A Yazidi woman who fled captivity at the hands of the Islamic State terror group has claimed that hundreds of others are taking their own lives rather than be subjected to sex slavery by the jihadists.
"We just want them to be rescued," Ameena Saeed Hasan said in a CNN report. "Hundreds of girls have committed suicide.
"I have some pictures of the girls who have committed suicide ... when they lose hope for rescue and when ISIS many times sell them and rape them ... I think there is maybe 100. We lost contact with most of them," she added. more >>
A Roman Catholic priest and Holocaust investigator has said that although they operated under a different ideology, the crimes of Nazi Germany and the atrocities committed by the Islamic State terror group can be compared under the same "disease" of genocide.
"It's not the same ideology," Father Patrick Desbois told CBS' "60 Minutes." "But behind, it's the same disease."
Desbois investigates the forgotten massacres in Eastern Europe, where Nazi death squads murdered millions of Jewish people. His focus is on the lesser known victims, those who died outside the infamous camps of Auschwitz and Dachau. more >>
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned that unless world powers find a way to work together to address the ongoing war in Syria, the entire Middle East region "will be destroyed." U.S. President Barack Obama has meanwhile launched an investigation into the bombing of a Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Afghanistan by American jets, which killed 22 people.
Russia began its own airstrike operations in Syria last week, and although Russian President Vladimir Putin is claiming that Russian jets are only targeting the Islamic State terror group, American officials have claimed that Russia is attacking anti-Assad rebels instead, some of whom have received support from the U.S. government.
Assad, who has been locked in a four-year ongoing civil war with various rebel groups, including IS, has welcomed Russia's help, but has criticized the U.S.-led coalition's airstrikes, claiming that they're counter-productive and only help with the spread of terrorism, BBC News reported. more >>
The U.S. government will continue to provide military assistance to four African nations that were recently found to be actively recruiting child soldiers in their national militaries. Child protection experts condemned the decision.
The White House announced Tuesday that at least half of the countries listed on its Child Soldiers Prevention Protection list would receive national interest waivers and subsequently would not lose military assistance despite the Child Soldier Prevention Act, which was passed in 2008. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan will continue to receive millions of dollars in U.S. military assistance and arms sales.
CSPA was enacted by Congress to restrict U.S. military support to governments that recruit children or people younger than 18 in their armed forces; however, the United States has taken to using waivers for select nations considered to be critical partners in countering terrorism. Other nations on the list are Myanmar (formerly Burma), Sudan, Syria and Yemen. more >>
Russia began its airstrike operations in war-torn Syria Wednesday, but has reportedly been targeting U.S.-backed rebels who are fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, instead of focusing on the Islamic State terror group.
Reuters reported on Thursday that Russian officials have claimed that their airstrikes are targeting terrorists, but the U.S. is saying that Russia is going after anti-Assad rebels instead, some of whom have received support by the White House.
Sky News added that Russian jets have conducted at least 30 airstrikes in Syria so far, with TV reports showing that the operations have hit the rebel-held town of Jisr Al-Shughour in the northwest of the country. more >>
Metropolitan Jean-Clément Jeanbart, of the Melkite Archdiocese of Aleppo, Syria, has warned that the ongoing exodus of Christians from the Middle East — fleeing war and persecution — is an "apocalyptic and fatal" development.
Jeanbart said that the "exodus of Christians" is as "a form of deportation, condemning our faithful to a humiliating exile and our 2,000-year-old Church to a deadly drying up," according to The Irish Catholic.
He also criticized the lack of help from Western governments, claiming that they "appear to be either indifferent or unjust" to the plight of the refugees. more >>