MOSCOW, September 3 (RIA Novosti) – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is “outraged” at the video footage presumably showing an Islamic State (IS) militant executing US journalist Steven Sotloff, Agence France-Presse reported Wednesday.
"We are all outraged at reports from Iraq about the brutal killing of civilians by ISIL (IS), including yesterday’s reported brutal beheading of another journalist," Ban said.
US intelligence agencies are currently trying to verify information about Sotloff’s death.
Sotloff was kidnapped in Syria in 2013. Prior to the video of his execution, he appeared in a video that documented the murder of another US journalist, James Foley. According to IS militants, the deaths of the journalists are in retaliation to US airstrikes that have hampered the advance of IS fighters in 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 June, the group declared itself a “caliphate,” changed its name to the Islamic State and claimed religious authority over all Muslims globally.
In August, the United States authorized airstrikes to help Bagdad fight against IS positions in Iraq.
In turn, IS militants threatened to kill other US citizens if the country did not stop its airstrikes.