Jordanian airstrikes kill 55 ISIS militants
Jordan launched air strikes against ISIS after vowing a harsh response to the burning alive of one of its fighter pilots
Jordanian fighter jets flew over the hometown of a pilot killed by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group and the capital Amman on Thursday after completing a mission, state television said without giving the location of their sortie, Reuters reported.
However, Iraqi media said that the Jordanian airstrikes have killed 55 ISIS militants including a senior commander known as the “Prince of Nineveh.”
Jordan’s ‘severe’ response to ISIS after it killed an air force pilot by burning him alive, came just hours after King Abdullah vowed to avenge Maaz al-Kassasbeh’s death.
"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," Said King Abdullah in a statement released by the royal court on Wednesday.
Jordan had previously been divided on its participation in airstrikes against ISIS, with many question why the country was involving itself in the fight.
But it was a divide that largely vanished after the revelation of Kassasbeh’s brutal execution.
Jordan’s information minister, Mohammad al-Momani told AFP: Amman was “more determined than ever to fight the terrorist group Daesh.” And a government spokesman said Jordan would step up its role in the U.S.-led fight against the militant group.
King Abdullah cut short a visit to Washington, returning to his country where he held emergency talks with his military.
But before his return to the Middle East he met with President Barack Obama, who slammed the pilot’s killing as an act of "cowardice and depravity," and he offered the king “his deepest condolences” White House spokesman, Alistair Baskey said.
Meanwhile Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said radical Islam’s “cruelty knows no borders, the greatest threat to humanity would be if these extremists get their hands on nuclear weapons," referring to Iran's nuclear program.
The airstrikes came just hours after Jordan executed two militant prisoners in response to the killing of Kassasbeh.
But the pilot’s father told Reuters the two executions were not enough to avenge his son’s death, adding: "I want the state to get revenge for my son's blood through more executions of those people who follow this criminal group that shares nothing with Islam." Safi al-Kassasbeh told Reuters.