British PM hints military action on ISIL terrorists

British PM hints military action on ISIL terrorists
Wed Sep 3, 2014 19:02:51

British Prime Minister David Cameron has hinted possible UK’s involvement in military action against ISIL Takfiri terror group after release of the latest video showing the beheading of another US journalist, followed by a pledge that a Briton will be next.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Wednesday ISIL’s seizure of a British hostage did not increase the likelihood of airstrikes on the terror group, but said the option was still on the table.

"It doesn't make any difference at all to our strategic planning," Hammond told reporters. "If we judge that air strikes could be beneficial ... then we will certainly consider them. But we have made no decision to do so at the moment."

Hammond gave his comments following a meeting of the government's emergency response committee, which determined that the video was genuine.

He further said the ISIL terrorist that appeared in the Steven Sotloff video appeared to be the same individual with an apparently British accent who appeared in the video of the beheading of American journalist James Foley.

"You wouldn't expect me to discuss various options that we will be considering but I can assure you that we will look at every possible option to protect this person," Hammond noted, referring to the British hostage.

The video, entitled ‘A Second Message to America’, opens with the alleged British militant, known as ‘Jihadi John,’ announcing “I’m back.” The extremist stands next to Sotloff, a 31-year-old freelance journalist from Florida who was kidnapped last year.

Sotloff also held Israeli citizenship, the Israeli regime’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday. Apparently the information was withheld for fear of placing Sotloff at greater risk.

While brandishing a knife in his left hand, the militant addresses Barack Obama directly, saying that the US president was responsible for Sotloff’s death because of his “insistence on continuing your bombings … despite our serious warnings.”

Sotloff, wearing a bright-orange jumpsuit similar to the ones worn by detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, reads out a message that condemns America’s foreign policy.

The ISIL terrorist also addresses the British prime minister, saying, “We take this opportunity to warn those governments that enter this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State to back off and leave our people alone.”

Following the release of the video, David Cameron said, “As I have said consistently over the last few weeks, ISIL terrorists speak for no religion. They threaten Syrians, Iraqis, Americans and British people alike, and make no distinction between Muslims, Christians or any other faith.

“We have already been working hard to keep British people safe and we will continue to do all we can to protect our country and our people from these barbaric terrorists,” he added.

The British PM will determine the government's response following an emergency meeting on Wednesday of COBRA, the cabinet office briefing room.

Meanwhile, government sources were cited by British media as saying that Cameron had known of the threat to the British journalist’s life for many months so “it will not change his short-term calculations.”


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