Daily VideoJune 17, 2014
ISIS militant forces take over more towns in Iraq
The crisis in Iraq continues to escalate as the extremist jihadist organization known as ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) captured another town near the Syrian border.
This follows ISIS’s march across Iraq, capturing strategic towns and reportedly committing mass executions along the way.
Families are fleeing their homes to escape the violence, with hundreds of thousands uprooted in the last week alone.
ISIS is an outgrowth of al-Qaida in Iraq, which emerged as a resistance movement after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Since then, al-Qaida have declared that ISIS is too extreme for them, and the two organizations have cut ties.
ISIS and al-Qaida proclaim an extreme version of Sunni Islam. The population of Iraq is majority Shi’a.
Islam split into two broad categories, Sunni and Shi’a, after a dispute over leadership of the Muslim community after the death of the Prophet Muhammed nearly 1,400 years ago. Today, there are many different types of Sunnis and Shi’a around the world, though Iraq and Iran are the only two major Shi’a majority countries in the region.
Some Iraqis feel the time has come to create two different countries: one Sunni and one Shi’a.
“[The Sunnis and Shi’as] are getting further apart because there are so many provocations,” said an Iraqi man who had just fled Kirkuk with his family. “As there are no wise elders, everyone is inflaming the situation.”
The U.S. is sending additional military assets to the region, though President Barack Obama is reluctant to send troops back into Iraq. He made getting out of Iraq one of his priorities in both presidential elections.
One of America’s historical adversaries, Iran, is also against ISIS, and has offered to cooperate with the U.S. military in Iraq. This is a controversial option considering the U.S. is still not on good diplomatic terms with Iran.
“We’re open to discussions if there’s something constructive that can be contributed by Iran, if Iran is prepared to do something that is going to respect the integrity and sovereignty of Iraq and the ability of the government to reform,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Warm up questions
- Where is Iraq?
- Who was Saddam Hussein?
- What is ISIS and what are their goals?
- How could a group like ISIS take control of such large areas of Iraq?
- What role is religion playing in this crisis?
Imagine you are an Iraqi citizen living in Fallujah and ISIS has taken over your city. Think about your daily schedule including things like your job, taking care of your kids, buying groceries, etc.
In a narrative text, walk the reader through your day now that ISIS has control of your city. Make sure to think about what has changed and what has stayed the same. What fears do you have for you and your family? Finally, if you would like ISIS’s control over your city ended, who would you ask for help? Make an argument to them about why you deserve their support and be specific about what kind of support you are asking for. It could be anything to humanitarian efforts to supply food to a military intervention.
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
Thousands of undocumented students are protected from deportation under an Obama administration policy called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. But in recent months, many DACA recipients are on edge fearing what will happen to the program under the new administration. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
More than 500 “March for Science” demonstrations took place around the U.S. and the world on Saturday in response to those who challenge widely-accepted scientific evidence and consensus. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
The U.S. and North Korea exchanged threats Monday after Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the demilitarized zone between North an South Korea. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
West coast scientists are studying a deadly bat disease called white-nose syndrome after it spread to Washington state from the Northeast last year where it has killed more than 5.5 million bats since 2006. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
The Senate confirmed U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch Friday in a 54-45 vote, following a contentious week of opposition from Democrats prompted Republicans to change Senate rules in order to push the vote through. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld