More than 460 prayer vigils in 30 countries and territories next week are set to mark the two year anniversary of American pastor Saeed Abedini's imprisonment for his faith in Iran.
"The kids and I are longing to see Saeed returned home safely to us. The kids have been suffering for too long. Our family is ready. It is time," said Naghmeh Abedini, the pastor's wife.
"We are praying for a miracle. My hope is that, as thousands gather together on Sept. 26, our governments and leaders will be reminded of the importance of religious freedom for all and continue to pressure Iran to secure Saeed's release." more >>
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke out against terror group ISIS in a recent interview, saying that the militants "want to kill humanity." He also harshly criticized American President Barack Obama's plan to fight ISIS with airstrikes but without any ground troops, calling it "ridiculous" and wondering whether Americans are not afraid to suffer casualties in the war.
"They want to kill humanity," Rouhani told NBC News about ISIS, which has declared the creation of an 'Islamic State' in the territory of Iraq and Syria, but has been denounced by a number of Islamic countries.
"And from the viewpoint of the Islamic tenets and culture, killing an innocent people equals the killing of the whole humanity. And therefore, the killing and beheading of innocent people, in fact, is a matter of shame for them and it's the matter of concern and sorrow for all the human and all the mankind." more >>
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., raised doubts Tuesday about Obama's $500 million dollar plan to support and train about 5,000 Syrian rebels.
In a Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing, Manchin told Defense Department officials that he can not justify the U.S. spending over $100,000 per rebel when U.S. military aid in the Middle East over the last decade has not helped to stabilize the region at all.
"I'm just saying our past performance for the last 13 years in that region hasn't given us the results," Manchin said. "We took out Saddam [Hussein], we thought that would change. Iraq is in worse shape. We took out [Muammar] Gaddafi. We thought that would change. It got so bad in Libya, we've had to pull out our own embassy and our own people in our embassy. These barbaric dictators are unbelievable. But, it seems like that's what rules. If it's not one. It will be another." more >>
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is vowing to attack Israel over its most-recent conflict with Hamas, and to fight against U.S. troops and the anti-Christ as it conquers Persia and Rome.
"As for the massacres taking place in Gaza against the Muslim men, women and children, the Islamic State will do everything within its means to continue striking down every apostate who stands as an obstacle on its path toward Palestine," reads an entry in the publication Dabiq, which has been distributed in numerous languages, including English.
"[The Islamic State's] actions speak louder than its words and it is only a matter of time and patience before it reaches Palestine to fight the barbaric Jews and kill those of them hiding behind the gharqad trees — the trees of the Jews," the terror group threatens in Dabiq. more >>
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei put to rest on Monday any speculation that his country would be partnering in anyway with the U.S. and its allies in defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
Even though U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters on Monday that Iran was not invited to join the coalition of countries wanting to take down ISIS, Khamenei's remarks on Twitter seem to imply that Iran was invited to, at least, participate in helping resolve the crisis.
In a series of tweets posted to his English translation Twitter account beginning Monday morning and continuing into Tuesday, Khamenei has not only rejected the United States offer to help resolve the ISIS threat, but heavily chastised the coalition which has 26 participating nations and blamed the United States for the world of terror. more >>
Although a group closely monitoring the Syrian civil war claimed last Friday that moderate and Islamist Syrian rebels near Damascus agreed upon a ceasefire with Islamic State militants, a Syrian National Coalition official said Saturday that no such truce has been reached between ISIS, also known as ISIL, and U.S.-vetted rebel forces.
With the arming and training of moderate Syrian rebel forces paramount in President Barack Obama's outlined strategy to defeat ISIS, the British group called The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that rebel forces have reached a non-aggression pact with ISIS forces in the ward of Hajar al-Aswad, just south of the nation's capital city of Damascus.
Per the agreement, which was first reported by Agence France Presse, "the two parties will respect a truce until a final solution is found and they promise not to attack each other because they consider the principal enemy to be the Nussayri regime." more >>