The militant Islamic group called the Islamic State, previously referred to as ISIS, has vowed to “drown” American targets in blood if the United States continues to launch airstrikes against its fighters.
The acronym stands for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The group is behind much of the recent violence in the northern regions of the two countries. A new video, released by ISIS and reported by Reuters, shows a photograph of a beheaded American, taken during the Iraq war. The video also contains the warning “we will drown all of you in blood.”
The video was released after Kurdish forces, backed by U.S. airpower, struck two decisive blows against ISIS fighters in the past week.
Kurdish troops were able to free thousands of Yazidi refugees trapped on a northern Iraqi mountain top without food or water last week. The Yazidis are an Iraqi minority group regarded as devil worshippers by ISIS.
They had fled their homes as ISIS fighters raided their villages. To avert the humanitarian crisis President Obama authorized airstrikes Thursday so the refugees could be brought down from the mountain.
“Today I authorized two operations in Iraq,” Obama was quoted as saying by The Daily Caller. “Targeted airstrikes to protect our American personnel, and a humanitarian effort to save thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain without food and water and are facing almost certain death.”
That announcement prompted the first set of taunts from ISIS spokesman Abu Mosa.
“I say to America that the Islamic Caliphate has been established,” Mosa said in a video. “Don’t be cowards and attack us with drones. Instead send your soldiers, the ones we humiliated in Iraq.
“We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House,” he added.
The second threatening video, released Monday, came after further airstrikes over the weekend drove ISIS forces from a Mosul-area dam that, if left in their control, experts feared would give them the ability to cut off water and electricity to tens of thousand of Iraqis. Experts also warned that if the dam was destroyed it could have flooded the region.
“If that dam was breached it could have proven catastrophic, with floods that would’ve threatened the lives of thousands of civilians and endanger our embassy compound in Baghdad,” President Obama said in another statement Monday, according to RT.com.
Kurdish and Iraqi forces also helped in liberating the dam.
“This operation demonstrates that Iraqi and Kurdish forces are capable of working together and taking the fight to (ISIS),” Obama said. “If they continue to do so, they will have the strong support of the United States of America.”