Kurdish Forces Win Major Battle Against ISIS in Syria
(WNS)–Kurdish forces in Syria celebrated a major victory over Islamic State (ISIS) militants, reclaiming the strategic town of Tal Abyad on the Turkish border. Tal Abyad has served as a major supply route for ISIS, and analysts say its loss could cripple the militant group. It’s also been a gateway for fighters joining the group to travel freely from Turkey into ISIS-controlled areas in Syria. Reclaiming the territory will allow Kurdish fighters to connect several of the territories it controls, giving the group a contiguous power base. The Kurds, considered a terrorist group itself in Turkey, have been fighting for independence for decades. Despite mixed support for their fighters in the West and the Middle East, the Kurds have shows the best ability to take on ISIS.
Report: UN Peacekeepers Pay Impoverished Local Women for Sex
(WNS)–Sexual exploitation of local populations by members of United Nations peacekeeping forces is “quite common but underreported,”according to a draft report by a UN internal oversight office. The report, to be released later this month by the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), claims that peacekeepers routinely pay for sex with cash, cellphones, perfume, and other items, taking advantage of women who are struggling with hunger and poverty or who are seeking to improve their lifestyle. The OIOS draft reported 480 allegations of sexual exploitation between 2008 and 2013, one third of which involved children under the age of 18. Liberia, Congo, South Sudan, and Haiti accounted for the greatest number of allegations.
Generational Differences Suggest Conflict Between Middle East and U.S
(WNS)–A new study by the Cato Institute forecasts greater conflict between the millennial generations of the United States and the Middle East. The study shows Arab millennials have a negative view of America. “The interactions between these two millennial groups are really going to define foreign affairs for the next 50 years,” said A. Trevor Thrall, international affairs professor at George Mason University, who co-authored the study. For Americans born between 1980 and 1997, the critical period for developing a worldview included events like 9/11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. For young Arabs, Thrall said, their experiences with America have been brutal, and negative views of America will be permanent. American millennials surveyed were less patriotic than any other generation, with only 32 percent agreeing the United States is the greatest country in the world. The study also showed less than one third of young Americans support military force intervention when dealing with foreign conflict.
Saeed Abedini Suffers Another Beating in Prison
(WNS)–Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini was attacked and beaten by his fellow prisoners last week, lawyers with the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) announced June 11. Abedini has been in prison in Iran for almost three years after being tried and convicted on charges related to his work with the house-church movement in Iran. According to the ACLJ, the other prisoners pounced on Abedini as he was attempting to leave his cell. They also destroyed a table he was using to read and study. When Abedini called for help, guards intervened. He did not suffer any broken bones. Abedini’s wife, Nagmeh, testifed before Congress last week along with families of other Americans detained in Iran. She said she worried about her husband’s physical and mental health. “It is heartbreaking to me and my family that Saeed was again beaten in prison,” she said after learning about the latest incident. “Saeed’s life is continuously threatened not only because he is an American, but also because he is a convert from Islam to Christianity. It’s time to get Saeed home before it is too late.”