Flaunting its latest atrocious act, the Islamic State has released a new video showing the beheading of tens of Egyptian Christians in Libya, who were abducted by the extremists last year.
In a quick response, Egyptian warplanes are said to have carried out air strikes targeting the Islamic State in Libya, Egypt`s military said in a statement on state television. The strikes were carried out at dawn on Monday. Earlier President Sisi had warned that Cairo will exact revenge on ISIS for the murders.
The Egyptian military said that the air strikes zeroed in on ISIS camps, training sites and weapons storage areas across Egypt`s border in Libya, Reuters reported.
Egypt’s state television showed the footage of Egyptian fighter jets as they vroomed off to conduct strikes on ISIS.
“Avenging Egyptian blood and retaliating against criminals and killers is a duty we must carry out,” the AFP quoted military.
Targeting the Christians in the latest video, the ISIS has claimed that they will continue to kill in revenge for Osama bin laden’s blood. Like previous beheading videos, this mass execution footage also shows all the captives in orange-coloured jumpsuits like the Guantanamo detainees and kneeling on ground before being decapitated.
However, the executioner in the video has different accent, voice than previous videos of British accented Jihadi John and also uses left hand, noted SITE intelligence group head Rita Katz.
The ISIS has tried its best to produce an impactful graphic video as after the mass beheading at the beach in Libya, the next shot is that of crimson-coloured blood-stained waves slamming the shore as the masked fighter threatened to “mix it (ocean) with your blood”.
The 5-minute video titled “A Message Signed with Blood to the Nation of the Cross” especially threatens the Christians, saying, they will continue “chopping off the heads that have been carrying the cross for a long time, filled with spite against Islam and Muslims”.
Referring to reports that Osama bin Laden’s body was buried in sea, the ISIS fighter threatened they will mix the waves with Christians’ blood.
“Today, we are on the south of Rome, on the land of Islam, Libya, sending another message..we will fight you all together, until the war lays down its burdens and Jesus, peace be upon him, will descend, breaking the cross, killing the swine, and abolishing jiyza [head tax]. And the sea you’ve hidden Sheikh Osama bin Laden’s body in, we swear to Allah we will mix it with your blood..,” the SITE Intel Group quoted the masked IS fighter as saying.
Some stills from the new gruesome IS video was posted on Twitter by SITE intelligence group.
Libyan fighters pledged to the ISIS in November last year and since then have claimed more than dozen attacks since, including the on the luxurious Corinthia Hotel on Jan 27 this year.
Reacting to the heinous beheading video, Egypt President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has vowed to exact revenge on the ISIS and said that the nation reserves the right to respond in any way it sees fit.
Speaking on the national television hours after the video was released, Sisi said, “Egypt and the whole world are in a fierce battle with extremist groups carrying extremist ideology and sharing the same goals…Cairo would choose the necessary means and timing to avenge the criminal killings”.
Egypt has declared seven days of national mourning in wake of the barbaric murder of Coptic Christians. Meanwhile, the White House has condemned the killings as “despicable”.
“The United States condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of twenty-one Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIL-affiliated terrorists…This heinous act once again underscores the urgent need for a political resolution to the conflict in Libya, the continuation of which only benefits terrorist groups, including ISIL,” said the White House in a statement.
Since Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s ouster in 2011 revolution, Libya has been mired in turmoil with different Islamist militias battling for control. Such a chaos and anarchy in Libya makes it vulnerable and suitable as a breeding ground for Islamic State extremism.