The Pentagon’s senior enlisted service member has issued a blunt warning to Islamic State fighters, saying in new social-media posts that they could either surrender or face death in a number of forms, including being beaten to death with steel entrenching tools.
Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Wayne Troxell, the senior enlisted adviser in the Pentagon, issued the warnings on Facebook and Twitter. Senior U.S. officials, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, have warned Islamic State fighters for months that they must lay down their weapons or face annihilation, but Troxell’s message was unusually forceful.
“ISIS needs to understand that the Joint Force is on orders to annihilate them,” Troxell wrote on Facebook. “So, they have two options should they decide to come up against the United States, our allies and partners: surrender or die!”
Troxell added that the U.S.-led military coalition will provide militants who surrender with safety in a detainee cell, food, a cot and legal due process.
“HOWEVER, if they choose not to surrender, then we will kill them with extreme prejudice, whether that be through security force assistance, by dropping bombs on them, shooting them in the face, or beating them to death with our entrenching tools,” Troxell wrote. “Regardless, they cannot win, so they need to choose how it’s going to be.”
The posts were published Tuesday night along with a photograph of an entrenching tool — a collapsible shovel used by U.S. troops.