ISIS claims it beheaded US aid worker and 18 Syrians
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed it has executed Peter Kassig, a US aid worker who was kidnapped in Syria.
The latest beheading comes as a warning to the United States, it added.
The extremist group released a video today, showinga man standing over a severed head. He proclaimed: "This is Peter Edward Kassig, a US citizen of your country.
“Here, we are burying the first American crusader in Dabiq, eagerly waiting for the remainder of your armies to arrive."
Mr Kassig, a former US soldier, was providing medical treatment and aid to those suffering in Syria’s civil war.
Gruesome simultaneous beheadings
In the video, the man making the claim is wearing a balaclava: The same outfit worn by the man who beheaded two American journalists and two British aid workers in earlier videos.
The video also showed the gruesome simultaneous beheadings of at least 18 men described as Syrian military personnel.
The footage is the latest in a series of mass executions and other atrocities that ISIS has carried out.
The extremist group is spearheading a militant offensive that has overrun much of Iraq’s Sunni Arab heartland since June after seizing major territory in neighbouring Syria.
ISIS has killed hundreds of Iraqi and Syrian tribesmen who opposed it, attacked religious and ethnic minorities, sold women as slaves, executed scores of Iraqi security personnel and carried out beheadings on camera.