05 - 02
By Samuel Otachi Abuya
Amman, Jordan: Jordan has pledged to step up its fight against the Islamic State, IS, militants following the gruesome killing of one of its pilots captured after his plane went down during a mission targeting the armed group in Syria.
King Abdullah II promised Wednesday severe reactions to the burning to death of Moaz al-Kassasbeh who is now being considered by many in Jordan as a martyr. The Moaz al-Kassasbeh killing attracted international condemnation with US President Barrack Obama being among the first world leaders who condemned and termed the execution barbaric.
King Abdullah had to cut short his visit to US and flew back home where he was welcomed by large crowds at the airport before having a meeting with his security chiefs.
While assuring his country that his army will take the war to IS doorsteps, King Abdullah said the blood of the slain Moaz al-Kassasbeh will not be in vain.
“We are waging this war to protect our faith, our values and human principles. And our war for their sake will be relentless and will hit them in their own ground,” King Abdullah said.
The killing of the Jordanian pilot is said to have united public opinion in Amman and Jordan at large, against IS. They are reportedly “very adamant” that their country should intensify its role in the fight against the ISIL and punish the militants severely.
Before killing the 26-year-old pilot, the Islamic State had demanded the release of two prisoners who were being held in Jordan. However, Jordan refused to heed to the demand without proof that the pilot was still alive.
Jordan would later hang al-Rishawi, who had been sentenced to death for the role she played in the 2005 suicide bombing in Amman, and I-Karbouly, another al-Qaeda-linked Iraqi woman.
The militants released a video on Tuesday allegedly showing the Jordanian pilot locked up in a cage which was set on fire by an IS militant, burning him to death.
‘Harsh and swift revenge’
Meanwhile, Safi al-Kassasbeh, father to the executed pilot called on the Jordanian government on Wednesday to avenge his son’s death saying the hanging of the two al-Qaeda-linked prisoners is not enough.
Jordan is a US key ally in Middle East and has now joined four other Arab nations under the US-led coalition carrying out air strikes against the IS militants in Iraq and Syria.