British Aid Worker David Haines Murdered
LONDON – “An act of pure evil”, is how British Prime Minister David Cameron has described the murder of British Aid Worker David Haines. ISIS has released a video that shows the UK hostage being beheaded. This is the third video of a murder that ISIS has released. Two American journalists have also been brutally murdered by the Islamic State.
Haines, an aid worker from Perth was kidnapped in Syria last year. The murder of Haines came as ISIS stated it would if the United States continued air raids in Iraq on ISIS strong points.
The Foreign Office said it was “working urgently to verify” the video and was offering support to Mr Haines’s family. Mr Haines, a father-of-two, was taken hostage in the village of Atmeh, in the Idlib province of Syria, in March 2013.
Haines had been helping French agency Acted deliver humanitarian aid, having previously helped local people in Libya and South Sudan.
Haine’s family had made a direct appeal to ISIS to contact them on Friday.
The family statement, released by the UK Foreign Office and addressed the militants directly, said: “We are the family of David Haines. We have sent messages to you to which we have not received a reply. We are asking those holding David to make contact with us.”
Statement Made by David Haines on Video
“My name is David Cawthorne Haines. I would like to declare that I hold you, David Cameron, entirely responsible for my execution. You entered voluntarily into a coalition with the United States against the Islamic State, just as you’re predecessor, Tony Blair, did. Following a trend amongst our British Prime Ministers who can’t find the courage to say no to the Americans. Unfortunately, it is we, the British public, that will in the end pay the price for our Parliaments selfish decisions”.
Executioner – “This British man has to pay the price for your promise, Cameron, to arm the Peshmerga against the Islamic State. Ironically, he has spent a decade of his life serving under the same Royal Air Force that is responsible for delivering those arms. Your evil alliance with America which continues to strike the Muslims of Iraq and most recently bombed the Haditha Dam will only accelerate your destruction. And playing the role of the obedient lapdog, Cameron, will only drag you and your people into another bloody and unwinnable war”.
The murder of innocent people has not deterred the United States in their efforts. If anything it has increased the resolve of President Obama and the Americans.
The United States is at war with the terror group ISIL, “in the same way we’re at war and continue to be at war with al-Qaida and its affiliates,” Pentagon press secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said here today.
It is a different type of war than Americans have seen, he noted. “There’s not going to be a purely military solution to the threat that ISIL poses in the region, specifically inside Iraq,” the admiral said. “There’s not going to be a military solution here.”
Still, there is a large military component to the war and the United States will lead in efforts to degrade and ultimately destroy the group.
U.S. airstrikes continue
U.S. military have launched about 160 airstrikes against ISIL targets inside Iraq. The president has vowed to continue the fight against the Islamic militants inside Syria.
American service members will transition to an advise and assist role with Iraqi security forces. They will help Iraqis take back territory lost to ISIL, the admiral said.
Destroying ISIL ideology
Destroying ISIL means ending the terrorist group’s ideological appeal to the people of the region. In a news conference weeks ago, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey said ISIL will be defeated when the 20 million Sunni Arabs between Damascus and Baghdad feel that they are governed fairly.
Destroying ISIL will take “the ultimate destruction of their ideology,” Kirby said. “That also can’t be done just through military means alone,” he said. “That has to be done through good governance, both in Iraq and in Syria … and in a responsive political process, so that the people that are falling sway to this radical ideology are no longer drawn to it.”
A unique war
ISIL is a unique problem. It is not an army, but intelligence officials place the number of adherents at between 20,000 and 31,500. “This is a terrorist group,” Kirby said. “Now, they behave in many ways militarily. They’re unlike other terrorist groups that we’ve had to deal with because they are concerned about grabbing and holding ground, being in control of infrastructure, developing streams of revenue, and they have these visions of governance of their own, brutal as it is.”
U.S. military goals are about degrading and destroying ISIL’s capabilities to attack targets, particularly Western targets, the admiral said.
A coalition approach
Destroying ISIL requires a coalition of countries, with each bringing their own special expertise and capabilities to the war.
“Some countries have signed up for more aggressive kinetic activity than others,” Kirby said. “Some are willing to do transportation of assistance. Some are willing to contribute monetarily to the effort. Others are willing to participate in more aggressive military actions.”
“We are seeing the coalition build in size and scope,” Kirby said.