KIRKUK, Iraq – Kurdish fighters have beaten back an ISIS assault near the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, the Kurdish capital. At one point, the two sides were too close for coalition air strikes.
The assault by fighters with the self-proclaimed Islamic State comes as disturbing reports are trickling out about more ISIS atrocities. The police chief in the town of al-Baghdadi says ISIS burned alive 45 members of the local security force and their families.
Al-Baghdadi is just five miles from the Ain al-Asad airbase where 320 US marines are training members of the Iraqi army.
Earlier in the week, ISIS social media sites carried this video said to be of 17 Kurdish fighters paraded in cages through the streets of Kirkuk in northwest Iraq.
Social media posts say the terrorists plan to burn the Kurds alive in their cages, like they did last month to that captured Jordanian pilot.
There’s also a report out of Libya that a group associated with ISIS has kidnapped 35 more Egyptian Coptic Christians, many of them said to be farm workers.
News of their kidnapping came on the same day as an ISIS video that apparently shows the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians rounded up Libya in December and January.
In one of the villages where 13 of the men lived, Christians and Muslims united in mourning for the victims and their families.
In Washington, President Obama convened the first White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, a three-day affair that will look at its root cause in US communities and how to address it in other nations, like in Libya, which has a long history of extremism, a history that’s repeating itself in the extreme forms of terrorism and madness.