Testimony provided by a former member of the Islamic State in Syria indicates that ISIS militants view NATO member Turkey as their ally, and highlights the extent to which the militant group has coordinated its efforts with the Turkish government.
A former Islamic State communications technician working out the ISIS communications bureau in the Syrian stronghold of Raqqa said in an interview with Newsweek, last Friday, that the Turkish government allowed ISIS convoys to cross freely over its border and travel through the country to avoid combat in Kurdish controlled regions of Syria in efforts to attack more vulnerable Kurdish troops in Syria's northeastern region.
Speaking under the pseudonym of "Sherko Omer", the former ISIS communications technician who managed to escape, further added that the basis for the Turkish cooperation is that ISIS and Turkey share a common enemy: the Kurds. more >>
A suicide bomber has killed at least 48 students in an explosion at a high school assembly in the northeastern Nigerian city of Potiskum on Monday. Terror group Boko Haram is suspected to be behind the attack, police have said.
"We were waiting for the principal to address us, around 7:30 a.m., when we heard a deafening sound and I was blown off my feet, people started screaming and running, I saw blood all over my body," said 17-year-old student Musa Ibrahim Yahaya, who is being treated in hospital for head wounds, according to The Associated Press.
The bomber was apparently dressed in a school uniform when he carried out the attack during the assembly, where close to 2,000 students had gathered. Potiskum's general hospital reported that another 79 students are being treated for injuries. more >>
Over one million Germans and people from around the world celebrated the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Sunday, associated also with the end of the Cold War. Seven thousand illuminated helium balloons that traced the outline of the wall that once divided the city were released into the night sky to symbolize the demonstrations in 1989.
"We're the happiest people in the world and we're thrilled that you brought the Berlin Wall down 25 years ago," declared Berlin's Mayor Klaus Wowereit, according to Reuters. "Nothing and no one can stand in the way of freedom."
Musical performances and festivities attracted more than a million people to the German capital. They were treated to the Berlin Staatskapelle orchestra playing Beethoven's 9th Symphony "Ode to Joy" at the symbolic Brandenburg Gate; Peter Gabriel performing a rendition of "Heroes," as well as several other performances from German artists. more >>
President Barack Obama revealed that the war on terror group ISIS is entering a "new phase" that will involve Iraqi ground troops pushing back against the jihadists, who have captured several cities across Iraq and Syria. The president insisted that the 1,500 additional American troops sent to Iraq will only assist local soldiers and will not engage in combat, however.
"Rather than just try to halt ISIL's momentum, we're now in a position to start going on some offense. The airstrikes have been very effective in degrading ISIL's capabilities and slowing the advance that they were making. Now what we need is ground troops, Iraqi ground troops, that can start pushing them back," Obama told CBS' News chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer on Sunday.
"What hasn't changed is our troops are not going to be engaged in combat." more >>
NEW YORK — The United States is commonly viewed as a land of opportunity and a place where — with enough hard work and determination — dreams can become reality. But the world's leading superpower has not been very kind to its children, according to data comparing how various countries care for their youngest members. Despite its war on poverty, ongoing for 50 years, nearly 20 percent of U.S. children live in poverty, but continued Gospel movements can put a dent in that figure, according to World Vision executive Romanita Hairston.
Referencing Books of the Bible like Nehemiah and Esther and pulling out analogies based on terms used in discussions of infectious diseases, Hairston, World Vision's vice president of U.S. Programs, grabbed the attention of the estimated 1,500 people seated inside a New York City hotel ballroom last month with her insistence that the longest war in the United States has been the war on poverty.
"If child well-being was a military issue, the red phone would be off the hook," said Hairston at one point in her remarks. more >>
A monitoring agency reported on Thursday that the U.S.-led coalition has conducted airstrikes for the first time against the Ahrar al-Sham Islamic rebel group in Syria, but a senior U.S. military official denied those specific attacks.
"Coalition warplanes targeted vehicle for Jabhat al-Nusra in Sarmada town near Syria-Turkey borders, and its HQ in Harim city, reports of human losses (including two children). Coalition warplanes also targeted for the first time a HQ for Ahrar al-Sham Islamic movement in Basbqa town near Bab al-Hawa crossing," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has been monitoring the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
A senior U.S. military official, who wasn't named, denied the information and told CNN that airstrikes on Wednesday night targeted the Khorasan Group, but not the al-Nusra or any other groups. more >>