The 52-second long video, which appears to be titled “Flames of War,” is the Islamic State’s first response since Obama declared he would “degrade and ultimately destroy it.”
From the New York Times:
It begins with American tanks and troops under attack by fire and American soldiers carrying a wounded comrade into an armored vehicle. The images flick by, including a shot of the “Mission Accomplished” banner that served as a backdrop on the day President George W. Bush landed on an aircraft carrier six weeks after the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. That is followed by shots of Mr. Obama and the White House at night.
In the background, Mr. Obama is heard saying, “American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq.” The screen goes dark, followed by a clip of what appears to be a militant for the group who is preparing to kill men on their knees.
The words “Flames of War” appear, with the phrase “Fighting has just begun” below. It ends: “Coming Soon.”
The trailer seems to be a preview of a longer video that ISIS may release. The video also comes on the heels of an announcement by Obama’s top military adviser that recommended sending American combat troops against the Islamic State if the current airstrike campaign was not enough, according to the NYT.
Obama, however, has ruled out that option. ISIS gave no reason for releasing the video, but U.S. analysts and officials have their opinions.
“It appears to be officially declaring war on the U.S.,” according to Laith Alkhouri, a senior analyst at New York-based intelligence consulting firm Flashpoint Global Partners.
We’ll keep you updated with the latest.