Updated August. 22, 2014 02:47
Islamic State, the Sunni Muslim militia, on Tuesday publicized on the Internet video images in which a U.S. reporter is being beheaded. The move has been taken by IS as retaliation for the U.S. militarys airstrikes on Saturday and Sunday on northern Iraq regions that are controlled by IS. It is the first time that an American citizen has been murdered by Islamic extremists since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in January 2011. The U.S. was to issue an official stance on Wednesday, but chances are high that it will directly confront the situation without exception.
IS uploaded a video footage entitled Message to the U.S. on YouTube on Tuesday. The five-minute footage shows a man wearing black hood believed to an IS agent brutally murdering James Foley, 40, a freelancer American reporter. Foley had been writing stories on the Syrian civil war for the Global Post of the U.S. and AFP of France, before going missing in Idlib in northern Syria in November 2012.
In the video, the man wearing hood orders Foley to shout, The real killer is America, before brutally murdering him with a lethal weapon. IS also showed another man, claimed him to be Steven Sotloff, an American journalist, and named him the next victim. Sotloff, a contributor to the U.S. weekly magazine Time and others, went missing in Syria in August last year.
The New York Times called the murder thoroughly premeditated killing by citing the fact that Foley is seen wearing orange prison uniform worn by Islamic prisoners detained in U.S. military prison camps. The newspaper said IS sought to win support from the greater Islam world by emphasizing that the murder is retaliation to the U.S. military oppression of Islam. The daily also said the release of the footage after the U.S. airstrikes was aimed at curbing defection of IS forces.
Chances are high that U.S. President Barack Obama, who was reportedly debriefed about the video, will take even more hardline stance. When the American Nick Berg was beheaded by Al Qaeda after the U.S. invaded Iraq in May 2004, the U.S. further intensified its strikes. Notably, President Obama has been under harsh public criticism for "weak response" in Ukraine and Syria in recent years, and thus chances are high that he will become more offensive.
Meanwhile, the U.K.s Times of London said, An American journalist was beheaded in Syria by an apparent British jihadi, adding, Chances are high he is a British Jihadist (Islamic warrior). The Syrian Human Rights Watch also said on Wednesday, As many as 6,300 Jihadists joined IS in the month of July alone, adding, They include 1,300 Jihadists from foreign countries, in expressing concern.