Jordan bombs ′Islamic State′ positions after pilot execution | News | DW | 05.02.2015
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Jordan bombs 'Islamic State' positions after pilot execution

Jordan has launched airstrikes against the "Islamic State," days after the militant group released a graphic video of its execution of a Jordanian pilot. Amman had promised a swift and lethal response.

Jordanian warplanes bombed "Islamic State" ("IS") targets on Thursday, state television reported, as King Abdullah II paid personal respects to the family of killed pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh.

The strikes were confirmed by the military, but where they took place has not been disclosed.

Jordan is part of a US-led coalition of around 60 countries that have bombed IS targets in Iraq and Syria, where the group controls large areas. But until now, Jordanian warplanes are only known to have carried out strikes in Syria.

Thursday's mission against IS came two days after the group released a video showing the brutal killing of al-Kaseasbeh, who was burned alive. He had been held in IS captivity since December.

Abdullah had promised to step up his country's mission against the militant group after the pilot's murder. The king was visiting the man's family in southern Jordan as warplanes, returning from the IS mission, roared overhead.

He had cut short a visit to the United States and flown back to Amman on Wednesday. The video showing the pilot's killing unleashed rage and grief across the Middle East, with religious and political leaders saying immolation violated Islam.

The video was released three days after the death of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, who was beheaded by IS militants. Goto's fate and that of the pilot had been linked by their captors.

Jordan executed two Iraqi militants in retaliation for al-Kaseasbeh's killing. One of them, Sajida al-Rishawi, was a female would-be suicide bomber who was sentenced to death in Jordan for her involvement in a 2005 terrorist attack by al Qaeda, which targeted hotels in Amman.

US security officials said on Thursday that the United Arab Emirates had withdrawn from air strike missions against the IS due to fears for the safety of its pilots.

jr/kms (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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