150 Assyrian Christians kidnapped by ISIS

isisIslamic State militants have abducted as many as 90 Assyrian Christians, including women and children, after overrunning several small villages in northeast Syria, an activist group and relatives said Tuesday.

Around dawn Monday, the extremist fighters swept through the Assyrian villages nestled along the banks of the Khabur River near the town of Tal Tamr in Hassakeh province. Sky News reported that control of the region is split between ISIS and opposing Kurdish fighters.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists inside Syria, reported that 90 people have been abducted.

Nuri Kino, the head of the activist group A Demand For Action — which focuses on religious minorities in the Middle East — said the militants took between 70 and 100 Assyrians captive. Kino said his organization based its information on conversations with villagers who fled the onslaught, as well as their relatives. Read more on Fox News

Islamic State tries to attack base where hundreds of U.S. troops are stationed

Disguised as Iraqi army soldiers, a squad of Islamic State militants attempted Friday to bomb a base in western Iraq where hundreds of U.S. troops are stationed, raising concerns about whether the Americans will be drawn into direct combat with the extremists.

Iraqi security forces supported by “surveillance assets” from the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State killed eight militants who tried to carry out a “direct attack” on the Ayn al-Asad airbase in Iraq’s Anbar province at 7:20 a.m., the Combined Joint Task Force said in a statement. The men were would-be suicide bombers who sought to enter the base disguised as Iraqi army soldiers, said Sulaiman al-Kubbaisi, a spokesman for Anbar’s provincial council.

The attack came a day after militants took control of most of Baghdadi, a town less than five miles from the base, where 320 U.S. service members have been training Iraqi troops and tribal fighters.

U.S. forces were “several kilometers” from the attack and were at no stage under direct threat, the statement said. Still, the targeting of a base hosting U.S. troops underscored the risk that Americans could be drawn into real engagement with the militants on the battlefield.

Continue reading at the Washington Post.

CUFI Launches New Millennial-Focused “Israel Collective” Initiative, Releases Two Short Films

Israel Collective Logo

On Tuesday, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the nation’s largest pro-Israel organization, announced the establishment of a new initiative, “The Israel Collective,” aimed at building relationships between American Christians, Israelis, and people of good will throughout the Arab and Islamic world. This initiative is a direct response to efforts by Israel’s detractors to mislead America’s Christians into turning against the Jewish state.

The initiative’s announcement coincided with the release of two new films, “My Brother’s Keeper” and “Israel Collective: Los Angeles.” The former follows three individuals, an Arab-Israeli priest, a Muslim Zionist, and a Holocaust survivor, as they join CUFI on Campus at some of America’s most anti-Israel universities to speak out in support of the Jewish state, and the latter examines the life-changing visit of three Los Angeles-based Christians to the Holy Land.

“The millennial generation of evangelicals has an admirable focus on the core Christian values of compassion and love. I find it tragic that the Israel haters have rushed to hijack these noble morals for their bitter cause. We owe it to our young people and to Israel to make sure the truth is told and heard. We’re thrilled to see the power of our truth already making a difference,” said CUFI executive director David Brog.

“Dictators across the Middle East promote violence against anyone who opposes them, minorities, and the Jewish state. Yet there are courageous individuals — many of them Christian — that though they live under tyrannical, anti-Israel regimes, vocally support human rights and oppose violence against Israel. The Israel Collective is dedicated to telling their stories and building unity between American Christians, the people of Israel, and those courageous Middle Eastern peacemakers who dare to love Israel even if they are persecuted for it,” explained Joshua Ahrens, who oversees The Israel Collective in his capacity as CUFI’s Millennial Outreach Coordinator.

The Israel Collective, an initiative of Christians United for Israel, is dedicated to creating a community of young Christian peacemakers to build bridges between American Christians and Israel. As followers of Jesus, we are called to love others as He loved them and to bring joy and life to all our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land and beyond. Learn more at

Christians United for Israel is the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States and one of the leading Christian grassroots movements in the world. CUFI spans all fifty states and reaches millions with its message. Each year CUFI holds hundreds of pro-Israel events in cities around the country. And each July, thousands of pro-Israel Christians gather in Washington, D.C. to participate in the CUFI Washington Summit and make their voices heard in support of Israel and the Jewish people.