The United States and United Kingdom yesterday unveiled their intention to fight Islamic State until it is no longer a force in the Middle East.
Islamic State released a video on Tuesday showing the beheading of a US journalist, the second American hostage to be killed within weeks, in retaliation for US air strikes in Iraq. Is has also threatened to behead another hostage who is British in nationality.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday vowed that Islamic State will "be squeezed out of existence", and promised to build a coalition in the region against it that cannot be mistaken for a western-led intervention.
His remarks appeared to be preparing the ground for a US-led broad coalition that includes Britain, to drive out IS following a formal invitation from the Iraqi government in Baghdad.
Vowing the country will never give into terrorism, the prime minister also braced the population for further potential bad news about the British hostage.
Cameron's tone and language echoed that of US President Barack Obama, who vowed yesterday that the US will not be "intimidated" by the beheading of the American journalist Steven Sotloff.
“The bottom line is this, our objective is clear and that is to degrade and destroy (Islamic State) so that it's no longer a threat not just to Iraq but also the region and to the United States," Obama told a news conference in Estonia.
Obama however said destroying the militant group will take time because of the power vacuum in Syria, the abundance of battle hardened fighters that grew out of al-Qaeda in the Iraqi war, and the need to build coalitions, including with local Sunni communities.
“Whatever these murderers think they will achieve with killing innocent Americans like Steven, they have already failed," Obama said. "They failed because, like people around the world, Americans are repulsed by their barbarism. We will not be intimidated."
US and British officials both examined the video, showing the same British-accented executioner who appeared in an Aug 19 video of the killing of US journalist James Foley, concluding it was authentic.
"Those that make the mistake of harming Americans will learn that we will not forget and that our reach is long and that justice will be served," he said.