MOSCOW, August 25 (RIA Novosti) - The family of James Foley, a US freelance journalist killed by militants in Syria, published his last letter written from captivity on the official Facebook page of the family and friends.
"I have had weak and strong days. We are so grateful when anyone is freed; but of course, yearn for our own freedom. We try to encourage each other and share strength," Foley said in the letter.
The foreword to the message explained that a fellow hostage about to be released memorized the letter and dictated it to Foley's family upon his return because the jailers confiscated all other letters he had written before.
In the message, the 40-year-old journalist talks about his days in captivity with 17 others, their conversations about sports and films, and about food, with which he "regained most of my weight lost last year." He also addresses several of his close ones recalling the good times he had had with them.
On August 19, the Islamic State (IS) group released a video on YouTube showing a masked man beheading Foley, who was taken prisoner in northwest Syria in November 2012. The journalist’s executioner said in the video that Foley was killed because US President Barack Obama had ordered airstrikes against IS positions in northern Iraq.
The IS, previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS or ISIL), an Al-Qaeda offshoot, was fighting against Syrian President Bashar Assad, and in June launched a large-scale offensive in Iraq, seizing large parts of the country. In late June, the group declared itself a caliphate and announced its rebranding as the Islamic State.
In August, the United States authorized airstrikes to help Baghdad fight against the insurgency.