WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Tuesday said it could not immediately confirm reports that Islamic State had released a video purporting to show the beheading of American hostage Steven Sotloff.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in a briefing that if there is such a video, it would be analyzed very carefully, adding that the administration's thoughts and prayers were with Sotloff's family.

Shortly before the briefing, the jihadi monitoring service SITE said the militant group had released the video.