The Islamic State issued a video in response to President Obama's vow to "degrade and ultimately destroy it," displaying a preview that it would kill American ground forces even though he ruled out putting boots on the ground, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
The 52-second clip produced by the Al Hayat Media Center, the Islamic State's media wing, boasts high-quality images and filming techniques. It shows tanks blowing up in slow motion, injured American soldiers and explosions superimposed over images of U.S. military figures.
The video also features shots of President George W. Bush's "Mission Accomplished" banner, President Obama and the White House and militants about to carry out executions.
President Barack Obama will send 3,000 troops to West Africa to build treatment clinics and train health workers to try to halt the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, U.S. officials said on Tuesday, as the United States widens its response to the crisis.
The U.S. plan, a dramatic increase from Washington's initial response last week, won praise from aid workers and officials in the region. But health experts said it was still not enough to contain the epidemic, which is quickly growing and has caused local healthcare systems to buckle from the strain.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, the military's top officer, told a Senate panel Tuesday he will recommend having U.S.advisers fight with Iraqi troops against the militant Islamic State group if the situation requires it.
"To be clear, if we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the president," said Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
U.S. advisers could be called on to get closer to the fight, Dempsey said, if Iraqi security forces undertake a complex operation such as retaking the city of Mosul.
The United States is at war the militant Islamic State group, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said, and the fight "will not be an easy or brief effort. It is complicated."
"We are at war with ISIL, as we are with al-Qaeda," Hagel said. "But destroying ISIL will require more than military efforts alone. It will require political progress in the region, and effective partners on the ground in Iraq and Syria."
President Barack Obama’s top military adviser said Tuesday that the campaign against ISIS “won’t look like ‘shock and awe’” but will be “persistent and sustainable" as the U.S. and its allies work to degrade the terror group's capabilities.
In testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey also suggested that American military advisers could accompany Iraqi troops on raids against ISIS, despite promises from the White House of no American 'boots on the ground.'
"Our military advisors will help the Iraqis conduct campaign planning, arrange for enabler and logistics support, and coordinate Coalition contributions," Dempsey said. "If we reach the point where I believe our advisors should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the President."
“Within a coalition of capable, willing regional and international partners, I believe we can destroy ISIL in Iraq, restore the Iraqi-Syrian border, and disrupt ISIL in Syria,” he said.
Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (R) and French President Francois Hollande arrive for a press meeting in Baghdad September 12, 2014. (photo: Reuters)
Newly outraged by the beheading of yet another Western hostage, diplomats from around the world are in Paris pressing for a coherent global strategy to combat extremists from the Islamic State group — minus two of the main players and without any ground troops — in a conflict that threatens to spill beyond the Mideast.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been pressuring allies ahead of a conference Monday to show a united front, especially from majority-Muslim nations, saying nearly 40 countries agreed to contribute to a worldwide fight to defeat the militants before they gain more territory in Iraq and Syria.
The White House said Sunday it would find allies willing to send combat forces — something the United States has ruled out — but that it was too early to identify them. The US has so far been alone in carrying out airstrikes.
World powers backed military measures on Monday to help defeat Islamic State fighters in Iraq, boosting Washington's efforts to set up a coalition, but made no mention of the tougher diplomatic challenge next door in Syria.
France sent fighter jets on a reconnaissance mission over Iraq, a step closer to becoming the first ally to join the United States in new bombing there since President Barack Obama declared his plans to establish a broad coalition last week.
Paris also hosted an international conference, attended by the five U.N. Security Council permanent members, European and Arab states, and representatives of the EU, Arab League and United Nations. All pledged to help the government in Baghdad fight against Islamic State militants.
A UN observation tower is seen overlooking Syria, next to the Quneitra border crossing between the Golan Heights in Israel and Syria. (photo: Reuters)
UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights are being relocated from four positions and one camp on the Syrian side of the Syrian-Israeli border, a diplomatic source said on Monday after recent clashes with al-Qaida-linked militants.
There was no suggestion that the UN peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights, known as UNDOF, was shutting down. Last month 45 UNDOF peacekeepers were kidnapped by Islamist militants fighting the Syrian army. They were released last week.
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