The city of Fallujah in Iraq has reportedly been "fully liberated" by Iraqi military forces following five weeks of intense battles with the Islamic State terror group, but grave concerns remain for the thousands of refugees who have been forced to flee.
Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, head of counterterrorism forces in the operation, said the battle for Fallujah "is done, and the city is fully liberated," The Associated Press reported. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited Fallujah following its liberation on Sunday, and is now looking to retake Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city.
A heavy military offensive backed by the U.S. and other international allies has seen IS pushed back in a number of territories in recent months, though the terror group still remains in control of major cities in both Iraq and Syria. more >>
The film "Free State of Jones," opening this Friday, gives viewers a look into the life and faith of Mississippi farmer Newt Knight, played by Matthew McConaughey, who through his role was able to openly share the faith and passion of his revolutionary character.
The epic action drama is based on Oscar-nominated writer/director Gary Ross' original screenplay that tells the extraordinary story of Newt Knight, a Southern farmer who becomes a leader that inspires a rebellion. The film explores the issues of class inequality and race relations that permeated the South during the Civil War. It also tells the story of men and women during this tenuous time who have strong faith in God and who are dealing with the moral struggle of inequality and the laws they are forced to follow.
"Free State of Jones" shows Knight rallying those who believe that "…no man ought to tell another man what he's got to live for – or what he's got to die for." He and his men fought for freedom, equality, and the ideal that "…no one can own a child of God." more >>
American pastor Saeed Abedini is criticizing women's rights activists who are refusing to speak up for his friend Maryam (Nasim) Naghash Zargaran, a Christian woman who's being held in an Iranian prison for her faith.
"So many people (who fought for me) left us in this battle with Nasim alone and never mention her name," Abedini wrote on Facebook Thursday.
He added that some of those people often talk about women's rights and issues of abuse, but left a Christian woman "in prison and sicknesses behind." more >>
With great interest, I read your "Open Letter To My Conservative Christian Family: A Response to the Orlando Shooting."
Over the last dozen years, I have done my best to listen to the stories of the LGBT community, especially those who profess faith in Jesus, and just as many of those stories touched me deeply, your open letter did as well. more >>
Nadia Murad, a former Yazidi sex slave who was held captive by the Islamic State before she escaped in 2014, told members of Congress that the Obama administration must escalate its actions in Iraq if the terror groups is going to be defeated.
"The USA must act. We must terminate Daesh (IS) and all such terror," Murad told the Senate Homeland Security Committee, according to CNN.
Murad said IS will not willingly give up their weapons, and described the suffering of persecuted minorities in Iraq and Syria, including Yazidis and Christians, who "cannot wait" any longer for help. more >>
After Iraqi special forces recaptured the city of Fallujah from the Islamic State earlier this month, they discovered a makeshift prison where the terror group used torture devices to interrogate and punish its captives.
Images of the prison in the central part of the city, taken by Iraqi soldiers, show a filthy dog cage and a car battery in the prison, according to the U.K.'s Mirror newspaper.
The pictures suggest that IS terrorists, which is also known as Daesh, ISIS or ISIL, held some of the captives in the filthy dog cage and administered shocks by attaching the battery's metal clips to their genitalia. more >>