MOSCOW, August 21 (RIA Novosti) - Earlier this summer, the US government attempted to rescue journalist James Foley together with other US hostages in Syria but failed to achieve its goal, a US official was quoted as saying by Reuters.
"The mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location," the Pentagon said in a statement Wednesday.
US officials did not specify when exactly the rescue operation took place, but noted that it did not happen in the last few weeks.
A video that documented the beheading of Foley by an Islamic State (IS) militant was released earlier this week. IS said Foley’s execution was in response to US airstrikes in Iraq that were conducted to help the Kurdish forces fight back IS militants.
US President Barack Obama called the beheading of the journalist "an act of violence that shocks the conscience of the entire world."
"ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings. Their ideology is bankrupt," Obama was quoted as saying.
The murder of the journalist was also denounced by the United Nations, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon saying that he “condemns in the strongest terms the horrific murder of journalist James Foley.”
The video warned of greater retaliation against the United States following recent US airstrikes that hampered IS’ advance in Iraq. Another US journalist, Steven Sotloff, appeared at the end of the video. He went missing in northern Syria while reporting in July 2013.
James Foley, 40, was kidnapped on November 22, 2012, in Syria. Prior to that, he had been kidnapped and released in Libya.
Islamic State is a radical Sunni group that has been fighting in Syria before launching an offensive in Iraq in June. Later that month, the militants announced the establishment of an Islamic caliphate on the territories that had fallen under its control.