STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com) — A video posted to social media Tuesday claimed to show the beheading of an American journalist by the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, who have been the targets of US airstrikes in Iraq over recent weeks.
The parents of journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria in 2012, confirmed Tuesday that their son was murdered in the video — an act ISIS claims was a retaliation for the airstrikes.
In the video, the terrorists also state that they have another American captive, journalist Steven Sotloff, whose life they say depends on whether the president will end military operations in the country.
“…so any attempt by you, Obama, to deny the Muslims their rights to live in safety under the Islamic caliphate, will result in the bloodshed of your people,” a terrorist with a British accent claims on the video, shortly before the murder.
The airstrikes occurred as a joint US effort to provide relief to the Yazidis — religious minorities in Iraq — many of whom had reportedly been beheaded by ISIS militants, when as many as 30,000 people were driven to the top of Mt. Sinjar in northwestern Iraq by the terrorist group in early August.
ISIS had grabbed international attention, gaining momentum and strength as they stormed across northern Iraq in May and June, taking major cities, including Mosul and Tikrit.
On Tuesday, Foley’s parents wrote on the Find James Foley support page on Facebook, “We have never been prouder of our son, Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.”
Foley’s death is not the first time an American journalist lost his life to a terrorist group in the Middle East.
In 2002, Southern California journalist Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and beheaded by an Al Qaeda group in Pakistan.
CBS2’s Brittney Hopper spoke with Pearl’s parents Tuesday, regarding this recent murder.
“We know what the family is going through, our hearts go out to them,” Pearl’s parents said. “It’s about time all international institutions take terrorism seriously.”
Foley’s mother urged ISIS to spare the lives of their other hostages, saying that they have no control over government policy.
President Obama is expected to make a statement on Wednesday.