White House denies that murdered journalist was sold by US-backed rebels
A spokesperson for Steven Sotloff, the journalist from the United States that was murdered at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has claimed that Sotloff was sold to the extremist group by Syrian rebels who are being supported by the White House, a claim which the Obama administration has denied.
“For the first time, we can say Steven was sold at the Syrian border. We believe these so-called moderate rebels that people want our administration to support, one of them sold him probably for something between $25,000 and $50,000, and that was the reason he was captured,” spokesman Barak Barfi told CNN, citing “sources on the ground.”
The administration claims that its own initial intelligence surrounding the disappearance of the American journalist has not revealed any indications that the journalist was exchanged by the Syrian rebels for money.
“Based on the information that has been provided to me, I don’t believe that is accurate,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday. “But I do know, at the same time, that this is the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation. So this is something that they’re looking into all aspects of this, including how Mr. Sotloff may have come into the hands of ISIS.”
Read more about the story at The Star.