A U.N. report has warned that as many as 15,000 jihadists from close to 80 different countries are flooding into Iraq and Syria to fight for ISIS and other terror groups in the mission to establish an Islamic caliphate over the region.
The report, obtained by The Guardian, did not list all countries involved, but said that some of them had previously not been involved in global terrorism.
"Numbers since 2010 are now many times the size of the cumulative numbers of foreign terrorist fighters between 1990 and 2010 — and are growing," the report says. more >>
Sweden has become the first major European Union member to officially recognize the state of Palestine. The controversial move has been strongly criticized by Israel, which recalled its ambassador in protest.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas "is looking for a way not to return to the negotiating table, and Sweden just gave him a perfect excuse," an Israeli Foreign Ministry source told The Times of Israel.
The source added that Sweden's recognition of Palestine could destabilize fragile relations in the Middle East, where a long term ceasefire between Israel and militant group Hamas from earlier this year is still holding. more >>
Burkina Faso declared a state of emergency on Thursday and dissolved its government after protesters angry at President Blaise Compaore's 27-year rule stormed parliament buildings and set them ablaze.
Army chief General Honore Traore revealed that a new transitional government would be put in place, which will be "in consultation with all parties."
"A return to the constitutional order is expected in no more than 12 months," Traore added. more >>
A Christian who was one of the last to flee his village in the Nineveh Province of northern Iraq before Islamic State jihadists captured it in August claims that ISIS militants are setting up explosives inside of homes so that if residents are ever to return to the village, their houses will explode upon entering.
The testimony of a Christian native named Ayad from Tel Keppe, a village just outside of the city of Mosul, was featured in a recent video interview conducted by the World Council of Churches. Ayad's testimony highlighted the timeline and details the of events that took place as the Islamic State militants captured his town on Aug. 6.
Ayad, who claims to be the last capable person to flee the village, said he eventually fled the town with no shoes on his feet, but emphasized that Christians are eager to return to their homes, as day by day, the Kurdish forces tell refugees what villages they have liberated and are safe to return to. more >>
Christians are being urged to come together on the International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church on Sunday, with persecution watchdog group Open Doors noting that hostilities against believers this year have reached unprecedented levels in modern times.
Open Doors CEO and president David Curry told The Christian Post on Wednesday that his organization is hosting live webcasts on both Saturday and Sunday, where people can interact and pray with persecuted believers, and listen to expert commentary on the crisis.
He said that the rising tide of violence against Christians has reached unprecedented levels for modern times, particularly with the rise of terror group ISIS in Iraq and Syria, but also in the continued persecution and denial of freedom for followers of Christ in oppressive regimes like Saudi Arabia. more >>
The Kurdish female commander in charge of leading all women fighters against Islamic State in the battle over the border town of Kobane is calling on women throughout the world to help defeat the Islamic State and end its mistreatment of women.
While numerous Kurdish women are joining the battle against the Islamic State, the commander of the Women's Protection Unit of the Kurdish peshmerga defending Kobane, Meysa Abdo, wrote in an opinion piece for Wednesday's New York Times that her forces are in dire need of better weaponry and assistance from international governments.
Abdo, who is also known by her nom de guerre Narin Afrin, urges women from across the world to bring awareness to ISIS' atrocious cruelty toward women and religious minorities so they can persuade their governments to assist the Kurdish forces in protecting "the rights of women everywhere." more >>