The Islamic State terror group has captured the Syrian town of Maheen in the central Homs Province, reports have said, and is now advancing toward the nearby town of Sadad, which is home to nearly 15,000 Syriac Orthodox Christians.
BBC News reported that the terror group, which has captured significant territory across Syria and Iraq, has been focusing on expanding from its mainly northern and eastern strongholds toward Homs in central Syria in recent months.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the fall of Maheen started with two suicide blasts on Saturday, with government forces eventually being driven out of the city. The watchdog group said that at least 50 government soldiers were killed or wounded in the fighting. more >>
On Friday, a video surfaced online showing Kurdish Peshmerga fighters being beheaded by what are believed to be members of the Islamic State forces.
According to CNN, the 15-minute video includes the beheading of several prisoners wearing orange jumpsuits in what could be one of the most chilling videos yet released by the ISIS as a warning was addressed to U.S. President Barack Obama before the beheadings took place.
At the end of the video, the statement "Peshmerga soldiers that Americans came down to rescue" was flashed in Arabic. An English-speaking ISIS representative also spoke in the video, letting the United States know that the Islamic State won't take the U.S.-led coalition easily as war and violence continue to persist in Iraq and Syria. more >>
A businessman who holds duel citizenship with the United States and Iran was reportedly arrested in mid-October in Tehran.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that a friend of United Arab Emirates based businessman, Siamak Namazi, confirmed the arrest while the Iranian government has not made public any charges.
Namazi, believed to be in his early 40s, is head of strategic planning at Crescent Petroleum in the United Arab Emirates. The New York Times reported Thursday that Namazi has ties to the National Iranian American Council, whose mission is to advance "the interests of the Iranian American community. more >>
President Barack Obama has decided to deploy dozens of U.S. troops to train, advise and assist local rebel forces on the ground in northern Syria to fight the Islamic State terror group, the White House announced Friday.
Fewer than 50 soldiers will be based in Syria and openly work with local ground forces, Josh Earnest, spokesman for the White House, told reporters Friday, marking the expansion of the U.S. fight against IS, which controls a large part of Syria and Iraq.
Thus far, the U.S. has conducted airstrikes in Syria, targeting IS. more >>
A Syrian priest who was held captive for months by the Islamic State terror group before being released said he was kept in an underground dormitory with 250 other Christians who refused to convert to Islam despite being pressured every day.
"The Christians were often questioned about their faith and about the Christian doctrine, and they did not convert to Islam despite much pressure. They were faithful to the recitation of the rosary. This experience of trial strengthened the faith of everyone, including my faith as a priest. It is as if I have been born again," Father Jacques Murad, prior of the Monastery of Mar Elian, shared of his experience, according to Agenzia Fides.
Ten years after publication of Who Was Adam? by Fazale Rana and Hugh Ross, 13 new chapters detail the new scientific evidence on the origins of humankind in a second edition.
Rana and Ross are scholars affiliated with Reasons to Believe, which also published the new edition of Who Was Adam? RTB works to spread the Gospel by showing how science supports the truths found in Scripture. Rana and Ross both have doctorate degrees in the physical sciences, biochemistry and astronomy, respectively.