WASHINGTON — In one of the Islamic State’s first responses to President Obama’s declaration that he would “degrade and ultimately destroy” it, the group released a short video late Tuesday in which it appeared to say that its militants would kill American ground forces should President Obama deploy them.
The clip is only 52 seconds long and is billed as a preview for a longer video. With slow-motion replay, quick edits and high-quality video images, it looks like a Hollywood studio trailer.
It begins with American tanks and troops under attack by fire and American soldiers carrying a wounded comrade into an armored vehicle.
The images flick by, including a shot of the “Mission Accomplished” banner that served as a backdrop on the day President George W. Bush landed on an aircraft carrier six weeks after the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. That is followed by shots of Mr. Obama and the White House at night.
In the background, Mr. Obama is heard saying, “American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq.” The screen goes dark, and then a clip is played of what appears to be a militant for the group who is preparing to execute men on their knees.
The words “Flames of War” appear, with the phrase “Fighting has just begun” below.
Laith Alkhouri, a senior analyst at Flashpoint Global Partners, a New York security consulting firm that tracks militant websites, said the Islamic State “appears to be more relentless than ever, not only expanding in territory but also raising the bar in its confrontation with the world’s top superpower.”
“In some ways, it’s attempting to prove to jihadists that while Al Qaeda is missing in action, we are rising to the occasion,” Mr. Alkhouri said. “It demonstrates the true intention of the group, to operate on an international level.”