August 17, 2015
In the news:
It is suspected that Islamic State militants used chemical weapons against Kurdish forces in Iraq last week, according to senior U.S. officials. Reports by Peshmerga fighters alleged that the group used mustard agent, which may have been acquired in Syria from supplies the Syrian government may not have destroyed as required by international agreement.
In Syria, a ceasefire between rebel forces and the Syrian army and Hezbollah began last Wednesday and was extended until Sunday. The ceasefire paused fighting in the town of Zabadani and the villages of Kefraya and al-Foua for the purpose of negotiations to withdraw rebel fighters from Zabadani and evacuate civilians from the villages.
Following the discovery of the death of Afghan Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, the leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahri has pledged allegiance to the new leader of the Taliban. The pledge came via an audio recording attached to a Twitter message. However, al-Zawahri has not sent any confirmed audio or video communications since last September, and the authenticity of this message is not confirmed.
Around the web:
What a Year of Islamic State Terror Looks Like. The Washington Post provides maps and infographics showing attacks conducted by the Islamic State throughout the past year.
On the blog:
Watch Oxford Academy’s Interviews with Refugees. The IHL Action Campaign team at Oxford Academy in Orange County, California has shared the videos of their interviews with refugees from their action campaign on the blog.
Celebrating International Youth Day. In celebration of International Youth Day on August 12, the American Red Cross invited IHL youth volunteers to participate in the Humanitarian Education Storytelling Campaign to share why humanitarian education is important to them. Read their stories on the blog.
Situation Update – The Democratic Republic of Congo. Ethnic tensions and disputes over natural resources within the Democratic Republic of Congo, a nation in central Africa have led to continued conflict within the nation. Read about the development and current state of the situation on the blog.