The horrific beheading of American journalist James Foley has sparked worldwide outrage. The video of his beheading was uploaded by Islamic State militants on social media as a warning to U.S. forces to stay out of Iraq.
British Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander said it was "particularly concerning" that Foley's beheading was carried out by a British national. In a statement, Alexander declared the gruesome footage of the journalist's beheading has "shocked and outraged" the world.
According to reports, ISIS' terror campaign is threatening to expand in Iraq and nearby regions. The possibility of sending British troops to Iraq has been ruled out by the Foreign Secretary. The UK government has continued its humanitarian effort in Iraq and aid Kurdish forces in making sure they have the equipment to fight the Islamic militants.
The British Prime Minister David Cameron reacted to the beheading on Twitter and said Foley's murder was "shocking and depraved."
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has revealed that more than 6,000 men have joined ISIS in July. The UK-based organisation said most of the new recruits came from Syria but 1,200 were from other countries. Mr Cameron has cut his holiday with the family short to chair meetings regarding the Iraq/Syria situation.
Political analysts believe ISIS appears to be "baiting the U.S." and challenging President Barack Obama to intervene in Iraq. Other observers said the terror group's intention may be likely to spread fear and take advantage of the attention it will get from the video's release.
About 20 journalists are currently missing in Syria, according to U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists. Committee chairman Sandra Mims Rowe has condemned the beheading of Foley. She expressed her sympathies for the journalist's family.
Netizens on social media, especially U.S. citizens on Facebook and Twitter, have clamoured for ISIS blood and urged the U.S. government to start an all-out war against the group. Some online users who have watched the video felt "sickened" and demanded to "wipe out" ISIS for good.
ISIS has previously warned that it will not hesitate to attack Americans if U.S. airstrikes will kill any of its members. U.S. Central Command said at least 14 airstrikes were launched last August 17 that resulted in the destruction of ISIS vehicles including one of the militants' checkpoints. ISIS has vowed to "drown" America in blood in a 45-second video meant to sow fear in the U.S.
In a recent speech, Mr Obama condemned the beheading of Foley and declared that ISIS is a "cancer" to society. He vowed that the country will do what is "just" for Americans who will be hurt anywhere. He said he will not be swayed in the resolve to bring the Islamic Militants to justice. Mr Obama called Foley's family to express his condolences.