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Globe Trot: Christian militias unite to battle ISIS in northern Iraq

The offensive to take back Mosul and Nineveh Plains continues

IRAQ: The Christian militias in northern Iraq are uniting to better defeat ISIS and coordinate security and military plans as the offensive to take back Mosul and Nineveh Plains continues. It’s always significant when varied church and political leaders come together over anything.

Families are streaming out of Mosul as Iraqi forces press in, ending two years of life under ISIS. I suggest following reporter Ben Kesling on Twitter for up-to-the-minute frontline news.

“O you who seek martyrdom! Start your actions!” said ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a nearly 32-minute recording broadcast this morning. Kurdish officials believe Baghdadi is in Mosul (U.S. intelligence says he’s in Syria), which will make the battle to retake Mosul more difficult, as his cohorts will “fight to the death.”

Overnight and in recent days I’ve heard from several groups working on the ground to aid those leaving Mosul—Free Burma Rangers, Christian Aid Mission, Samaritan’s Purse, Preemptive Love Coalition—and remind you of WORLD’s Aid to Iraqis page for information on groups working in the region.

On today’s The World and Everything in It podcast, I talk about the issues facing waiting Christians and others in Iraq.

INDONESIA: Hardline Muslim groups plan mass protests tomorrow in Jakarta, venting anger over statements by Jakarta Gov. Basuki Tjahja Purnama (known as “Ahok”), whom they’ve accused of blasphemy. Like Indonesia’s president, Ahok is ethnic Chinese and a Christian. According to one outlet, terrorists may take advantage of the upheaval, while another suggests turnout will be less than expected.

LIBYA: As many as 240 people are dead after the latest shipwrecks of migrant boats off the coast of Libya. This year, more people have died in these boat crossings than a year ago, when a great wave of migrants seeking safe haven in Europe was making headline news.

CLINTONLAND: It’s amazing New York media didn’t cover what was happening at the New York FBI office until now, where bitter splits over investigating the Clinton Foundation may suggest that Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe tried to shut down the investigations of the Clinton Foundation for political reasons. To recap, Clinton and her aides, using unsecure email, shared diplomatic overtures and at the same time kept steady contact with Clinton Foundation donors concerning Qatar, Honduras, Morocco, and others.

Worth looking into further is Clinton Foundation interest in Michael Aoun, the newly elected president of Lebanon, who has extensive ties to Gilbert Chagoury, a Nigerian of Lebanese descent who is perhaps the largest donor to the Clinton Global Initiative and among the largest contributor to the Clinton Foundation. Aoun’s name shows up five times in our search of the latest WikiLeaks emails.

Mindy Belz

Mindy wrote WORLD Magazine’s first cover story in 1986 and went on to serve as international editor, editor, and senior editor. She has covered wars in Syria, Afghanistan, Africa, and the Balkans, and she recounts some of her experiences in They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run From ISIS With Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Mindy resides with her husband, Nat, in Asheville, N.C.



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