Martha’s Vineyard, MA, United States (4E) – President Barack Obama angrily responded to the beheading of a U.S. journalist by the Islamic State (IS) on Wednesday by calling for the removal of the militants in the Middle East.
Speaking from Martha’s Vineyard, Obama labeled the group that executed New Hampshire journalist James Foley on Tuesday as a cancer that must be extracted from the region so it does not spread.
“One thing that we can all agree on is that a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century,” Obama said referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant.
ISIL, which is also called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), released a video on YouTube Tuesday showing a kneeling Foley in orange shirt reading a script while a masked man in black outfit was beside him. The video titled “A Message to America” later showed Foley being beheaded.
The video also showed the masked man with another American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warning the hostage will also be beheaded if the U.S. does stop its airstrikes against ISIS in northern Iraq.
The National Security Council on Wednesday confirmed that the video is authentic.
Obama said he called the Foley family earlier Wednesday to express his condolences.
Foley was covering the civil war in Syria when he was kidnapped by armed men in 2012. His execution was in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes on IS forces in northern Iraq.
The U.S. military is helping the Iraqi and Kurdistan armies fight the militants who have overrun towns and cities in northern Iraq and massacred hundreds of Shiite and non-Muslim civilians. U.S. warplanes and drones have been bombing IS positions and armed vehicles near Erbil since Aug. 7 allowing Iraqi and Kurdish forces to retake areas held by the extremists, including a dam in Mosul.
The U.S. military also deployed cargo planes to drop food and water to Yazidis trapped in a mountaintop in Sinjar after leaving their villages to escape execution by IS forces.