The United States plans to fight the Islamic State until it is no longer a force in the Middle East and will seek justice for the killing of American journalist Steven Sotloff, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday.
He also called for an international front against the jihadis in Iraq and Syria.
“We know that if we are joined by the international community, we can continue to shrink ISIL’s sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing, its military capabilities,” Mr. Obama said, referring to the Islamic State by its former name.
The Islamic State released a video on Tuesday showing the beheading of the U.S. journalist, the second American hostage to be killed within weeks, in retaliation for U.S. air strikes in Iraq.
U.S and British officials both examined the video, showing the same British-accented executioner who appeared in an Aug. 19 video of the killing of U.S. journalist James Foley, concluding it was authentic.
Mr. Obama is sending Secretary of State John Kerry, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco to the Middle East to work with regional partners on ways to battle the Islamic State.
At home, top officials punctuated Mr. Obama’s warnings to the Islamic State. “They should know we will follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice,” Vice-President Joe Biden said.
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