The UK government will consider “every possible option”, including air strikes, to retrieve the the British hostage threatened by ISIS before he is killed, says Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.
The Cabinet Office’s emergency committee COBRA met this morning to discuss the British response to the continued attempts at blackmail by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. As reported by the Daily Mail, speaking after the meeting, Hammond said: “It can’t allow us to change our overall strategy. We’ve been aware of this hostage, of course, for some time, but we have to deal with IS on the basis of the wider threat that they pose to the British public, as well as to this individual.
“It doesn’t make any difference at all to our strategic planning. As the Prime Minister said, we will look very carefully at the options available to us to support the legitimate government of Iraq and Kurdistan in defending themselves from the threat of Isil.
“And if we judge that air strikes could be beneficial, could be the best way to do that, then we will certainly consider them, but we’ve made no decision to do so at the moment.”
Although the name of the British citizen was released by ISIS in the video, the hostage’s family and the Security Services have requested the media do not publish it. This is part of an apparent broader move of imposed or self censorship by Western media over ISIS, which critics say “[hands] ISIS the propaganda initiative”.
Analysts say they have identified that the killer In the newly released ISIS film “A Second Message to America,” as the same London male who killed James Foley afortnight ago.
Before he decapitates Sotloff, the killer, who has been reported to be Londoner Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, says: “I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State. Because of your insistence of continuing your bombings… despite our serious warnings.
“You, Obama have yet again through your actions killed yet another american citizen, so as your missiles continue to strike our people our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”