A 15-year-old Islamic State fighter imprisoned by Kurdish forces in northern Syria explained how he was threatened into joining ISIS' military ranks and alleges that ISIS leaders are often drugging their fighters before battle so that the militants would be more likely to commit suicide bomb attacks.
In a CBS report Tuesday, correspondent Holly Williams interviewed various prisoners accused of fighting for ISIS in the basement of the Kurdish-operated prison in northern Syria. Fifteen-year-old Kareem Mufleh told Williams of how he was forced into becoming an ISIS fighter and also highlighted the forceful nature behind their suicide tactics and detailed how the militants kill women for showing too much skin.
While the other men that Williams interviewed in the basement of the Syrian prison ultimately deny that they fought with ISIS, Mufleh, who was captured by Kurdish forces over nine months ago after a firefight, did not hide the fact that he had joined the ISIS ranks. However, it was not by choice. more >>
The Islamic State terror group is raking in an estimated $800 million per year, or $2 million per day, in crude oil sales which is produced in oil regions the group captured in the past year in Iraq and Syria, a U.S.-based global analytics group reported on Monday.
A report by IHS, a leading source in global information and analytics, found that ISIS is making twice as much off of their oil production per day than the $1 million per day figure that U.S. lawmakers were previously told when the Deputy Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Nicholas Rasmussen testified before Congress in September.
The IHS report stated that the Islamic State generates the income needed to continue funding its deadly jihadist movement through the production of over 50,000 barrels of crude oil per day, which is sold to black market traders. The report also added that ISIS is only producing "a fraction" of the total oil capacity of the oil regions it controls. more >>
Two Christian pastors and a deacon have each been given six-year sentences by an Iranian court. A persecution watchdog group has expressed concern over the development, noting that the prisons are isolated and will force the men's families to travel great distances to see them.
"We are deeply concerned by the six-year sentences given to pastors [Benham] Irani and [Matthias] Haghnejad and deacon Silas Rabbani, and the fact that they will serve these sentences so far from their families and home towns," said Christian Solidarity Worldwide Chief Operating Officer Andy Dipper.
"We are particularly appalled by the extra six years given to pastor Irani, who has already endured ill-treatment whilst in prison and now faces nearly a decade in prison on trumped-up charges. We urge the Iranian government to release without delay every person who is imprisoned for their faith. Their incarceration contravenes international covenants guaranteeing freedom of religion or belief, to which Iran is party." more >>
Canon Andrew White, the Anglican pastor who's known as the Vicar of Baghdad, says that after U.S. troops left Iraq in 2011, the country has been facing "total devastation," even worse than under Saddam Hussein. White also described what Christians are facing as one of the worst persecutions in history.
"It was total devastation, it was the most horrendous thing," White told The News Tribune in Takoma, Washington, Sunday when speaking about the persecution Christians have endured in Iraq since the U.S. pulled its troops out in 2011. "The terrible thing that the Americans have to realize is that all of their intervention, everything they tried to do, has totally been wasted. Nothing has been achieved by this at all."
He continued, "Are we worse now than under Sadam? A million times worse." more >>
An Islamic State security official revealed that when ISIS seized the Yazidi religious minority region of Sinjar in northern Iraq in early August, ISIS militants separated virgin girls from the rest of the captured women for the sole purpose of designating them to be given away as sex prizes to ISIS fighters, a group of anti-Islamic State activists reported.
In an interview with the Syrian activist group called "Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently" and published to the group's website on Saturday, an unnamed ISIS security official stationed in Raqqa highlighted the militant organization's sex slave practices and revealed that Yazidi virgins were filtered out from Yazidi married women and mothers so that they could be awarded to ISIS fighters who contributed on the front lines for the militant group.
The ISIS source told the activist group that after battles in northern Iraq, the militants gathered all the detained religious minority women and "captured the virgins, without others." The source said the virgins were then dispersed "exclusively" among the ISIS militants who participated in that particular battle in the region where the virgins were captured. The source added that the militants preferred virgins and did not concen themselves over married or pregnant women. more >>
The U.S. military has air-dropped weapons, medical supplies and other aid on Sunday to Kurdish forces in their fight against terror group ISIS over the Syrian border town of Kobane, despite protests from Turkey. ISIS has reportedly suffered heavy losses in the battle, with at least 70 bodies of its fighters dropped off at a Syrian hospital in the past week.
The Associated Press reported that the government of Turkey opposes the aid to the Kurdish forces fighting in Syria, because it sees the group as an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party. Turkey and the PKK have been in a state of war for the past 30 years.
The U.S. and its allies have been aiding for months Kurdish forces that are battling ISIS, though mostly in the Kurdish regional government in Iraq. In the past few weeks, the Islamic terror group has concentrated its efforts on capturing the Syrian-Turkish border town of Kobane for strategic purposes. U.S.-led airstrikes have helped in pushing back the jihadists, who had initially made big gains in the town. more >>