Besieged Iraqi Shiite and Turkmen City Desperately Needs U.S. Help
By Michael Knights - WP

This weekend, the international community appeared to finally wake to the looming humanitarian crisis in Amerli, a town of 12,000 Shiite Turkmen in northern Iraq that has been under attack by the Islamic State for more than 60 days. On Saturday, Nickolay Mladenov, head of the U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq, urged the international community in a tweet “to relieve the #Amerli siege and ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance.”

Amerli is the only major Shiite community still behind the Islamic State’s front lines. In nearby towns, Shiite Turkmen families captured by the Islamic State have been split up, men and boys taken to be killed and women and girls bused away to be used as human shields, sold as chattel and sometimes raped and murdered.

The Middle East Crack-Up
By Shlomo Avineri – Project Syndicate

For all of its internal tribulations, there is no doubt that Egypt is a coherent entity, deeply anchored in history and in the consciousness of its population. For all of the problems confronting the Coptic Christian community, no one doubts that they are as Egyptian as the Muslim majority.

The horror stories emerging from northern Iraq, as well as the continuing slaughter in Syria’s civil war, point to a tectonic shift in the Middle East. Almost 100 years after World War I, the regional state system established after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire is unraveling.

Over 250 Copts Paid Ransoms with No Police Action, Says a Victims’ Relative

Essam Demian, brother of Emad Domian, who was killed in Sahel Salim village in Assuit governorate (Upper Egypt) a year ago, said, “The cases of ransom and royalties imposed on Copts in the governorate have increased amid silence of the security forces. More than 250 Copts, some of them physicians or pharmacists, paid ransoms” (presumably over the past three years).

Saudis Must Stop Exporting Extremism
By Ed Husain - NYT

ISIS Atrocities Started With Saudi Support for Salafi Hate

Along with a billion Muslims across the globe, I turn to Mecca in Saudi Arabia every day to say my prayers. But when I visit the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, the resting place of the Prophet Muhammad, I am forced to leave overwhelmed with anguish at the power of extremism running amok in Islam’s birthplace. Non-Muslims are forbidden to enter this part of the kingdom, so there is no international scrutiny of the ideas and practices that affect the 13 million Muslims who visit each year.

ISIL Snap Christian Child Away from Her Mother

Members of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) kidnapped a Christian girl named Christian Khidr Ebada, 3, from her mother’s lap in the city of Qaraqosh, in Nineveh, north Iraq.

A witness said that ISIL members did not respond to appeals of the girl’s parents when they took her away. The witness explained that the girl is still in the city of Qaraqosh, while her parents have arrived in the city of Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region in Iraq.

The witness told MCN that ISIL members ordered the remaining people in the city of Qaraqosh to leave after they robbed their money and jewelry.

People were divided into groups, which ISIL members then took near the Khazar area, close by Kurdish-controlled Kalik.


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