The Trump Administration has dramatically upped attacks on the so-called Islamic State, quadrupling the number of airstrikes, and assisting those fighting ISIS on the ground. According to The Washington Post, one third of all territory that ISIS has lost was taken during the first six months of the Trump presidency.
The Post quotes Brett McGurk, the State Department’s senior envoy to the anti-ISIS coalition, who said that the “steps President Trump has taken, including delegating decision-making authority down from the White House to commanders in the field, have ‘dramatically accelerated’ gains against the militants.” Most significantly, the group has lost their de-facto capitols in Syria and Iraq.
The creation of a Caliphate is a major allure for young jihadists to ISIS, so it’s possible that annihilating the terror group’s territorial claims will help put a stop on recruitment.
In the meantime, however, as ISIS struggles to hold on to its remaining territorial claims, they’re paradoxically making even more enemies. Now the Caliphate is targeting a bigger enemy in the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis’ top aide said a propaganda video released by Islamic State group militants in the Philippines threatening the pontiff is worrying but notes Vatican security was already at a high level.
Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy See’s No. 2 official, said he has seen the video of militants desecrating Christian statues and threatening the pope by saying they’ll come to Rome, as they tear in half photos of him and his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.Advertisement - story continues below...
The video was mostly filmed in the Philippines, where ISIS has been clashing with government forces for control of the city of Marawi, MailOnlinereported. Parolin said: “Obviously, one cannot help but worry, above all for the senseless hatred that it is.” But he said the Vatican has not added more measures to its already bolstered security.
In the video, aimed at attacking Christianity, a narrator celebrates “the truthful soldiers of Mohammed” who are fighting in Asia. It shows them setting a church on fire. The video also features ISIS militants wrecking decorations in a church, including statues of Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph. “Remember this, you kuffar, we will be in Rome, we will be in Rome, inshallah,” a supposed terrorist named “Abu Jindal” says to the camera.
H/T Fox News
The Pope’s Swiss guards say that it’s “only a matter of time” before they’re confronted with an ISIS attack. Let’s hope that should an attack happen, the jihadists will be sent straight to hell.
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