News / USA

White House Warns of Terror Threat From Islamic State Fighters

White House Deputy National Security advisor Ben Rhodes speaks to reporters during a press briefing, Aug. 22, 2014, in Edgartown, Massachusetts.
White House Deputy National Security advisor Ben Rhodes speaks to reporters during a press briefing, Aug. 22, 2014, in Edgartown, Massachusetts.
VOA News

President Barack Obama's administration says the killing of American journalist James Foley by militants from the Islamic State group amounts to a direct terrorist attack on the United States.

"We have seen them posing a threat to our interests in the region, to our personnel and facilities in the region, and clearly the brutal execution of Jim Foley represented an affront, an attack - not just on him, but he's an American - and we see that as an attack on our country, when one of our own is killed like that," said Deputy National Security Advisor, Ben Rhodes.

Rhodes said Friday the U.S. is ready to take additional action against Islamic State fighters -- to protect Americans, and because the group poses a much greater threat today than it did six months ago. In deciding on further airstrikes, Rhodes said, U.S. military activity will not be "restricted" by borders.

Islamic State fighters have gained control of a large swath of territory in northern Iraq and eastern Syria during the past six weeks, and they have moved freely between the two nations.
 
In a separate development Friday, a massive attack on a Sunni Muslim mosque northeast of Baghdad appeared to undermine the Shi'ite-led central government's effort to bridge Iraq's sectarian divides and forge a united front against Islamic State militants. Dozens of people were killed as they attended weekly prayers.

Witnesses and Sunni religious officials blamed members of a hardline Shi'ite militia for the attack, but some government military commanders said they suspect Islamic State militants were responsible for the carnage.

Strong reactions

A U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Marie Harf condemned the attack and said Iraqi leaders from across the political spectrum should help to unify the country against violent extremist groups.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke by telephone Friday with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari about the situation in Iraq. The State Department said Kerry expressed his strong support for the formation of a new government and encouraged Zebari to press all parties on the need work together. The State Department said the two also agreed that Iraq, the U.S., the region and the international community must work together to face the threat posed by Islamic State militants.

Also Friday, Vice President Joe Biden called on Iraqis to overcome their differences and unite to fight the Islamic State. In an op-ed in The Washington Post, Biden said Iraq's survival depends on the ability of Iraqis to unite in a common effort.  He said forming a government in Iraq is critical.  Biden also praised the spirit of cooperation between security forces in Iraq, and said that Iraqi and Kurdish forces showed their ability to work together when they fought Islamic State militants at the Mosul dam.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned "in the strongest terms" the mosque attack in Diyala province. He said all attacks on places of worship are completely unacceptable and are prohibited under international law. Mr. Ban called on leaders of all of Iraq's political factions to unite and urge their constituents to refrain from sectarianism.

US strikes

U.S. aircraft launched at least three airstrikes Friday against Islamic State positions near the Mosul dam in northern Iraq, a crucial source of power and water for more than a million people. Militant fighters gained control of the dam this month, but  combined Iraqi and Kurdish forces have since counterattacked and forced the extremists to withdraw.

Since August 8, U.S. forces have carried out 93 airstrikes against Islamic State militants, about two-thirds of them near the Mosul dam. The chief U.S. military spokesman at the Pentagon, Rear Admiral John Kirby, declined to answer reporters' questions Friday about whether the air campaign against the Islamic State group will be extended into Syria.
 
"I'm not going to get ahead of planning that hasn't been done or decisions that haven't been made. We don't telegraph our punches," said Kirby.

Foley, a freelance photojournalist, was kidnapped in Syria in 2012. The Islamic State group has its headquarters in Syria, and that is where Foley is believed to have been beheaded. Rhodes said the U.S. did everything it could to free Foley and bring home other Americans held by terrorists, and he said a failed rescue attempt last month inside Syria was a "tragic" failure.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the Islamic State group is a terrorist threat "beyond anything we have seen." He describes the militants as better trained, armed, organized and financed than any other terrorist organization, including al-Qaida.

You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: David Ray from: cali.
August 25, 2014 12:26 PM
I'm lost..... its a direct atack on the USA they are terrorists that has already killed an american and has pretty much declared war on us yet ppl are still deciding what to do? WE ARE THE MEGA FORCE! we may not be liked by all but we always upholded pride in stopping this kind of crap any ware in the world! Get all our allies together and stop playing around and get permissionto blacken there skies with an all out force of power to take out the bad all at once!!! Sending in 100 or 200 ppl at a time is why there being killed! Go for it all and end the madness!!


by: Antonio
August 24, 2014 7:05 AM
The enmity by ISIS towards the USA is apparent to all including innocent civillians. This has recently been illustrated by their barbaric savagery. Abiding by the Geneva Convention or International Law is totally irrelevant. The USA has GOT to do what the USA has GOT to do, as HAVE other Countries.


by: Ghassan Skeiky from: Sierra Leone
August 22, 2014 8:52 PM
These are cursed people. They are not Muslims. They are using the name Islam to create a hate phobia for Muslims. The Quaran does not preach these kind of acts. A true Muslim is a very harmless person.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid