King Salman condemns killing of Jordan pilot

Saudi leader says killing of Moaz al-Kasasbeh contradicts Islam and goes against humanity

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Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Wednesday condemned the burning alive of a captive Jordanian pilot by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as “inhumane and contrary to Islam.”

In a message of condolence to Jordan’s King Abdullah II, the Saudi king said the kingdom “learned with profound sadness of the martyrdom of Moaz al-Kassasbeh.”

King Salman condemned the “odious crime” which he said was against all values of humanity.

In response to the killing Jordan said it would boost its role in the international coalition fighting the militant group.

“We are talking about a collaborative effort between coalition members to intensify efforts to stop extremism and terrorism to undermine, degrade and eventually finish Daesh,” Government Spokesman Mohammad al-Momani said in Amman, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

Jordan’s armed forces earlier vowed to avenge the killing of the pilot.

“The blood of the martyr will not have been shed in vain and... vengeance will be proportional to this catastrophe that has struck all Jordanians,” said army spokesman General Mamduh al-Amiri.

U.S. President Barack Obama had decried the “cowardice and depravity” of ISIS on Tuesday, saying the apparent burning alive of the pilot would only strengthen international resolve to destroy the extremists.

President Obama’s nominee for defense secretary Ashton Carter on Wednesday vowed to understand and resolve reported delays in U.S. arms sales to Jordan, which has said it plans to intensify its efforts in fighting Islamic State extremists.

Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee it was important for Jordan to be able to acquire the weapons it needed, and he would work to address concerns raised by King Abdullah during a visit to the United States.

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