A United Nations report highlighting the human rights violations of the Islamic State's jihadist campaign in Iraq found that while over 24,000 Iraqi civilians have been injured or killed by ISIS in the first eight months of 2014, and the extremists have taken up the practices of recruiting 12- and 13-year-old soldiers and forcing women and girls into sex slavery.
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in conjunction with the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq released a report last Thursday that investigated ISIS' violations of human rights by conducting interviews with over 500 internally displaced witnesses. The witnesses told the UN investigators of the atrocious ways in which the terrorists were killing, kidnapping and persecuting citizens of all religious beliefs, including those holding ISIS' own faith of Sunni Islam.
Using information obtained from a variety of governmental, non-governmental and local media sources, the report states that in the first eight months of 2014, ISIS terrorist and militants from associated groups have killed approximately 8,493 Iraqi civilians, while injuring 15,782. more >>
The parents of slain American journalist James Foley claim they knew the location of their son and 17 other hostages being held by Islamic State militants in Syria over six months before the U.S. government attempted to rescue the hostages.
In separate interviews with BBC News and BBC Radio 4 on Monday and Tuesday, Diane and John Foley offered that they feel that the U.S. government could have done more to save their son as it wasn't until 21 months after his capture that U.S. special forces finally attempted an extraction raid. The Foleys also said that the government failed keep the family informed about what was being done to save their son and additionally expressed concern with the federal policies that don't allow families to negotiate with terrorists.
With no idea as to what was being done by the U.S. government to help save their son, it wasn't until after their son's beheading in August that the family received an update from the government on what was done to attempt to save their son. more >>
With a growing number of women across the globe being convinced by online love interests to join the Islamic State's terror spree in Iraq and Syria, a former Syrian elementary school teacher and now ex-Islamic State patrol guard said that females are "duped" into joining the Islamic State, and shared the details of her journey that led her to join and, ultimately, defect from the militant group, in hopes it discourages other women from joining the jihad.
Hoping to expose the underlying truths about the Islamic State and their recruitment of women with a rare insider's perspecitve into the inner workings of the Islamic State foot patrol, a 25-year-old former ISIS patrol officer explained in a CNN interview how she was fooled into joining the Islamic State and why she deserted the group by fleeing into Turkey right before the start of the U.S.-coalition airstrikes in September.
"I don't want anyone else to be duped by [ISIS]," the women speaking under the alias of "khadija" said. "Too many girls think they are the right Islam." more >>
At least 41 children and 48 people in total were killed by two heavy suicide bomb blasts near a school in Homs, Syria, several sources have reported.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is monitoring the mounting number of casualties from the three-year-old Syrian civil war, said that the explosions occurred in the Ekrima neighborhood in Homs. It added that the death toll of 48 people is likely to go up, as there are also a number of seriously injured people.
Official Syrian sources said that a car bomb and a suicide bomber caused the explosions as the children were coming out of school. Fides News Agency said that the children were targeted because many of them belong to the same religious community as the family of President Bashar al-Assad. It added that the attack was one of the heaviest losses of life in terms of children since the beginning of the Syrian conflict. more >>
The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday against an earlier ruling allowing doctors to provide suicide drugs, by throwing out a case against the Swiss government. The woman at the center of the lawsuit was discovered to have committed suicide more than years ago.
"Because the government has an obligation to protect life, not assist in promoting death, we are pleased to see this bad decision thrown out despite the extraordinary circumstances," said Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Paul Coleman. "The lawsuit's claim that a person should be able to do whatever he or she pleases does not override national laws rightfully designed to protect the weak and vulnerable."
The law group, which had filed a brief with the Grand Chamber in 2013, noted that an earlier ECHR ruling against the Swiss government was nullified after the cbhamber discovered that Alda Gross, who had wanted to be provided with suicide drugs, had committed suicide in November 2011. The court was not notified of that fact, however, nor was it made known that the woman used the same poison to take her own life as the type she was attempting to secure legal rights to through the lawsuit. more >>
A Swiss humanitarian aid worker in Syria is facing death threats coming from ISIS-associated Twitter accounts after tweeting the location of a bunker seized by Islamic State near the Turkey-Syria border.
Oscar Bergamin, president of the small humanitarian aid group called Ash-Sham Care, tweeted the coordinates of an ISIS-controlled bunker in the Syrian town of Jarabalus. Bergamin told BBC in a radio interview on Wednesday that he sent the tweet out of frustration because ISIS' control of the bunker enables militants to block aid workers from accessing the estimated 18,000 refugees in the town.
Although Bergamin said he sent the tweet semi-jokingly because the bunker can be seen from Turkey, he did say he sent a tweet asking U.S. and coalition forces to "blow it up." One of the guiding principles of the International Red Cross is for aid workers to remain neutral when it comes to war and conflicts. more >>