Sunday, 24 August 2014

James Foley killing betrays Britain, says Philip Hammond

James Foley in Aleppo, Syria in 2012James Foley was reporting in Syria when he was captured in 2012
The killing of a US journalist by an Islamic State militant believed to be from the UK is "an utter betrayal of everything the British people stand for", the foreign secretary has said.

Writing in the Sunday Times, Philip Hammond said the government was investing "significant resources" to tackle "a barbaric ideology".
He said the threat from conflicts in Syria and Iraq could last a generation.
It comes as Downing Street said it had appointed a new security envoy to Iraq.
A spokesman said the posting to the Kurdistan region of the country showed the government was "stepping up" its efforts to help Iraq defeat Islamic State (IS) militants operating in the area.
Work is under way to supply "non-lethal equipment" to Kurdish forces who are battling IS in the coming days, including night vision equipment and body armour, the spokesman added.
'Heinous act'
UK authorities are seeking to identify the jihadist with an English accent who appeared in footage of the killing of journalist James Foley earlier this month.
Extremist group IS published a video of the moments before and after the apparent beheading of Mr Foley, who was seized in Syria in 2012.
In his Sunday Times article, the foreign secretary said: "It is horrifying to think that the perpetrator of this heinous act could have been brought up in Britain.
"It is an utter betrayal of our country, our values and everything the British people stand for."
Philip HammondPhilip Hammond said Britain was helping Kurdish fighters in Iraq
More than 500 British citizens are thought to have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight in the past few years.
Mr Hammond said the UK had assisted Kurdish Peshmerga fighters with military aircraft delivering equipment.
He said Britain would also start sending eastern European ammunition and weaponry.
The government also announced Lt Gen Sir Simon Mayall, its senior defence advisor for the Middle East, as the new security envoy.
"Gen Mayall's extensive experience of the region means he will be able to draw on a broad range of existing relationships across Iraq, the region and with close allies," No 10 said.
The spokesman said Gen Mayall would travel to Iraq next week to meet political leaders in Baghdad and the regional government in Irbil, Kurdistan's capital, "to encourage all Iraqi communities to unite together" against IS.
Isis fighters in Anbar province (file photo)Islamic State was formed out of al-Qaeda in Iraq in 2013
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