"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.

Militants post images of mass killing in Iraq

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 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 US will do its part to help Iraq move beyond this crisis.

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

"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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