{FD} The tragedy of Palmyra: First look inside one of world’s most magical ancient ruins – now utterly destroyed by ISIS

In a world before ISIS, Palmyra was something of a sanctuary poised deep inside the south-central desert of Syria.

{FD} Trump, Mattis turn military loose on ISIS, leaving terror caliphate in tatters

Hundreds of ISIS fighters had just been chased out of a northern Syrian city and were fleeing through the desert in long convoys, presenting an easy target to U.S. A-10 “warthogs.”

{FD} Life after ISIS: Christians say they can’t go home without international protection

Residents of this small Christian town in northern Iraq were forced to flee when ISIS militants overran it in 2014. But now that the town has been liberated by Iraqi forces, the Christians who have trickled back are desperate to leave once again.

{FD} Iraqi Kurds still love US despite its opposition to Kurdish independence, says Kurdish leader

As questions swirl over the state of U.S and Kurdish relations amid the intense fallout of a September referendum for independence that Washington opposed, Kurdish Prime Minister Nechiravan Barzani insisted that the people of Kurdistan still see America as their number one partner and have hope the U.S will come to endorse their ongoing dream of independence.

{FD} ISIS cursed, mocked in Mosul, where old city remains a haunted wasteland

Anti-ISIS obscenties are scrawled on what remains of demolished buildings’ walls in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, a now-apocalyptic wasteland destroyed by 2 ½ years of ISIS occupation, and the battle that led to the city’s liberation.

{FD} ISIS sexual violence victims: Minorities targeted more than documented, face honor killings if returned

Yazidi women aren’t the only members of minority communities whom the Islamic State has held as sex slaves.

{FD} North Korea’s first lady Ri Sol-ju remains a mystery

Taking a break from waging a war of words with U.S. President Donald Trump, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, made a rare public propaganda appearance with his wife “Comrade Ri Sol-ju” – as she is called in state media – raising questions as to why she is most often kept from the public’s eye, and what her role is inside the regime.

{FD} Cause for concern? Pro-ISIS hacking group targets 800 US school websites

The latest target of pro-ISIS hackers is none other than 800 school websites across the United States.

{FD} Leave No Man Behind: Expert team prepares to retrieve remains of fallen WWII servicemen from up to 350 feet below ice

A 15-person team from the nonprofit Fallen American Veterans Foundation (FAVF) with the Defense Department, the Coast Guard, and Google Earth is preparing to embark on the search and recovery of U.S. service personnel missing in action during WWII in some of the most inhospitable parts of the planet.

{FD} As kidnapped American professor’s health dangerously deteriorates, pressure on Pakistan again mounts

It has been a year and three months since five gunmen disguised in Afghan military uniforms targeted an SUV on a main road near Kabul’s American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) – taking two foreign professors, U.S citizen Kevin King, 60 and Australian Timothy Weeks, 48, as hostages.

{FD} Syria’s Antioch Church patriarch: US sanctions are hurting Christians too

His Beatitude John X, the Damascus-based leader of the Antioch Christian Church, wrapped up his recent visit to the United States with a desperate appeal for American leadership to bring an end to the suffering in Syria, assist in locating the whereabouts of three kidnapped church leaders, and help secure the future of Christianity in the volatile region.

{FD} Dozens of AWOL Afghan trainees in the US remain unaccounted for, report says

The number of Afghan trainees who have disappeared inside the United States more than doubled last year, according to the latest Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) Quarterly Report released to Congress this week, and more than half are unaccounted for.

{FD} Who are the Islamic militants likely behind the death of American soldiers in Niger and why won’t ISIS claim them?

The October 4 attack in Niger that claimed the lives of four U.S soldiers – as well as their interpreter and four Nigeriens – remains under official investigation amid a firestorm of controversy and confusion.

{FD} Babies burned alive and women raped 150 times: Why Nikki Haley is prioritizing the Democratic Republic of Congo

It’s a level of violence hard to fathom and more people were displaced from their homes over the past year than in Iraq and Syria.

{FD} Almost all American ISIS fighters unaccounted for, sparking fears they could slip through cracks and return

When it came to recruiting foreigners to flee the comforts of home for the battlefields of Iraq and Syria, ISIS succeeded like no other – encouraging over 40,000 fighters from more than 110 countries to travel to the fighting fray both before and after the declaration of the “caliphate” in June 2014.

{FD} Rebuilding Raqqa: Should U.S taxpayers pay to rebuild the ruined former ISIS stronghold?

The fall of the final ISIS stronghold of Raqqa – the terror group’s self-declared caliphate capital – by the Kurdish-led, U.S-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) last week has heralded much celebration.

{FD} America’s role in Yemen war must end, US lawmakers demand

As death counts rise and conditions inside Yemen deteriorate, a number of Washington lawmakers are demanding that the U.S. suspend its support of the Saudi Arabia-led military intervention against the Houthi rebels in the war-ravaged country.

{FD} Getting tough on the Taliban: Trump admin said to be urging closure of the militant group’s Qatar office

After years of failed peace talks and following one of the deadliest weeks of suicide attacks on Afghan forces, the Trump administration is said to be pushing for the Taliban’s Qatar-based office to be closed down in an increasingly iron-fisted approach to defeating the militant group.

{FD} Saudi ex-intel chief says Assad is the biggest terrorist, praises Trump’s harsh Iran stance

Former Saudi Chief of Intelligence and Ambassador to the U.S. and U.K. Prince Turki al-Faisal is cautioning the Trump team to clarify its stance on defeating “the biggest terrorist in Syria” — the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad — while at the same time praising the clear, ironfisted strategy of the U.S. toward Iran.

{FD} Behind the dramatic rescue of American-Canadian couple from Haqqani captivity

Armed with information from U.S. intelligence, Pakistani soldiers staged a dramatic but successful rescue operation last week to free American Caitlan Coleman, 31, and her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle, 34, and their three young children after five years in Haqqani network captivity.