The Battle of Mosul
The battle to take Mosul from DAESH has been underway for a about a week now. Mosul has been surrounded and forces have been gaining ground and retaking villages surrounding Mosul, with the predominantly Christian village of Qaraqosh being one of the first villages to be liberated. Christian residents are celebrating, putting crosses back on their churches, and looking to rebuild their lives.
Leading the assault are 18,000 Iraqi forces, 10,000 Kurdish Peshmerga, and a few thousand Iraqi Federal Police, with Shia militias and Turkish troops ready to join.
Bring Back Our Girls
On April 14, 2014, approximately 276 girls were awoken in the middle of the night by armed men, ripped from their beds, and marched into hiding. Most of these girls are still unaccounted for. These are the Chibok girls in Nigeria. They were taken and held captive by the terrorist group Boko Haram. 57 of them escaped almost immediately and one was found earlier this year. Over 200 of them are still being held. In 2014, you probably saw an endless string of celebrities and public figures holding signs saying “Bring Back Our Girls.” You might have even seen the picture above of First Lady Michelle Obama advocating for the girls’ release. I can’t image a situation in the United States, or most other countries, where an armed group can kidnap 276 girls and hide them for years. Yet, that’s exactly what Boko Haram managed to do in Nigeria.
Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF)
The Fall of Mosul and ISIS’ final defeat (supposedly) is just days away. Leaflets are being dropped in the city, advising families to stay indoors, for women to remain calm and to tell their children that the noise is thunder before rain. President Obama’s “JV” team (He must regret that so much) has held onto significant portions of territory for years now, collecting weapons, oil revenues, inspiring terrorists globally, and commanding Varsity level respect. Still, their last major stronghold, the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, is currently surrounded by Kurdish Peshmerga, Turkish backed militias, Iraqi military, and Shia militias. Invasion is just days away.
Let’s first define what this list is and what it’s not. It’s not exhaustive and it’s not meant to save your life. It is a list of 10 basic rules to think through if you plan a short term trip to a high risk area or a high risk country. A short term trip is anything from a few hours to a few weeks.
High Risk Areas? Tulsa or Teheran?
A high risk area is anywhere where you face a higher chance of being the target of crime, whether robbery, assault, or kidnapping. First, understand that all travel is high risk travel. No matter if your in Tulsa or Tehran. Well, Tehran may be a bit more of a high risk area, but you get the picture.
January 15, 2016 was ending like so many other days in the bustling capital city of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou. In this city of more than 1.6 million inhabitants, there was nothing out of the ordinary. At around 7:30pm in the Splendid Hotel and nearby Cappuccino Cafe, business was good, as usual. Suddenly, gunfire and screams of “Allah u Akbar” erupted. A handful of Islamic Terrorists murdered dozens and temporarily paralyzed the city.
Recently, a new US Government Policy dealing with hostages was put into effect. This policy may greatly impact your missions ministry. US ministries are becoming more and more involved in an increasingly dangerous world. As this happens, the US Government is often caught in the middle of having to intervene on behalf of an American Citizen in trouble abroad. Many times the US Government ensure the safe rescue of a citizen abroad. Other times they come up woefully short, even endangering those they seek to help. Throughout all of this, though, families are often given little to no communication, and can even be threatened with prosecution of they seek to take matters into their own hands. [Read more…] about How the new US Government Hostage Policy affects your Missions Ministry