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Steven Sotloff’s family speaks for first time

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Steven Sotloff’s family has spoken publicly for the first time since a video of his killing was released by ISIS militants.

The family said that Steven Sotloff gave his life to covering the suffering of people in war zones, but was “no hero”.

Vice President Joe Biden said that Islamic State militants who killed him and another American journalist, James Foley, would be pursued “to the gates of hell”.

Speaking at a press conference in Florida, Steven Sotloff family spokesman Barak Barfi said that Steven “wanted to give voice to those who had none”.

He said that Steven Sotloff “was no war junkie and did not want to be a modern-day Lawrence of Arabia”.

“From the Libyan doctor in Misrata who struggled to provide psychological services to children ravaged by war, to the Syrian plumber who risked his life by crossing regime lines to purchase medicine, their story was Steve’s story. He ultimately sacrificed his life to bring their story to the world,” Barak Barfi said.

“Today we grieve but we will emerge stronger. We will not allow our enemies to hold us hostage with the sole weapon they possess: Fear.”

Steven Sotloff was kidnapped in Aleppo, Syria, in August 2013 and held captive by ISIS militants

Steven Sotloff was kidnapped in Aleppo, Syria, in August 2013 and held captive by ISIS militants (photo Facebook)

Barak Barfi said that Steven Joel Sotloff was “torn between two poles” – his love of home life and his passion for the Arab world.

He said that the Sotloff family’s prayers went out to the family of Jim Foley, who was similarly killed last month.

“Like Steve he suffered but his jailors never broke him. He was an inspiration to others held in prison.”

The tribute to Steven Sotloff came after President Barack Obama vowed that the US would not be intimidated following the release of a video tape of his murder by ISIS militants.

Barack Obama said the US would build a coalition to “degrade and destroy” ISIS.

Vice-President Joe Biden said that the US would not stop until the militants are brought to justice.

He said the American people “are so much stronger, so much more resolved” than any enemy can understand.

ISIS has seized large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria in recent months, declaring a new caliphate, or Islamic State, under leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The US has launched more than 120 air strikes in the past month to try to help Kurdish forces curb the Islamic State advance.

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