Over the past three months, hundreds of thousands of people have been involved in the campaign to release our staff.
The declaration comes as no surprise as ISIL's ambition has always been bold, but its significance is yet to unfold.
How much influence does the House of Saud hold over its neighbour? And how can it be influenced?
Many in Baghdad feel opinion from across the political and sectarian spectrum is being ignored by the US, once again.
Iraq's future is crucial to Iran: it is a natural Shia ally, a neighbour, and the site of many Shia landmarks.
Iraqis in Baghdad and beyond are reaching for their rifles in a call to arms to stop ISIL.
If American bombs start falling on Iraqi soil again it could further inflame the sectarian tensions.
Many rallied to the banner of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant as it scored victories. But will that unity last?
Libyans had hope for change after the 2011 revolution, but now they say the situation there has only gotten worse.
In US, Memorial Day honours soldiers who fell in battle. In Iraq there is no special day to remember the victims.
For Iraq's Kurds, selling oil on their terms is the key to independence. For Baghdad, losing control spells disaster.