Cameron resists calls for the UK to join the U.S. in conducting airstrikes on ISIS. With the threat posed by ISIS to UK citizens underscored by the group’s execution of Haines, Cameron says the nation will stick with its approach of diplomatic pressure, supporting U.S. action and helping Iraqi and local Kurdish authorities. Televised statement:
As this strategy intensifies, we are ready to take whatever steps are necessary to deal with this threat and keep our country safe. Step by step, we must drive back, dismantle, and ultimately destroy ISIL (IS) and what it stands for. We will do so in a calm, deliberate way, but with an iron determination.
Salmond says the execution by ISIS militants of British aid worker Haines is an ‘unspeakable act of barbarism.’ He indicates that an independent Scotland would favor combating ISIS as the murder of Haines underscores the growing threat the group poses to UK citizens, after the group threatened British volunteer Alan Henning in the video of Haines’s death. But unilateral action would not be considered:
You can’t have a strategy where you bow to terrorism. There’s an urgent requirement to get back to collective [action] under the United Nations.
Haines’s family issues a statement following his death. The aid worker, who spent 12 years with the Royal Air Force and served with the United Nations, has two daughters – Bethany, 17, and Athea, four, who lives with his Croatian second wife, Dragana. His brother:
David was like so very many of us, just another bloke. Born in 1970 to parents who loved us both, our childhood was centred around our family. He was, in the right mood, the life and soul of the party and on other times the most stubborn irritating pain in the ass. He would probably say the same about me. David served with the UN in the Balkans, helping people in real need. There are many accolades from people in that region that David helped. He helped whoever needed help, regardless of race, creed or religion. David was most alive and enthusiastic in his humanitarian roles. His joy and anticipation for the work he went to do in Syria is for myself and family the most important element of this whole sad affair. He was and is loved by all his family and will be missed terribly.
Cameron chairs an emergency meeting of Cobra, the UK emergency response committee, to decide on the government’s response to the release by ISIS of a video said to show the execution of British aid worker David Haines. Statement ahead of the meeting:
This is a despicable and appalling murder of an innocent aid worker. We will do everything in our power to hunt down these murderers and ensure they face justice, however long it takes.
The hostage threatened by ISIS in its videotaped execution of British aid worker Haines is identified as 47-year-old Alan Henning, a taxi driver from the northwest of England. Friends of Henning who were also captured but later released say an aid convoy they were traveling with was stopped by masked gunmen after crossing the Turkish border and Henning was separated from the others. His disappearance has previously been kept secret by his family at the advice of the British Foreign Office (FCO) while negotiations are made for his release.
He says that the Western allies have no chance of winning:
Your evil alliance with America which continues to strike the Muslims of Iraq and most recently bombed the Haditha Dam will only accelerate your destruction and playing the role of the obedient lapdog Cameron, will only drag you and your people into another bloody and unwinnable war.
A Syrian translator for the charity that David Haines was working with says he was taken in March 2013 by ‘professional gunmen’ who targeted the vehicle in the hopes of gaining Western victims. Haines was in the final hours of a three-day tour to assess locations for new refugee camps in the north of Syria for the Paris-based Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED) when he was abducted with the organisation’s Italian coordinator, Federico Motka. Details of the abduction have previously been kept secret until ISIS threatened Haines this week in a video containing the execution by beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff.
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