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Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 10:55

Kerry: US 'not intimidated' by IS

By Associated Press

 Kerry: US 'not intimidated' by IS
This undated file photo provided by the Kassig Family shows Peter Kassig standing in front of a truck filled with supplies for Syrian refugees. (AP Photo / Courtesy Kassig Family, File)

WASHINGTON - US Secretary of State John Kerry issued a warning Monday to Islamic State militants that "we are not intimidated'' after another American hostage was killed.

Kerry said the brutality of the Islamic State group and its potential spread worldwide was a key reason, among many, that the United States must remain deeply engaged in the Mideast.

His comments came right before he headed overseas for nuclear talks with Iran as a November 24 deadline for a deal looms.

"We are obviously entering in a key period with negotiations regarding Iran's nuclear program,'' Kerry said at an annual policy forum in Washington, hosted by the publisher of Foreign Policy magazine.

But the bulk of his comments sought to underline the case for deep U.S. involvement in the Mideast. "We have to be deeply engaged - deeply engaged - in this region, because it is directly in the interest of our national security and our economy, and it is also in keeping of who we are,'' Kerry said.

A day earlier, the White House confirmed the death of US aid worker Peter Kassig, a former soldier who tried to help wounded Syrians caught in their country's civil war but ended up dying himself at the hands of Islamic State. The militant group that controls much of northern Syria and Iraq has now killed five Westerners it was holding.

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