Jordan launches new airstrikes on ISIS
King Abdullah II made good on a pledge to step up the fight against the Islamic State after the militants burned a captive Jordanian pilot in a cage.
Jordanian fighter jets have carried out new air strikes, the military said Thursday, a day after the country's king vowed to wage a "harsh" war against Islamic State militants who control parts of neighboring Syria and Iraq.
The army statement did not say which country was targeted. Jordan is part of a U.S.-led military coalition that has bombed IS targets in both countries since last fall, but until now Jordanian warplanes are only known to have carried out raids in Syria.
King Abdullah II pledged to step up the fight against the IS group after the militants burned a captive Jordanian pilot in a cage and released a video of the killing earlier this week. The images have sent waves of revulsion across the region.
On Thursday, warplanes roared overhead as the king paid a condolence visit to the family of the pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, in his village in southern Jordan. The king pointed at the planes as he sat next to the pilot's father.
Abdullah has said Jordan's response "will be harsh because this terrorist organization is not only fighting us, but also fighting Islam and its pure values."
In a statement Wednesday, he pledged to hit the militants "hard in the very center of their strongholds."
He referenced Clint Eastwood in conversations with members of the US Congress.
King Abdullah apparently said he would deal with IS in the way Eastwood’s character acts in “Unforgiven.” At one point Eastwood's character says, “Any man I see out there, I’m gonna kill him. Any [expletive] takes a shot at me, I’m not only going to kill him, I’m going to kill his wife and all his friends and burn his damn house down.”
King Abdullah told US lawmakers that Jordan would intensify its participation in a US-led air campaign against IS.
“The only problem we’re going to have is running out of fuel and bullets,” he said, according to the Examiner.
In Washington, leading members of Congress have called for increased U.S. military assistance to the kingdom. Currently, the United States is providing Jordan with $1 billion annually in economic and military assistance.