US Admits Secret Mission Failed to Free James Foley

World | August 21, 2014, Thursday // 12:52
Bulgaria: US Admits Secret Mission Failed to Free James Foley US President Barack Obama, who was addressed by the IS in the "James Foley" video, has described the militant group as a "cancer" and their ideology as "bankrupt". Photo by EPA/BGNES

US officials acknowledged that a military mission aiming to free reporter James Foley and other hostages from IS captivity had failed.

FBI meanwhile announced a video footage of Foley's beheading by the Sunni militants known as Islamic State (IS) posted online Tuesday was authentic, according to the Global Post, one of the outlets for which the journalist worked.

The Pentagon said in a statement quoted by ABC that an attempt of a rescue operation designed to free American hostages in Syria "involved air and ground components and was focused on a particular captor network" within IS.

It added that the mission was not successful as "the hostages were not present at the targeted location".

Officials from the Obama administration are quoted by the BBC as saying that dozens of special troops had been dropped by aircraft into Syria in recent weeks as part of the mission.

IS argued in the video the execution was carried out in retaliation for US air strikes against its fighters in Iraq.

After Foley blames the US government's ongoing bombing campaign in Iraq for his imminent death, a masked militant who can be seen behind him warns US President Barack Obama against attempting to "deny the Muslims their rights of living in safety under the Islamic caliphate", which in his words "will result in the bloodshed of [Obama's] people".

Obama himself compared the insurgents to a "cancer".

He condemned their act as violence that "shocks the conscience of the entire world".

Experts are still seeking to establish the identity of the man who kills Foley in the video, with some intelligence sources cited by British papers saying that he was born in London and calls himself John.

According to the Daily Telegraph he belongs to a group of British-born militants which other jihadists call "The Beatles" because of their origin.

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Tags: Iraq, IS, James Foley, US, Barack Obama, air strikes, Syria
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