another photo showed their lifeless bodies laying on the dirt ground. more >>
The Obama administration announced late Thursday that over 400 troops will be deployed to the Middle East this spring to train and equip rebel forces that are fighting the Islamic State terror group in Syria and Iraq.
As U.S.-led airstrikes continue to target Islamic State positions, the training program will be part of "Obama's multi-year plan to field local forces in Syria" to defeat the Islamic State, Reuters reports.
Along with the 400 troops, hundreds of U.S. support personnel will also be deployed to the region, a Pentagon spokesman said Thursday. more >>