Jordan says pilot’s murder a ‘turning point’ in IS fight
search

Jordan says pilot’s murder a ‘turning point’ in IS fight

Interior minister says Amman will ‘wipe out’ jihadists, and will pursue the group for however long it takes

A Jordanian Air Force fighter jet flies over the village of Ai as Jordanian King Abdullah II visits to offer his condolences to the tribe of the slain Jordanian pilot, Lt. Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh at their home village near Karak, Jordan, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015. (photo credit: AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
A Jordanian Air Force fighter jet flies over the village of Ai as Jordanian King Abdullah II visits to offer his condolences to the tribe of the slain Jordanian pilot, Lt. Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh at their home village near Karak, Jordan, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015. (photo credit: AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

AMMAN, Jordan — The burning alive of a Jordanian pilot by the Islamic State group is a “turning point” in the kingdom’s fight against the jihadists, a minister said in remarks published Saturday.

Air strikes carried out so far by Jordan’s air force were “the beginning of an ongoing process to eliminate” IS, Interior Minister Hussein Majali said, quoted by government newspaper al-Rai.

Amman said its warplanes launched dozens of strikes on Thursday against the Sunni Muslim extremist group after threatening a harsh response to the murder of pilot Mu’ath al-Kassasbeh.

IS said the strikes near its self-proclaimed capital of Raqa killed US aid worker Kayla Jean Mueller, who was kidnapped in August 2013, but the United States said there was no proof to support the claim.

Majali said the Jordanian air strikes that destroyed the “terrorist” group’s facilities, arms depots and training centers on Thursday were the start of a campaign to “wipe them out completely.”

“The state of Jordan is entitled to retaliate against this terrorist organization, and we will pursue it wherever it is,” he told al-Rai.

“History shows that Jordan never forgets to avenge (such attacks), no matter how long it takes… we have the resources to deal with this.

“The day of the hero, martyr pilot’s assassination is a turning point in Jordan’s history in order to face this horrific crime that was committed by the cowardly terrorist organisation,” said the minister.

This still image made from a video released by Islamic State group militants and posted on the website of the SITE Intelligence Group on February 3, 2015, purportedly shows Jordanian pilot Lt. Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh standing in a cage just before being burned to death by his captors. (photo credit: AP/SITE Intelligence Group)
This still image made from a video released by Islamic State group militants and posted on the website of the SITE Intelligence Group on February 3, 2015, purportedly shows Jordanian pilot Lt. Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh standing in a cage just before being burned to death by his captors. (photo credit: AP/SITE Intelligence Group)

Jordan is part of the US-led coalition battling IS, which has seized swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq and imposed an extreme interpretation of Islam on the areas under its control.

It said it had expanded its air strikes to Iraq, after the jihadist group released a video online this week showing its militants burning alive Kassasbeh, who was captured when his F-16 fighter jet went down during a mission over Syria.

read more:
comments