US condemns 'massacre' in Iraq's Tikrit as horrifying

US condemns 'massacre' in Iraq's Tikrit as horrifying

The US has condemned the reports of massacre of 1700 Iraqi Shia air force recruits in Tikrit by Islamic terrorists as "horrifying" and urged all Iraqis to unite against this violence, the State Department has said.

"The claim by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) that it has massacred 1,700 Iraqi Shia air force recruits in Tikrit is horrifying and a true depiction of the bloodlust that these terrorists represent," State Department Spokesperson, Jen Psaki, said.

The US condemns these tactics in the strongest possible terms and stand in solidarity with the Iraqi people against these horrendous and senseless acts of violence, she said.

"While we cannot confirm these reports, one of the primary goals of ISIL is to set fear into the hearts of all Iraqis and drive sectarian division among its people," Psaki said.

Terrorists who can commit such heinous acts are a shared enemy of the US, Iraq, and the international community, Psaki said.

"This underscores the need for Iraqi leaders from across the political spectrum to take steps that will unify the country in the face of this threat," she said, adding the US will do its part to help Iraq move beyond this crisis.

The US urges all Iraqis to unite against this violence and continue to reject the path of hatred that ISIL represents, she said.

"The United States strongly supports Iraq and its people as they face security challenges from violent extremists.

The people of Iraq have repeatedly rejected violent extremism and expressed their desire to build a better society for themselves and for their children," Psaki said.

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