Prime Minister David Cameron said the U.K. will take “whatever steps are necessary” to confront Islamic State after the militant group released video purporting to show the beheading of a British hostage.
The U.K. will confront the al-Qaeda breakaway group with “iron determination,” Cameron said in a televised address today, vowing to bring the killers of David Haines to justice.
The killing of Haines, who was kidnapped inSyria in March 2013, may increase pressure on Cameron to deploy the Royal Air Force to join U.S. attacks on Islamic State, which has declared a caliphate in large areas it has seized in Iraq and Syria. So far Britain has used military assets to assist with humanitarian aid, reconnaissance and the delivery of arms and ammunition to forces fighting the Islamist extremist group.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week wrapped up a Middle East swing that included a meeting with ministers from 10 regional countries in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. At that Sept. 11 session, the countries agreed to aid the expanded assault on the Islamic State that President Barack Obamaoutlined earlier this month.
“The United States strongly condemns the barbaric murder of U.K. citizen David Haines,” the White House said in a statement. “The United States stands shoulder to shoulder with our close friend and ally in grief and resolve. We will work with the United Kingdom and a broad coalition of nations from the region and around the world to bring the perpetrators of this outrageous act to justice.”
The video was posted on Twitter by the Site Intel Group, a Bethesda, Maryland-based provider of news and information about jihadists. It’s similar to videos that showed the executions of U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Joel Sotloff, and the killer appears to be the same man, the Site group said.
The new video starts with a clip of Cameron saying he wants to use diplomatic and military pressure on Islamic State. Cameron’s interview is cut, and a black screen appears with the words: “A message to the allies of America.”
The video then shows father-of-two Haines kneeling against a desert backdrop wearing an orange jumpsuit similar to the ones worn by Foley and Sotloff prior to their killings.
“I would like to declare that I hold you, David Cameron, entirely responsible for my execution,” Haines says, speaking to the camera. “You entered voluntarily into a coalition with the United States against the Islamic State, just as your predecessor Tony Blair did.”
In the video, a man in a black hood, speaking in English, jabs a knife into the air. “Your evil alliance with America, which continues to strike the Muslims of Iraq and most recently bombed the Haditha Dam, will only accelerate your destruction,” the unidentified man said.
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