Islamic State says it beheaded U.S. journalist

Islamic State says it beheaded U.S. journalist

Islamic State insurgents posted a video on Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley and images of another U.S. journalist whose life they said depended on how the United States acts in Iraq, Reuters reported.

The video, titled "A Message To America," presented President Barack Obama with bleak options that could define America's next phase of involvement in Iraq and the public reaction to it, potentially deepening his hand in a conflict he built much of his presidency on ending.

Obama held back from making a public statement about the beheading until the video could be formally authenticated.
"If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends," White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.

The video's grisly message was unambiguous, warning of greater retaliation to come against Americans following nearly two weeks of U.S. air strikes that have pounded militant positions and halted the advance of Islamic State, which until this month had captured a third of Iraq with little resistance.

Posted on social media, the video brought a chilling and highly personal tone to a conflict that for many Americans had started to become all too familiar.
Foley, 40, was kidnapped by armed men on Nov. 22, 2012, in northern Syria while on his way to the Turkish border, according to GlobalPost, a Boston-based online publication where Foley had worked as a freelancer. He had reported in the Middle East for five years and had been kidnapped and released in Libya.

Steven Sotloff, who appeared at the end of the video, went missing in northern Syria while reporting in July 2013. He has written for TIME among other news organizations.
The video injected an unpredictable element into Obama's deliberations on how far to proceed with U.S. air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq, though aides said his vow not to put U.S. combat forces on the ground in Iraq still held.

On a Facebook page for Foley, a message from his mother Diane Foley said: "We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.

"We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world."
Islamic State had not previously executed American citizens publicly. The video was posted after the United States resumed air strikes in Iraq this month for the first time since the end of the U.S. occupation in 2011.

HOSTAGE HISTORY

Hostage crises have plagued U.S. presidents over the years.
Jimmy Carter's presidency sagged under the weight of the Iran hostage crisis when Americans were held captive for 444 days. Ronald Reagan's bid to get American hostages freed from Lebanon led to an arms-for-hostages Iran-Contra scandal that plagued his second term.

University of Virginia political scholar Larry Sabato said the current situation was more akin to the beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl by al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in 2002. He said it could help bolster what appeared to be a growing perception among Americans that the United States will have to be more aggressive in dealing with Islamic State militants.

A USA Today/Pew Research Center poll this week showed Americans by 44 percent to 41 percent saying Washington had a responsibility to "do something" about the violence, a shift from last month when 55 percent to 39 percent saw no U.S. responsibility.

"WE ARE AN ISLAMIC ARMY"

The Sunni militant group, which has declared a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria in areas it controls, opened the video with a clip of Obama saying he had authorized strikes in Iraq.
The words "Obama authorizes military operations against the Islamic State effectively placing America upon a slippery slope towards a new war front against Muslims" appeared in English and Arabic on the screen.

It showed black and white aerial footage of air strikes with text saying "American aggression against the Islamic State".

A man identified as James Foley, his head shaven and dressed in an orange outfit similar to uniforms worn by prisoners at the U.S. military detention camp in Guantánamo, Cuba, is seen kneeling in the desert next to a man standing, holding a knife and clad head to toe in black.

"I call on my friends, family and loved ones to rise up against my real killers, the U.S. government, for what will happen to me is only a result of their complacency and criminality," the kneeling man says.

The man next to him, in a black mask, speaks in a British accent and says, "This is James Wright Foley, an American citizen, of your country. As a government, you have been at the forefront of the aggression towards the Islamic State."

"Today your military air force is attacking us daily in Iraq. Your strikes have caused casualties amongst Muslims. You are no longer fighting an insurgency. We are an Islamic army, and a state that has been accepted by a large number of Muslims worldwide."
Following his statement he beheads the kneeling man. At the end of the video, words on the side of the screen say, "Steven Joel Sotloff", as another prisoner in an orange jumpsuit is shown on screen. "The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision," the masked man says.

Syria has been the most dangerous country for journalists for more than two years. At least 69 other journalists have been killed covering the conflict there, including some who died over the border in Lebanon and Turkey. More than 80 journalists have been kidnapped in Syria; with frequent abductions, some of which go unpublicised, it is difficult to know exactly how many.

The U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists estimates that approximately 20 journalists, both local and international, are currently missing in Syria. Many of them are believed to be held by Islamic State.

'CRUSADER' AMERICA
Islamic State also released a video on Tuesday that gave the strongest indication yet it might try to strike American targets. The video with the theme "breaking of the American cross" boasts Islamic State will emerge victorious over "crusader" America.
It followed a video posted on Monday, warning of attacks on American targets if Washington strikes against its fighters in Iraq and Syria.

Islamic State's sweep through northern Iraq, bringing it close to Baghdad and in control of the second city, Mosul, drew U.S. air strikes that helped Kurdish peshmerga fighters regain some territory captured by the Sunni militants.

Earlier on Tuesday, Iraqi forces halted a short-lived offensive on Tuesday to recapture Tikrit, home town of executed dictator Saddam Hussein, due to fierce resistance from Islamic State fighters.

Buoyed by an operation to recapture a strategic dam from the militants after two months of setbacks, Iraqi army units backed by Shi'ite militias launched their offensive shortly after dawn on Tikrit, a city 130 km (80 miles) north of Baghdad which is a stronghold of the Sunni Muslim minority.
But officers in the Iraqi forces' operations room said by mid-afternoon that the advance had stopped.

Islamic State has concentrated on taking territory for its self-proclaimed caliphate both in Syria, where it is also fighting the forces of President Bashar al-Assad, and in Iraq.
Coinciding with the Kurdish advances, Damascus government forces have stepped up air strikes on Islamic State positions in and around the city of Raqqa - its stronghold in eastern Syria.

Analysts believe Assad - who is firmly in control in the capital more than three years into the civil war - is seizing the moment to show his potential value to Western states that backed the uprising against him but are now increasingly concerned by the Islamic State threat.

Islamic State added new fighters in Syria at a record rate in July, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict. About 6,300 men - 80 percent of them Syrian and the rest foreigners - joined last month, Rami Abdelrahman, founder of the Observatory, told Reuters.

Enterprise for production of reinforced concrete launched in Turkmenistan
Enterprise for production of reinforced concrete launched in Turkmenistan
Construction of Kerki airport passenger terminal being completed in Turkmenistan
Construction of Kerki airport passenger terminal being completed in Turkmenistan
Azerbaijan increases production of construction materials
Azerbaijan increases production of construction materials
Loading Bars
Latest
Turkmenistan, UNDP agree on mutual understanding on co-op
Most loans for Azerbaijan's energy sector issued in foreign currency - CBA
Eni’s review on Azerbaijan’s natural gas consumption
Fitch Ratings says Azerbaijani banks' state in CIS more stable
Kazakhstan's coal extracting venture opens tender to buy spares
Azerbaijan reduces steel exports from Turkey
Azerbaijan's AzStateNet network records less blocked malware attacks
Kazakhstan revises maximum recommended rates on deposits
Azerbaijani currency rates for Dec. 3
Azerbaijan presents footage from Lachin city (VIDEO)
Oil drops as OPEC+ resume talks on output cut extension after impasse
World natural gas consumption rises year-on-year
Uzbekistan reveals its COVID-19 data for December 3
Enterprise for production of reinforced concrete launched in Turkmenistan
Removing zeros from Iran's national currency effective if inflation stable - bank advisor
U.S. states plan to sue Facebook next week
Iran's budget dependence on oil to be increased
COVID-19 restrictions notably reduce number of tourists visiting Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan's export of satellite services up
Azerbaijani FM meets newly appointed Afghan ambassador (PHOTO)
OPEC+ resumes talks on 2021 oil policy amid disagreements
U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations hit record 100,226
Iran to produce coronavirus vaccines in spring
Kazakhstan reports 769 COVID-19 cases over past day
Turkey to vaccinate citizens in 4 phases, Health Minister Koca says
Georgia intensifies COVID-19 testing
First Iranian cargo to arrive in Afghanistan via the Herat-Khaf railway
Brazil's COVID-19 death toll tops 174,500
Ex-French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing has died from coronavirus - family
Turakurgan TPP improving ecological situation in Uzbekistan
Putin orders Russia to begin large-scale COVID-19 vaccinations next week
France reports 14,064 new COVID-19 cases, 310 deaths
Germany extends COVID-19 restriction measures till January
Poland to start COVID-19 vaccinations as confirmed cases top 1 mln
First Vice-President of Brazilian Federal Senate sends letter to President of Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan's postal service operator opens tender to buy petrol
Kazakhstan decreases import from Canada twofold amid COVID-19
Number of enterprises launched in Iran's Fars Province increases
UK records another 16,170 coronavirus cases with 648 deaths
UAE launches satellite Falcon Eye into space
Azerbaijani, Russian FMs hold telephone conversation
Iran ranked among states with high efficiency turbine tech.
Kyrgyz ambassador and Secretary of Senate of Pakistan discuss inter-parliamentary cooperation
Restrictions mulled for New Year celebrations amid COVID-19 outbreak in Turkey
Georgian FM meets with Polish counterpart in Warsaw
Protesters in Yerevan demand Pashinyan's resignation (VIDEO)
Pfizer-BioNTech seeks full marketing approval from UK for COVID-19 vaccine
Kazakhstan eyes attracting latest US technologies in soybeans processing
Kazakhstan's Zhambyl to reduce energy-dependence by attracting investments in renewables
Germany reports record 487 COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours
Belarus reports 1,689 new COVID-19 cases, 139,908 in total
Azerbaijan eyes to use potential of liberated lands for fishery development
UN office announces agenda of special session of General Assembly on COVID-19 initiated by Azerbaijani president
Additional assets brought for Russian peacekeeping contingent delivered - Azerbaijani MoD (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan gains brilliant victory by liberating its lands - Chairman of National Congress of Azerbaijanis of Georgia
Azerbaijani Defense Ministry expresses condolences to Iranian side (PHOTO)
Deposit liabilities of Georgian banking system decreases month-in-month
Phase 3 of OPEC+ could lead to immediate fall in oil prices
Azerbaijan reveals TOP-10 private non-oil exporters
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on December 5
Azerbaijani banks to fully сancel loan debts of martyrs' families
Lending by Georgian commercial banks down
Iran reveals forecast for oil sales for next year
Lari depreciation remains one of leading factors in Georgian debt growth
Georgia decides to ease entry regime for its citizens
Aztelekom LLC announces tender for purchase of electronic spare parts
Bentley hires jets to fly car parts to Britain during Brexit
National Bank of Georgia reveals volume of international reserves
Georgia sees increase in overdue debt
Uzbekistan, Afghanistan eye to achieve twofold growth in trade
Russia discloses volumes of agricultural products supplied to Georgia
Azerbaijan's State Security Service prosecutes Lebanese terrorist mercenary (VIDEO)
Ashgabat City Telephone Network opens tender for audit
EU extends relief measures for COVID-hit loans to March
Turkmenistan expands international cooperation through environmental diplomacy
Iran expands mobile phone imports
Azerbaijani Clean City OJSC signs tender contract
Israel expects $220 million in non-defence trade with Bahrain in 2021
Azerbaijan determines damage inflicted by Armenia on Fuzuli, Jabrayil districts
Turkey to continue providing all kinds of assistance to Azerbaijan - Turkish Minister of National Defense
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price still rising
Employment increases in Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan Province
Azerbaijan reduces lead exports
Investment in tourism transport infrastructure to help dev’t this sector in Turkmenistan - UNWTO
Georgia expects to start adoption of Oil Stockholding Act soon
Iranian president declares budget revenues for next year
Uzbekistan’s Agrobank to fund entrepreneurial activity under Islamic sharia law
Tightening of quarantine regime may be inevitable - TABIB
Iran expects increase of budget revenues
Georgian CEC to summarize final results of parliamentary elections on December 3
COVID-19 pandemic to displace business class cars from car rental market
Azerbaijan unveils data on local insurers' fees for 10M2020
Building for Turkish-Russian joint monitoring center under construction - Turkish Minister of National Defense
Georgia cultivates significant amount of land to combat marble bugs
Uzbekistan’s Tashkent registers largest number of private enterprises
Tourism can help protect, promote Turkmenistan’s culture - UNWTO
Volume of sales through Azexport portal continues to grow
New electricity facilities to be put into operation in Iran
Japanese agency funds project aimed at improving locust control in Uzbekistan
Georgian oil company trying to contain fuel price rise
All news