WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Islamic State (ISIL) is solely responsible for the death of American hostage Kayla Mueller, US Secretary of State John Kerry said in the statement.
“ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant], and ISIL alone, is the reason Kayla is gone,” Kerry said on Tuesday. “Like our friends in Jordan, our resolve is unshaken to defeat this vile and unspeakably ugly insult to the civilized world and to defeat terrorists whose actions — killing women, killing children, burning people alive — are an insult to the religion they falsely claim to represent.”
US President Barack Obama confirmed Mueller’s death in a statement on Tuesday. Mueller was a US aid worker and was captured by the ISIL in Syria in 2013.
“There are no words to express to Kayla’s parents, Marsha and Carl, how sorry we are for their crushing loss, just how much so many wished for and worked to try and secure a better outcome, or how awe-inspiring is the example of their strength, determination, and devotion to faith and family,” Kerry said. “To them, and to Kayla’s brother Eric and his family, I hope they can know that our entire country grieves together with all those whose lives she touched.”
The news about Mueller’s death comes after ISIL claimed last Friday that she died in a Jordanian air strike at an ISIL target in Raqqa, Syria. It was the first time the terrorist group acknowledged it had kidnapped the 26-year-old woman.
US National Security Adviser Susan Rice said in a statement aired on NBC News on Friday the United States did not then have any evidence to corroborate the ISIL claims.
Jordan’s Foreign Minister Nasser Judah said in a Twitter post on Friday that the ISIL claim was an “old and sick trick used by terrorists and despots for decades.”
The US Defense Department said there were no US or Jordanian combat missions on ISIL targets near Raqqa, but rather some 225 kilometers away, in Al-Hasakah city, according to NBC.
The ISIL is fighting in Syria and Iraq where it has captured large swathes of territory and declared a caliphate. A coalition of more than 60 countries led by the United States has been carrying out airstrikes against the ISIL in an attempt to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the terrorist group.