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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Jordan Warplanes Strike IS After Pilot Murder

Jordan Warplanes Strike IS After Pilot Murder

Amman (AFP) – Jordan said Thursday its warplanes had launched new strikes against the Islamic State group, after vowing a harsh response to the burning alive of one of its fighter pilots captured in Syria.

The announcement came as King Abdullah II personally paid his condolences to the airman’s family, which has urged the government to “destroy” the jihadists, reflecting deep anger among Jordanians over the brutal murder.

“The Jordanian air force launched raids against positions of the Islamic State group,” said a government official, who did not want to be named.

He did not disclose where or when the strikes took place, saying the military would release a statement later.

Jordan has conducted regular raids against IS in Syria as part of a U.S.-led campaign against the Sunni extremist group, which has seized swathes of the war-torn country and of neighboring Iraq.

The gruesome murder of airman Maaz al-Kassasbeh, who was captured by IS in December when his F-16 fighter plane went down in Syria, has increased support in Jordan for stepped-up military action against the jihadists.

“Jordan will wage all-out war to protect our principles and values,” the Al-Rai government newspaper wrote in an editorial. “We are on the lookout for this band of criminals.”

Abdullah cut short a visit to the United States and flew back to Amman on Wednesday after the harrowing video emerged of Kassasbeh’s killing.

“The blood of martyr Maaz al-Kassasbeh will not be in vain and the response of Jordan and its army after what happened to our dear son will be severe,” he said afterwards.

Wednesday, in response to the killing of the 26-year-old pilot, Jordan executed two Iraqis on death row — female would-be suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi and Al-Qaeda operative Ziad al-Karboli.

Abdullah travelled to Kassasbeh’s hometown of Karak, 74 miles south of the capital, on Thursday where a traditional mourning tent was set up for the family to receive guests.

Hundreds of people, including representatives of the military and civilians, gathered as the king, wearing a red and white checked keffiyeh, sat next to the 26-year-old first lieutenant’s father, Safi.

The airman’s killing sparked outrage in Jordan and demonstrations in Amman and Karak, also the bastion of Kassasbeh’s influential tribe.

The slain pilot’s father branded IS “infidels and terrorists who know no humanity or human rights”.

“The international community must destroy the Islamic State group,” he said.

IS had offered to spare Kassasbeh’s life and free Japanese journalist Kenji Goto — who was later beheaded — in exchange for Rishawi’s release.

Rishawi, 44, was sentenced to death for her participation in triple hotel bombings in Amman in 2005 that killed 60 people.

She was closely linked to IS’s predecessor organisation in Iraq and seen as an important symbol for the jihadists.

Following the airman’s capture, another member of the U.S.-led coalition, the United Arab Emirates, withdrew from air strike missions due to fears for the safety of its pilots, a U.S. official said.

“I can confirm that UAE suspended air strikes shortly after the Jordanian pilot’s plane went down,” the official told AFP.

“But let me be clear that UAE continues to be an important and valuable partner that is contributing to the coalition,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

U.S. President Barack Obama, who had hosted Abdullah in a hastily organised meeting before his return to Jordan, decried the “cowardice and depravity” of IS.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the brutality of IS was “beyond comprehension”.

“It has nothing to do with our religion.”

Kassasbeh was captured on December 24 when his jet crashed in on a mission that was part of the coalition air campaign against the jihadists.

Jordanian state television suggested he was killed on January 3, before IS offered to spare his life and free Goto in return for Rishawi’s release.

IS had previously beheaded two U.S. journalists, an American aid worker and two British aid workers in similar videos. It has also killed a second Japanese hostage.

Photo: A pilot with the Royal Jordanian Air Force preparing to taking off after a scramble exercise, May 12, 2014 (AFP/Ssgt Brigitte N. Brantley)

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  • White Army

    One can make a reasonable argument that Obama is the most successful firearms salesman in the history of these united states.

    • joe schmo

      LOL, that’s an understatement:)

  • Dominick Vila

    Looks like the latest expression of extreme brutality by ISIS may backfire. It is too early to tell what is going to happen, but there is no doubt in my mind that the only way to end Islamic fundamentalism and the spread of terrorism depends on the support of moderate Muslims, and their willingness to fight it. If countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt join Jordan, ISIS is history.

  • Alvin Harrison

    Not sure who runs ISIS but here is a hint you can learn directly from the GOP: do not piss off your base. They will turn on you in a minute.

    Moderate Muslims needed a reason not to be perceived as lackeys of the West by other Muslims, in the fight against terrorism ….and you just gave them the equivalent of a “get out of jail free card”. I am now convinced the ISIS guys are so stupid, defeating them will not take too long. They seem to shoot the straightest when aiming at their feet.

    • bikejedi

      Who runs ISIS ??? Really ??? I’ll give you a hint .. Radical Islamist and Muslim Terrorists that’s who … ISIS killed a Jordanian Pilot and their Kings response has been to rain holy hell down on their heads .. Meanwhile ISIS kills Americans and our President releases Muslom Terrorists from Gitmo so they can rejoin the jihad …If the Hebdo attack had happened here Obama and Liberals would probably call it workplace violence …Do you see the French leaders or their Liberals calling Hebdo that ??? Hell no ion fact their PM came right put and said they are at war with Radical Islam … Meanwhile our Liberals OBEY the Obama and call Muslim terrorists ” extremists ” while he goes to the prayer meeting and indicts Christians for doing horrible deeds in the name of Christ … He can say that about the crusades centuries ago but he cant call current Muslim butchers Terrorists … and you people go right in line with that …. sweet

      • Alvin Harrison

        That was a rhetorical question…as in who were the decision makers…if you even had one iota of understanding how words are interpreted within foreign policy framework you would know why he uses the word “extremists”. You should not pass judgements on political decision in areas you obviously have no training or experience in.

        • bikejedi

          You talk in ridiculous circles of spin that make absolutely no sense ..Up there you state that you weren’t sure who runs ISIS so I spelled it out for you . Also what does the GOP have to do with who is running ISIS ? That comment makes no sense . I am not the GOP but I do lean right and at least we know who runs ISIS and we arent afraid to say the words Muslim Terrorists run ISIS . Why is the left afraid to say that ?

          You go on to state ..”Moderate Muslims needed a reason not to be perceived as lackeys of the West by other Muslims, in the fight against terrorism ….and you just gave them the equivalent of a “get out of jail free card”. I am now convinced the ISIS guys are so stupid, defeating them will not take too long. They seem to shoot the straightest when aiming at their feet.” Who cares how Moderate Muslims needed to be perceived they aren’t the problem ? Why would moderate Muslims need a get out of jail free card ? You are a foreign policy neophyte commenting on things that you are too afraid to even label correctly . Can I ask you if you are even free enough in the land of liberals to exercise your own common sense or freedom of opinion ? I mean if it goes against the talking points Obama tells you to repeat ? Let me ask a simple two part question to illustrate that . When Iran gets their Nuke is the World going to be a safer place or are we going to all be in much much greater peril and if you answer the obvious will you speak up against Obama and his aid for the Iran Nuke program ? … Please when you answer it don’t spin your answer to other countries ..Everyone knows a lot of them shouldn’t have Nukes as well but no one can change that .

          By the way EVERYONE knows why Obama wont call Muslim Terrorists Muslim Terrorists and why he wont even say the words Radical Islam … It is his silly shortsighted way of trying to show sensitivity to Islam . Well until you are ready to discuss a problem accurately it will never go away

  • The opportunity presented to President Obama in 2009, was the greatest in a generation, w/the hunger for leadership (the U.S.) & Democracy (around the Middle East). The ‘Arab Spring’ was the perfect window therefore, but w/the understanding slowly unfolding, that President Obama was not at all who we (supporters) thought he was, the opportunity quickly evaporated & the region slowly, torturously degenerated to… this… Instead of implements & initiatives of peace, we regressing, rather, degenerating backwards, toward savagery & inhumanity. Since no one seems to be reading anymore, does anyone understand provocative war-mongering isn’t a commandment of our Constitution, nor Bill of Rights nor law & order fundamentals we are suppose to be defined by? W/our credibility gone as of the 2001-2009 administration, we just quit being America, the virtuous? Upholders of decency & morality? When voters don’t vote intelligently, nations die. History is littered w/the ‘once great…’ nations who self-destructed. Will it be we the people who decide this, or will we obey the rich & corporate propaganda influence, who over & again, have proven they don’t care one way or the other?

    • bikejedi

      Yes Obama is a foreign policy neophyte … He is so naive on these issues and he think he can make friends with these Islamic nations by appeasing and genuflecting to them … Islam views appeasement as weakness … Oh and how is that Ukraine thing working out for everyone ? Seem to remember a debate where one candidate warned of that very thing while another ridiculed him

      • Yes, but my question to you & others here was, is this part of our Constitutional commandments of our ‘elected representatives’ to either ‘commence’ or ‘continue’ this sort of barbarism? Our Constitution CLEARLY instructs voters & representatives alike on these issues. Then we have the Federalist Papers that give clarity on any doubts or UNCERTAINTIES there may still be. Voters OBVIOUSLY don’t understand Democracy, by the results of the last 2 Mid-Term elections, as well as U’r own comments. Not as an indictment of your response itself, but in not responding to the core question ALL American’s seem likewise to be ignorant to. I’ll be writing an essay soon ([email protected]) on this very question, so stay tuned…