Jordan launches new airstrikes

2015-02-05 17:05
Jordanian King Abdullah II at the memorial tent set up for the slain pilot at their home village of Ai near Karak, Jordan. (Nasser Nasser, AP)

Jordanian King Abdullah II at the memorial tent set up for the slain pilot at their home village of Ai near Karak, Jordan. (Nasser Nasser, AP)

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Amman - Jordanian fighter jets have carried out new air strikes, the military said on Thursday, a day after the country's king vowed to wage a "harsh" war against Islamic State militants who control parts of neighbouring Syria and Iraq.

The army statement did not say which country was targeted. Jordan is part of a US-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 organisation is not only fighting us, but also fighting Islam and its pure values."

In a statement on Wednesday, he pledged to hit the militants "hard in the very centre of their strongholds."

In Washington, leading members of Congress have called for increased US military assistance to the kingdom. Currently, the United States is providing Jordan with $1bn annually in economic and military assistance.

Read more on:    isis  |  jordan

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