The State Department downplayed comments from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) leaders that they are at war with America, arguing that their violence is not directed at any particular country or race.
At a briefing Thursday, a reporter brought up anti-American comments from ISIL leaders: "I mean, even they are announcing, ISIL people in their message, whatever, the recorded message, other messages, that now we are in a war with America."
"This is not about ISIL versus the United States," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf objected. "They are killing anyone who gets in their way: Sunnis, Shia Muslims, Christians, Yazidis, Iraqis, Syrians, anyone who gets in their way — and now an American."
"So this is not about what the United States is or isn’t doing," Harf continued. "This is about ISIL stated a commitment to murder, rape, enslave people who don’t agree with their ideology and who get in their way."
"But they are announcing that it’s a war against America," the reporter pressed. "Right or wrong, that’s what they are saying."
Harf maintained, "Well, they can say whatever they’d like, but what I am making clear is that’s not what ISIL represents. And they don’t represent any religion. They are at war with everybody they come into contact with."