John Kerry: ISIL 'Must Be Destroyed'

State Department

Secretary of State John Kerry vehemently condemned the Islamist militant group responsible for American journalist James Foley's death.

"The world must know that the United States of America will never back down in the face of such evil," he said in a lengthy statement, released Wednesday afternoon after President Obama delivered remarks about Foley. "ISIL and the wickedness it represents must be destroyed, and those responsible for this heinous, vicious atrocity will be held accountable."

Here's the statement in full:

James Foley went to the darkest of places to shine the light of truth. Nothing could stop him from sharing with the world the reality of what was happening on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the struggle against a brutal dictator in Libya, and he was just as determined to do the same from Syria. He was brave and bold, and no masked coward can ever steal the legacy of this courageous American who lived out the meaning of the word journalism.

I was a senator when James was first held in Libya, and we were first introduced to the Foley family. His family was as determined in working towards his release as James had been daring in covering those war zones himself. The sheer unfairness and unlikely odds that this young journalist would again find himself in captivity in another conflict was almost unimaginable. It is impossible to express how much we all wanted this latest horror to end with his family reunited, as it had been the first time.

Teresa and I, along with members of my family who got to know James' mother Diane and his brother, are heartbroken for all of the Foleys. There are no words of condolence that can adequately convey our sorrow, our sympathy, or our anger for what has happened.

There is evil in this world, and we all have come face to face with it once again. Ugly, savage, inexplicable, nihilistic, and valueless evil. ISIL is the face of that evil, a threat to people who want to live in peace, and an ugly insult to the peaceful religion they violate every day with their barbarity.

We grieve for James Foley. We mourn for his family and his loved ones. We honor the courage and pray for the safety of all those who risk their lives to discover the truth where it is needed most. And make no mistake: We will continue to confront ISIL wherever it tries to spread its despicable hatred. The world must know that the United States of America will never back down in the face of such evil. ISIL and the wickedness it represents must be destroyed, and those responsible for this heinous, vicious atrocity will be held accountable.

This statement comes amid reports from the AP that the United States is considering sending new forces to Iraq.

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