A United Nations report highlighting the human rights violations of the Islamic State's jihadist campaign in Iraq found that while over 24,000 Iraqi civilians have been injured or killed by ISIS in the first eight months of 2014, and the extremists have taken up the practices of recruiting 12- and 13-year-old soldiers and forcing women and girls into sex slavery.
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in conjunction with the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq released a report last Thursday that investigated ISIS' violations of human rights by conducting interviews with over 500 internally displaced witnesses. The witnesses told the UN investigators of the atrocious ways in which the terrorists were killing, kidnapping and persecuting citizens of all religious beliefs, including those holding ISIS' own faith of Sunni Islam.
Using information obtained from a variety of governmental, non-governmental and local media sources, the report states that in the first eight months of 2014, ISIS terrorist and militants from associated groups have killed approximately 8,493 Iraqi civilians, while injuring 15,782. more >>
A retired American professor and author has said that terror group ISIS cannot be defeated by airstrikes alone, and that Christians in Syria are facing genocide if Sunni groups take over. William Relf, who has a PhD in international relations, shared his views on a number of complex ethical, political and strategic dilemmas facing U.S. forces in the Middle East.
Relf, who has taught strategy, international management, and entrepreneurship at institutions such as California State University, the Peter Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University, and Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, has led a business seminar in Iran, and authored novels such as The Iranian Connection.
Speaking with The Christian Post in a phone interview on Tuesday, Relf offered his thoughts on President Barack Obama's strategy of hitting ISIS targets throughout Iraq and Syria with airstrikes, but without committing any official ground troops. He said that an air strategy alone cannot be enough to stop the Islamic militants. more >>
After attending an event that promoted peace in Jerusalem last weekend, the Rev. Canon Andrew White, the "Vicar of Baghdad", is delaying his return to Baghdad after he was told that his life is in danger as Islamic State forces close in on Iraq's capital city.
Canon White, the vicar of St. George's Church in Baghdad, the only Anglican church in the country, explains in a Facebook post on Sunday that he was instructed by the leader of the Anglican church that it is best for him to stay out of Baghdad as he would be a marked target should ISIS breach the city. White, who is also the president of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, left Baghdad last weekend to attend the "Pray of the Peace of Jerusalem" event, a cross-religion event attended by Jews and Christians promoting peace in the region.
"Sadly things are not looking good for an immanent return to Baghdad. My dear friend the Archbishop of Canterbury has made clear that my profile is so high, I am British and very pro Israel which would place me at incredibly high risk should ISIL get near Baghdad," White wrote. "At the the moment they are not but who knows what could happen. This will mean that I will not be able to return to Baghdad yet." more >>
With a growing number of women across the globe being convinced by online love interests to join the Islamic State's terror spree in Iraq and Syria, a former Syrian elementary school teacher and now ex-Islamic State patrol guard said that females are "duped" into joining the Islamic State, and shared the details of her journey that led her to join and, ultimately, defect from the militant group, in hopes it discourages other women from joining the jihad.
Hoping to expose the underlying truths about the Islamic State and their recruitment of women with a rare insider's perspecitve into the inner workings of the Islamic State foot patrol, a 25-year-old former ISIS patrol officer explained in a CNN interview how she was fooled into joining the Islamic State and why she deserted the group by fleeing into Turkey right before the start of the U.S.-coalition airstrikes in September.
"I don't want anyone else to be duped by [ISIS]," the women speaking under the alias of "khadija" said. "Too many girls think they are the right Islam." more >>
Terror group ISIS is reportedly set to complete its takeover of the key Syrian city of Kobane on Monday in what would be a major land victory for the Islamic militants, despite U.S.-led airstrikes that tried to halt the advance.
CNN said that ISIS' army has been hitting Kobani with tanks and heavy artillery, and is close to taking over the city, which is located near the border with Turkey. Victory would give the Islamic State, as the group is also known, territorial gains between the Turkish border and its stronghold in Raqqa, Syria, nearly 62 miles away.
"We are afraid of this. We are obliged to defend our home, our town," said Kurdish Kobane official Idriss Nassan, who vowed to fight on. "We didn't choose this war, but we are obliged to fight." more >>
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a television interview that a recent White House rebuke of Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is "against American values," but he praised President Obama's decision to attack ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
"It's against the American values. And it doesn't bode well for peace," Netanyahu said in an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation."
Israel maintains that east Jerusalem is part of its capital but the United States does not recognize it as part of Israel's territories. more >>