BI MILITARY AND DEFENCE
JAN, 28 1:42PM
Islamic State militants have threatened to behead Obama in the White House in a video released on Jan. 26.
The video shows Islamic State members standing in the streets of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, following an artillery barrage on the city by Kurdish Peshmerga forces. In front of the militants is seated a Kurdish soldier who is executed at the end of the video.
Prior to the Kurdish soldier’s execution, the executioner delivers a message in Kurdish, which is subtitled into Arabic in the video.
“Know, oh Obama, that we will reach America. Know also that we will cut off your head in the White House and transform America into a Muslim province,” the militant says according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
The militant then continues his threat against other Western nations, saying: “And this is my message to France and its sister, Belgium. We advise you that we will come to you with car bombs and explosive charges and we will cut off your heads.”
The video appeared to be a response by the Islamic State to a multitude of setbacks it has faced in the past week. On Jan. 26, Islamic State fighters withdrew from the Syrian-Kurdish city of Kobani after a failed four-month siege in which the militant group lost as many as 1,500 fighters.
Simultaneously, the Kurdish Peshmerga forces have started conducting operations aimed at dislodging the Islamic State from Mosul, the crown jewel of the group’s domain in Iraq. Kurdish forces have launched rockets into Mosul in an attempt to target Islamic State militants, while US forces have regularly conducted airstrikes in the region outside the city.
In retaliation for the strikes, the Islamic State militants end their video by executing the Kurdish soldier.
The militants also include a warning for Kurdistan President Barzani: “This is one of your soldiers’ fate, and every time you launch a missile, we will send you back the head of one of your soldiers.”