President Barack Obama is reportedly planning to ask for congressional support to arm moderate Syrian rebels who are fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, and potentially launch new airstrikes against terror group ISIS. A global chemical weapons watchdog group has meanwhile found evidence that chemical weapons have been used in Syria again.
Ahead of Obama's planned speech to the nation regarding ISIS on Wednesday, Fox News noted that the White House faces a "strategically complex" situation in Syria, which has been locked in a civil war since 2011.
Assad's forces have been fighting against ISIS, which has captured territory in both Syria and Iraq in its mission to create an Islamic caliphate across the region. While the U.S. has launched airstrikes in Iraq to protect religious minorities and key strategic points from the Islamic militants, it has also spoken out strongly against Assad. more >>
Author's note: I wrote the following article on the fifth anniversary of September 11, 2001, as a remembrance of what I experienced. Mine was nothing compared to those who died on that day, to their loved ones, or to those who survived. But what happened on that day was not merely personal, it was national. It was also theological. What happened on that day raised profound questions about God, suffering, and the purpose of evil in the world—issues I explore in my eBook: A 911 for 9/11: Finding Answers to the Evil of September 11, 2001.
On a beautiful New England morning I was driving from Boston to Rhode Island to visit a client. The morning air was crisp and fresh. The sun had just enough warmth to keep the chill at bay. The sky was a stunning hue of blue. It was one of those days that made you wish you worked outside.
That is how the morning of September 11, 2001, began. It ended in ugliness and rubble - and 3,000 of our fellow citizens dead. more >>
WASHINGTON – As thousands of Christians in Iraq and Syria, and other parts of the Middle East, are being tossed from their homes, killed, raped and pillaged by Islamic State forces and other terrorist organizations, Princeton law professor Robert George claims that Christians in America and other westernized nations are too complacent to speak out against the persecution in the Middle East and urge their governments to take action.
"It must be a kind of complacency that comes with power and affluence," George said. "We are happy. We are content. We are not persecuted, or not very much. So, we do not see the persecution of our brothers and of our sisters on the other side of town."
Increasingly in the last few months, Christians and believers of other religions in areas of Iraq and Syria are facing the wrath of of the Islamic State's "cultural cleansing." This has caused thousands of Christians to either flee their home, convert to Islam, or face death by sword. more >>
Millions of children in the Middle East region are at risk of missing the school year in the wake of extreme turmoil in the region in the past several months, most notably the war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas and the attacks from terror group ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
"The problem concerns not only minors who are displaced or refugees in these countries, but also the numerous young people living in the areas where people in flight have sought safety. Very often schools, which are not destroyed or damaged or used as headquarters for armed groups, are occupied by communities of displaced persons," a report by the Italian Red Cross and the AGIRE network read.
"In many cases there is no other option: refugee camps are often overcrowded or in precarious conditions and the only possible shelters for those not staying in private homes, are parks, abandoned buildings and schools." more >>
Terror group ISIS, which is active in Iraq and Syria, is reportedly strengthening its ties with Boko Haram in Nigeria, offering the militants advice on how to build an African caliphate.
"Unless swift action is taken, Nigeria could be facing a rapid takeover of a large area of its territory reminiscent of ISIS's lightning advances in Iraq," The Nigeria Security Network warned.
The Independent noted that intelligence agencies have been raising concern that what initially looked like symbolic links between ISIS and Boko Haram have now developed "into a practical relationship" with the former offering advice on strategy and tactics. more >>
In a new book released Tuesday highlighting the events of the Sept. 11, 2012 Islamic militant attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the CIA security contractors that responded and defended the compound claim that they could have saved the life of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Information Management Services Officer Sean Smith had the team not been delayed at the Benghazi CIA Annex for over a half an hour by the top CIA Officer in Benghazi.
In the book 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi, members of the Annex Security Team said they were told explicitly to "stand down" for over 30 to 40 minutes by the top CIA officer in Benghazi known publicly as "Bob".
The members of the Annex Security Team, who all work for an organization called Global Response Staff and are former military service members, said they were ready to deploy to the terrorist-stricken compound within five minutes of receiving the call but had to wait in the car until they received further instruction from "Bob." more >>