Iraq militants retaliate vs. U.S. airstrikes, beheads American journalist

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Islamic State (IS) militants posted a video on social media sites Tuesday showing the beheading of an American journalist, who has been missing in Syria since 2012.

The National Security Council (NSC) said intelligence people are verifying the authenticity of the video, where James Foley, 41, was shown in orange clothing, kneeling and reading a script before being beheaded by a man dressed in black.

The masked man in the video titled “A Message to America” spoke in English with a British accent threatening to behead another American journalist if the U.S. does not stop airstrikes against IS in Iraq. The video showed the name of the captive as Steven Sotloff.

“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. We will provide more information when it is available,” NSC spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said on Wednesday.

Foley was covering the civil war in Syria for GlobalPost and contributing photos to the news agency Agence France Presse when he was kidnapped in November 2012 in the country’s northwest near the border with Turkey.

Philip Balboni, GlobalPost CEO and co-founder, issued a statement saying the FBI is evaluating the video to determine if it is authentic.

Sotloff was covering the same war for Time and Foreign Policy magazines when he was kidnapped at the Syria-Turkey border in 2013.

The U.S. is supporting the Iraqi and Kurdistan armies in the battle against IS fighters in northern Iraq by bombing armed vehicles and positions of the militants.

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