Jordan vowed on Wednesday to boost its role in the international coalition fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) following the group’s horrific execution of a captive Jordanian pilot.
“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.
He added that King Abdullah headed a meeting with top security officials on Wednesday. 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.
King Abdullah, meanwhile, cut short a visit to Washington after the news of the Moaz al-Kasaesbeh’s death. He also appeared on television describing killing of the pilot as an act of “cowardly” terror by a group that had nothing to do with Islam.
U.S. President Barack Obama 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.
“We need partners on the ground to beat ISIS,” Carter told the committee during a hearing on his nomination.
Committee Chairman Senator John McCain said some committee members would send a letter to the Obama administration on Wednesday underscoring the need to ensure Jordan had the weapons it needed to fight Islamic State militants.
“As we made clear to King Abdullah in our meeting yesterday, this committee’s immediate concern is to ensure Jordan has all of the equipment and resources necessary to continue taking the fight directly to ISIL,” McCain said.
He said the committee would also consider proposing legislation if needed to achieve that goals outlined by the king during his meeting with committee members.