UK & World News

  • 3 September 2014, 12:11

Obama To IS: 'We Will Not Be Intimidated'

President Barack Obama has said the US "will not be intimidated" by Islamic State after the group beheaded a second US journalist.

Mr Obama called the killing of Steven Sotloff a "horrific act of violence" and said it had only stiffened the resolve of Americans "to take the fight against these terrorists". 

"Those who make the mistake of harming Americans will learn that we will not forget, that our reach is long and justice will be served," he said, speaking in Estonia.

Mr Sotloff, 31, was beheaded by an Islamic State militant in a video similar to the one showing the killing of another American journalist, James Foley, last month.

IS has said the killings are in retaliation for American airstrikes and the "arrogant foreign policy" of the US toward the militant group. 

Mr Obama spoke after the US had verified the authenticity of the video of Mr Sotloff's killing, titled A Second Message To America.

The President said IS, which now controls vast swathes of Iraq and Syria, is a threat not just to the region but to the world.

He said the US wanted to lead a regional and international effort to "degrade and destroy" the group, but added that it would take "some time" to roll them back.

Mr Obama has launched airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Iraq, but has been wary of dragging the US military in Syria, which has been mired in civil war.

Only days ago, he drew criticism when he said the US did not yet have a strategy for dealing with the militant group.

The President also paid homage to Mr Sotloff and his work in the Middle East.

He said the prayers of the American people are with the family of the "devoted and courageous journalist" who deeply loved the Islamic world and whose "life stood in stark contrast to those who murdered him so brutally".

Mr Obama was in Estonia before travelling to Wales for a Nato summit.

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